What You Need to Know About Winter Storm ‘Hercules’

courtesy AccuWeather.com

image courtesy AccuWeather.com

What a way to kick off 2014, with a big winter blizzard. Here’s what you need to know about the snowstorm they’ve named “Winter Storm Hercules,” as of midnight Thursday morning.

Expect Heavy Snows Thursday Into Friday, Temps to Plunge After the Storm Ends

The National Weather Service is predicting this storm will hit New England hard, beginning today and growing steadily heavier into Friday, with accumulations expected to hit 4-8 inches (AccuWeather.com is predicting possible higher amounts of 6-12 inches). Unfortunately, the weather systems causing the snowfall will also bring strong winds and bitter temperatures.

According to AccuWeather.com, a surge of frigid air from the Upper Midwest will move into the Northeast following the storm, dropping temps significantly, what they call “the coldest weather in several years.”

Thursday night, with strong winds and wind chill, we’re potentially looking at a low around 12 degrees Farenheit, with wind chill as low as minus-6 degrees.Friday during the day, NWS forecasters are calling for a high of only 17-degrees Farenheit, with a low at night of minus-3 degrees.

Aside from the potential of power loss, make sure you’re protecting against frostbite dangers when you’re headed outside. The significant cold can also drain car batteries. If you’re on the roads, be wary of icy driving conditions, limited visibility, and blowing and drifting snow.

New Law Makes Removing Snow from Cars Mandatory

Speaking of cars, make sure that you’re cleaning off all snow and ice that covers your cars. That’s because a new law took effect on Jan. 1 that makes it mandatory, or face a $75 fine. We’ve all seen cars on the roadways that haven’t done so, and watched as snow and a top crust layer of ice fly off, only to hit any car traveling behind. 

CT Legislators must have wanted to avoid the kind of dangerous experience GOOD Morning Wilton reader Eliza Brown wrote on our Facebook page that, “My windshield was smashed in by a chunk of snow/ice that flew off a car ( and they didn’t know or realize ) while I was on the highway once . Very scary. Good to hear there is a law now.” She added that people should already be aware of it, likely as a courtesy to other drivers, as reader Troy Ellen Dixon pointed out: “Cannot believe we needed a law to compel folks to do what is a most sensible thing . . .”

Town Emergency Operations

If weather conditions become serious, with significant power outages or other emergencies, the town will open up it’s Emergency Operations Center. They’ll communicate with Wilton residents in a variety of different ways:

  • The Wilton Emergency Operations Center Facebook page is a good one to follow if you haven’t done so already.
  • The Town of Wilton website posts emergency information right on the front page.
  • You can sign up for the town’s CODE RED emergency alerts and be notified with emergency or critical community alerts by phone, email or text.
  • Wilton CERT works with radio station 90.3 FM. It’s run out of Westport’s Staples High School, but during emergencies, Westport broadcasts emergency announcements–including those from Wilton. When the power is out, when email, cell phones, landlines, and even CODE RED calls don’t work, tune your radio to 90.3.