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Thursday, October 18 Weather

The latest: NWS posts winter storm warning

BRIDGEPORT -A winter storm warning is in effect for the state as snow showers arriving overnight will continue through Tuesday morning and persist into the afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

The snowfall will be moderate to heavy at times, making for a messy morning commute.

About four to eight inches of snow is expected for a wide area of the state, with lesser amounts of two to four inches for areas further north and west. Eastern Connecticut could see higher totals.

It will also be blustery, with winds northwest at 15 to 25 miles per hour, gusting to 30 miles per hour. The gusty winds could bring more power outages.

UPDATE: Shelton and West Haven schools will be closed Tuesday.

The warning is in effect from midnight to 6 p.m. Tuesday.

The heaviest snow is expected after midnight through Tuesday afternoon with snowfall rates between 1 to 2 inches an hour.

The timing of the snow will affect Tuesday’s morning commute and likely cause widespread school cancellations.

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The three nor’easters

Friday, March 2: More than 174,000 customers lose power after strong winds gusting up to 60 mph whip across Connecticut. Roads are closed after winds down trees and power lines. Jonathan Rodriguez-Melendez, 25, of Hawthorne, N.J. was killed Friday afternoon on the Merritt Parkway, near Exit 33 south. tree dislodged and fell on top of the Mini Cooper Rodriguez-Melendez was driving. The car’s passenger was taken to Greenwich Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Southern Connecticut received mostly rain, but the Northwest Hills has several inches of snow.

In Connecticut, Eversource nearly 500 utility poles were broken and 87 miles of electric lines were downm blocking more than 400 roads. In many cases, we’ve had to rebuild the electric system. It took several days for power to be restored, especially in hard-hit Greenwich.

Wednesday, March 7. Snow began early in the morning and didn’t end until a day later. It was the biggest snowfall of the season with some areas getting more than two feet.

Among the totals: New Fairfield, 26.8 inches; Newtown, 24.3 inches; Ridgefield, 19 inches; Danbury, 16.2 inches; Monroe, Bethel and Shelton,16 inches; Fairfield, 10 inches; Stamford, 8.2 inches; and Norwalk, 6.1 inches.

The heavy, wet snow snapped branches and downed trees, causing thousands of power outages across the state.

The nor’aster took down nearly 1,000 trees, damaged 400 utility poles and left more than 100 miles of electrical lines in need of repair, Eversource said. At the height of the storm, 160,000 homes were without power and the majority of residents in some towns, such as Redding, were in the dark. Most customers had power back by Saturday evening, but the utility companies restored power to another 7,300 overnight.

Many school districts were closed for two days.

Monday, March 12

The National Weather Service issues a winter storm warning for the third nor’easter.

“Plan on very difficult travel conditions, including during the morning commute on Tuesday. Tree branches could fall. Be prepared for significant reductions in visibility at times,” the NWS says.

UPDATE: Gov. Dannel P. Malloy Monday night announced that he will partially activate the state’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) beginning at 4:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 to monitor storm conditions across the state and prepare for winter weather that is forecast to have an impact on morning and potentially afternoon travel. Forecasts are showing a range of accumulation across the state, with the heaviest amounts occurring in central and eastern Connecticut.

“As we continue to monitor the most up-to-date forecasts on tomorrow’s impending snowstorm, our state agencies are working around the clock to ensure we are prepared to respond to this latest round of winter weather,” Malloy said. “The snow is expected to impact the morning commute in central and eastern Connecticut, so if motorists must travel, they are encouraged to take it slow and remember their winter weather driving skills.”

The combination of snow and strong winds - with gusts up to nearly 30 mph - will likely cause scattered downed trees, tree limbs amd powerlines across Connecticut.

In its forecast discussion Monday afternoon, the NWS says “snow accumulations in the warning area will range from 6-12 inches with locally higher amounts especially across far southeastern Connecticut.

“For the NYC metro, 3-4 inches of snow is forecast, however, with temperatures right around freezing, the snow may have a hard time sticking to the road surface. This will depend on the intensity rate during the nighttime hours.”

The hourly forecast has the most likely period of snow between 1 a.m. and 10 a.m. Tuesday. There remains a good chance of snow through 4 p.m. Tuesday.

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Bridgeport, Mayor Joe Ganim is declaring a snow emergency for the city to take effect at 6:00 p.m., Monday . During the snow emergency, residents must move their cars off posted snow emergency streets. Alternate side of the street parking rules are in effect as of 6:00 p.m. today for all other streets throughout the city in order to allow snow plow drivers’ clear passage.

John Ricci, head of public facilities, Bridgeport, said the city is preparing for a storm that is very similar to last week’s. He said there were questions about how much snow to expect: “We’re right on the borderline between 2 to 4 (inches) and the 4 to 8 prediction. We’re on the knife’s edge.”

“Hopefully they’re (weather forecasters) not too far off on the starting time. The last time we were awaiting to start at 3 a.m. and it started 12 p.m. And of course we expect trees down and power outages again because of the winds and heavy snow. Just like last week all over again,” Ricci said.

In Milford, alternate side of the street parking will begin at midnight Monday.

Vehicles parked on City roads should be parked on the odd-numbered side of the street Tuesday, March 13. This parking ban will be lifted at 6 a.m. Wednesday, March 14. Also, off-street parking should be used if possible.

Also, garbage and recycling pickup for Tuesday will be postponed until Wednesday. In order to give the plows the opportunity to clear streets, residents are asked to delay placement of totes at the curb as long as possible prior to the 6 a.m. pick-up on Wednesday.

Also, residents are reminded that they are responsible for shoveling snow and ice from their sidewalks and property.

In Stratford, a parking ban will be in effect starting at 6 p.m. on Monday , officials announced. Parking will be permitted only on the on the odd-numbered side of streets.

Andrew Palo, a Trumbull resident, was without power for about two days, from Wednesday at about 6 p.m. to Friday around the same time. Palo and his wife sent their two children to stay with a neighbor who had a generator while the power was out and the couple layered up and stayed home as temperatures in their house on Dayton Road dipped to around 51 degrees.

"I was just so thankful I made sure I had batteries, made sure everything was charged,” Palo said. “Thank God I did all that stuff, because it really helped.”

With no indication of when the power would be back, Palo made a reservation for his family to stay at a hotel Friday night. Power was restored Friday evening, but at that point it was too late to cancel the reservation and the family stayed at the hotel anyway while the house warmed up.

He said the most difficult part, besides the cold, was the lack of information from United Illuminating about when they could expect to receive power. Palo stayed home from work Wednesday and Thursday and after shoveling the car out, would drive around the neighborhood to look for any signs of the utility trucks, but with no luck.

Eversource line and tree crews, along with many out-of-state line workers already here, will again be ready to respond. As the predictions include wind gusts of up to 40 miles per hour, this storm has the potential to cause more damage to the energy system.

“We prepare for severe weather every day and have been watching the approaching storm closely,” said Eversource Vice President of Electric Operations Mike Hayhurst. “The previous storms have thoroughly saturated the ground and further weakened more trees, leaving them susceptible to possibly coming down on our lines in high winds. We have hundreds of employees ready to respond and will again have crews prepositioned around the state well before the storm hits so we’re there when customers need us to safely and quickly restore power after an outage.”

The forecast

Tonight: A slight chance of rain and snow between 7 and 10 p.m., then snow. Low around 30. Wind chill values between 20 and 30. North wind 10 to 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90 percent. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.

Tuesday: Snow, mainly before 3 p.m. High near 36. Wind chill values between 20 and 30. North wind 14 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100 percent. New snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches possible.

Tuesday night: A 20 percent chance of snow showers before midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 27. Wind chill values between 20 and 25. West wind around 10 mph.

Wednesday: A 30 percent chance of snow showers, mainly after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 40. West wind 10 to 17 mph.

Wednesday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 27.

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