Just days past the 35th anniversary of the historic Blizzard of '78, which dumped more than two feet of snow on Connecticut, another major winter storm is bearing down on us, the National Weather Service says.
A Blizzard Watch is in effect from Friday afternon through Saturday afternoon for coastal portions of southeast Connecticut.
Heavy snow, sleet, and damaging winds are expected. Snow accumulations could be as much as 18 to 24 inches in some areas, along with some ice. North winds of around 25 to 35 miles per hour are expected, along with gusts up to 60 mph. "Heavy snow will make for dangerous driving conditions. IN addition, the heavy snow and strong winds will result in blizzard conditions, bringing down some tree limbs and causing scattered power outages," the NWS says.
"A blizzard watch means there is the potential for falling and/or blowing snow with strong winds and extremely poor visibilities. This can lead to whiteout conditions and make travel very dangerous," the NWS says.
The impending snow is the result of two storms that are coming together, one from the Great Lakes region, the other from the Gulf Coast, as they approach the Northeast, according to Fox Meteorologist Rachel Frank. The Gulf system has a lot of moisture and the one from the Great Lakes is bringing little precipitation but plenty of cold air, Frank says.
A mix of rain and snow is expected to fall Thursday night, but the real event will begin on Friday when snow will spread across the state in the morning and will continue into Saturday morning.
In 1978 a blizzard hit the state on Feb. 6 and the storm, which raged for about 24 hours, left as much as 30 inches of snow in some areas, forcing the closing of the state and paralyzing traffic for days.
Here is the extended forecast for Madison:
- Thursday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 30. Light and variable wind becoming north around 6 mph in the morning.
- Thursday night: A chance of snow after midnight. Cloudy, with a low around 22. Northeast wind 6 to 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
- Friday: Snow before 3pm, then rain, snow, and sleet. The rain and snow could be heavy at times. High near 34. Northeast wind 9 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow and sleet accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.
- Friday Night: Snow with areas of blowing snow. The snow could be heavy at times. Low around 22. Windy, with a north wind 22 to 30 mph, with gusts as high as 60 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 10 to 14 inches possible.
- Saturday: Snow with areas of blowing snow before noon, then a slight chance of snow between noon and 3pm. The snow could be heavy at times. High near 28. Windy, with a north wind 21 to 28 mph, with gusts as high as 55 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%.
- Saturday: NightMostly clear, with a low around 9.
- Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 34.
- Sunday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 21.
- Monday: A chance of rain and snow. Cloudy, with a high near 45. Chance of precipitation is 50%.
- Monday Night: A chance of rain and snow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 32. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
- Tuesday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 42.
- Tuesday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 28.
- Wednesday: A chance of rain and snow. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 41. Chance of precipitation is 30%.