A VERY STRONG COLD FRONT IS FORECAST TO CROSS THE STATE EARLY FRIDAY MORNING BRINGING HEAVY RAIN AND STRONG SOUTH WINDS AHEAD OF THE FRONT…HIGH WIND WATCHES HAVE BEEN ISSUED FOR COASTAL, EASTERN AND NORTHWESTERN CT…A FLOOD WATCH HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR LITCHFIELD COUNTY…
A very strong cold front is forecast to move across New England around daybreak on Friday. A tight pressure gradient and band of very heavy rain are expected to form ahead of the cold front. The moderately deep snowpack over our area is expected to interact with this cold front in two ways. The melting snow combined with the heavy rainfall may cause moderate urban, and stream flooding Friday morning and river flooding Friday afternoon thru Saturday afternoon. The snowpack, however, may keep the strongest winds from reaching down into the valleys by providing a barrier of colder air near the surface. The following forecast is based on the GFS and NAM models:
Thursday Afternoon: Cloudy with increasing south winds gusting to 25 – 30 MPH at times by late afternoon. Highs in the mid 50’s.
Thursday Night: Winds from the south are forecast to increase during the evening and into the early morning hours after midnight. Winds may gust as high as 65 MPH (red line on graph to the right) at times around dawn especially along the coast and across any hilltops. A moderate impact on trees and powerlines is possible. Heavy rainfall of 2.0” – 4.0” (green bars on graph) may also cause moderate urban, stream and river flooding if the snowpack melts completely. There will also likely be a lot of basement flooding as a result of the saturated ground and elevated ground water levels.
Friday Morning: Heavy rainfall and strong winds at daybreak are expected to subside down to lighter rain and lower winds by 10:00 AM. Urban and small stream flooding should begin to subside by noon. Winds are forecast to shift around to the west late Friday morning and are forecast to continue gusting to 20 – 30 MPH for the rest of the day. Flooding on some larger rivers (Housatonic, Farmington and Connecticut) may not crest until Friday night or Saturday.
The Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security will continue to closely monitor this approaching storm.