Storm Brings a Bit of Winter and Gusty Winds

Monday looks like an interesting day with a very sharp temperature contrast across the state and a little bit of everything weather-wise. Sleet, freezing rain, rain, thunderstorms, and gusty winds all a possibility depending on where you live.

Let’s start off with the winter weather threat. A bit of moisture moves in after midnight and temperatures near the ground will be close to 32 degrees in the Northwest Hills. We can’t rule out some sleet pellets statewide but any legit impact from wintry weather will be northwest of Hartford.

bufkitprofileHere is a sounding valid tomorrow morning at 7 a.m. off the NAM model. Above the ground there’s a sharp increase in temperature but right near the surface the cold air hangs tough (the red line is temperature… the farther right the line gets the warmer the air… the higher up you go on the graph the higher the elevation above the ground). This is a freezing rain signature and it does appear that some light freezing rain is a possibility during the morning commute – especially in the Litchfield Hills. The setup isn’t great for a long-duration or serious event but in the hills of western Connecticut things could get a bit slippery tomorrow morning.

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After that the focus will shift to winds. By afternoon, milder air will flood in from the south across the shoreline and eastern Connecticut. You can see the milder air in this map with a sharp temperature contrast from northwest to southeast. Also, you can see the cold air wedged and trapped in the valley! 41F at BDL and 59F in Hartford!!! Seems odd but it actually happens more often than you may think.

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How cool! Literally cool if you’re in Springfield, Enfield, or Windsor Locks! Where temperatures warm up gusty winds could really be an issue late tomorrow afternoon into early evening. The GFS model shows 50 knots of wind at 600 feet above the surface at Groton tomorrow at 7 p.m.

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While an inversion (temperatures increasing with height) will keep the strongest winds from mixing down this is too close for comfort. There is the potential for damaging winds in southeastern Connecticut tomorrow given how strong the winds just off the deck are AND the fact the inversion isn’t particularly strong (i.e. temperatures only increase a bit with height – the increase isn’t that dramatic). Isolated power outages and gusts over 45 m.p.h. are certainly possible east of New Haven along the shoreline tomorrow.

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