Early Season Storm to Dump Heavy Wet Snow

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BRISTOL, CT – Halloween weekend is here! However, so is the snow. That’s right, a large winter storm is bearing down on the region. It is very unusual for a storm of this magnitude to dump snow in Connecticut in October. Nonetheless, nearly all signs are pointing to a measurable snow event for Saturday and very early Sunday morning.

Expected Total Snow Accumulations by Noon Sunday

Expect the precipitation to begin as rain or a mix of rain and snow between 11am and 2pm Saturday. The precipitation will change over to all snow no later than 5pm. It will increase in intensity through the evening hours. The snow will be very wet in nature (for those who like numbers, the snow-to-liquid ratio will be between 2:1 at the shoreline and 10:1 in the hills of the northwest corner) and stick to nearly everything. I say nearly because I suspect many road surfaces will be slightly above freezing for quite a while. This will translate to more of a wet situation on the roads during the daylight hours. However, during the night, snow will likely begin to accumulate on the roads, especially away from the shoreline. I expect the snow to taper off between 3AM and 6AM Sunday morning.

Total snowfall accumulations will span a large range across the state. Expect a slushy coating to 2″ in extreme Southeast Connecticut. In Southern and Eastern Connecticut, 2″-4″ of heavy, very wet snow will accumulate. It will be laden with water. North and West of Interstate 84, more than 4″ will fall. Some hilly areas will see up to 8″ in these areas (a few local spots: Chippens Hill and South Mountain in Bristol, Wolcott, Burlington, etc.). Once you work into extreme portions of Northwest Connecticut, more than 8″ will fall. Most towns North and West of Torrington lie in this zone. Here, the snow will be less wet in consistency, especially as you head north into the Berkshires.

National Weather Service Advisories, Watches, and Warnings as of 10PM Friday

One major concern is that leaves are still on the trees. Being that the snow will be very pasty in consistency, the leaves will collect snow. Normally, only branches would collect snow. With this added weight, most trees will be very strained. Some will break under the added weight. The potential for catastrophic tree damage and widespread power outages is a real cause for concern. The damage to trees and utility equipment (poles, lines, etc.) may turn out to be comparable to a large ice storm. I will monitor this situation Saturday evening as the snow continues to accumulate.

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