A major nor’easter will develop a bit to late to give Connecticut a blockbuster (12″+) snowstorm but will be close enough and strong enough for a medium to high impact storm with a period of heavy snow, brutal cold, and the potential for damaging winds.
The storm will develop too late for Connecticut – but it will be close enough for eastern Massachusetts and especially Maine – for a blizzard.
Closer to home, this storm won’t be a walk in the park. In fact, it looks pretty nasty. A high pressure of nearly 1040 mb around Chicago and a low pressure “bombing out” into the low 970 mb range east of Cape Cod will result in a very strong pressure gradient. Stronger the gradient the stronger the wind.
In addition, as the storm strengthens the isallobaric wind component will be enhanced in southern New England adding to the wind potential. The brutally cold airmass will also produce a setup that is efficient in mixing strong winds down from aloft. The GFS model on Sunday morning shows the potential for wind gusts in Connecticut exceeding 65 mph!
You can see the depth of the “mixing layer” reaches about 925 mb Sunday morning on the GFS where winds are 65 knots. Some of that wind will be able to mix down to the surface and increase the threat for power outages. Additionally, a burst of “lift” in the boundary layer will be able to produce snow flakes in an efficient manner given the impressive low level cold (nearly -15C). The GFS has several hours of “good” snow growth with strong lift centered around -15c.
We’re expecting a high impact storm – not because of the snow amount – but because of the wind. We’ll try to pin down exact numbers by 5 p.m.