After a few dustings of powdery snow, it appears the first real snowstorm of the season may finally be upon lower Fairfield County. And residents probably should take a cue from Connecticut Light & Power which has issued a winter storm warning to local municipalities.
With sleet and heavy snow whipped by winds of 50 mph or more expected to begin Friday, Feb. 8, near blizzard-like conditions are predicted for coastal Connecticut.
CL&P informed local officials:
"CL&P's operational status is currently in WARNING mode. This means we are making appropriate notifications to stakeholders, implementing the appropriate preparedness procedures based on anticipated weather, and placing resources into standby mode.
- CL&P is prepared to respond to a winter storm that may bring between 18-24 inches of heavy, wet snow to Connecticut, beginning Friday between 2 and 4 a.m. The heaviest period of snowfall is expected after midnight Friday into Saturday morning.
- High winds will accompany the snow, with gusts up to 50 mph. Wind gusts in coastal and eastern areas of the state may reach 60 mph.
- This is likely to be a regional event, having the greatest impact in coastal areas of all Northeastern states."
Here is the winter storm warning issued by the National Weather Service issued early Thursday morning with a winter storm watch in effect from Friday afternoon through Saturday afternoon.
- Hazard types...heavy snow and sleet.
- Accumulations...snow accumulation of 10 to 20 inches.
- Winds...north 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 60 mph.
- Temperatures...in the lower 30s.
- Visibilities...one quarter mile or less at times.
- Impacts...heavy snow will make for dangerous driving conditions. In addition, the heavy snow and strong winds could result in near blizzard conditions...bring down some tree limbs and cause scattered power outages.
- Precautionary/preparedness actions... A winter storm watch means there is a potential for significant snow, sleet or ice accumulations that may impact travel.
Here's the NWS forecast:
- Thursday Night: Cloudy. Snow likely...mainly after midnight. Snow accumulation around an inch possible. Lows in the mid 20s. East winds 5 to 10 mph. Chance of snow 60 percent.
- Friday: Snow in the morning...then rain and snow in the afternoon. Precipitation may be heavy at times. Additional light snow accumulation. Breezy with highs in the mid 30s. East winds 15 to 20 mph with gusts up to 35 mph. Chance of precipitation near 100 percent.
- Friday Night: Snow...freezing rain and sleet in the evening...then snow after midnight. Precipitation may be heavy at times. Additional heavy snow accumulation. Windy with lows in the mid 20s. North winds 20 to 30 mph. Gusts up to 50 mph...increasing to 60 mph after midnight. Chance of precipitation near 100 percent.
- Saturday: Mostly cloudy with a chance of snow in the morning... Then mostly sunny in the afternoon. Windy with highs in the lower 30s. Chance of snow 50 percent.
- Saturday Night: Mostly clear and blustery. Lows 10 to 15.
- Sunday: Sunny. Highs in the upper 30s.
- Sunday Night: Mostly clear in the evening...then becoming mostly cloudy. Lows in the lower 20s.
- Monday: Cloudy. A chance of snow and rain in the morning...then a chance of rain in the afternoon. Highs in the mid 40s. Chance of precipitation 50 percent.
- Monday Night: Mostly cloudy. A chance of rain in the evening... Then a chance of rain and snow after midnight. Lows in the mid 30s. Chance of precipitation 40 percent.
(For the latest forecast, be sure to check Channel 7 meteorologist Bill Evans' weather blog here on Patch.)