The National Weather Service is tracking a system of heavy snow and wind gusts in the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes, predicting it will become a Nor’easter with significant wintry impacts for New England from late Sunday, March 12 into Tuesday, March 14.
Rain on Monday, March 13 will change to heavy snow after midnight and continue into Tuesday morning. Periods of moderate snow will continue Tuesday afternoon and evening, before coming to an end by around midnight.
With Wilton falling right on the dividing line between snowfall and heavy rain forecasts, the question becomes how much wind, rain, snow — or all of the above — Wilton will get.
A Winter Storm Watch currently extends across the northern portion of Fairfield County. In southern CT, the precipitation will start as heavy rainfall of up to 2.5 inches Monday night into early Tuesday morning, with rain changing to snow after midnight.
The NWS has “high confidence” for 5-10 inches of heavy, wet snowfall for southwest CT, and officials warn there may be downed tree limbs and powerlines due to snow loading and wind. Snow will taper by late Tuesday evening. Lesser amounts of snow are expected closer to the coast.
The strongest winds will be Tuesday into Tuesday night (March 14) with easterly gusts to 40-50 mph after midnight Tuesday, continuing into Wednesday.
Widespread minor to locally moderate coastal flooding is expected during the times of high tide Monday night into early Tuesday morning.
The NWS still has some uncertainty at this point about the exact track the storm will take and how much cooling will occur after the precipitation begins. Any shifts will impact snowfall and rainfall amounts.
Wilton Emergency Management Director and Fire Chief Jim Blanchfield said the town is prepairing for whatever comes.
“Public Works will be completing full equipment checks Monday morning as well as monitoring when the precipitation will be moving away from mostly rain, as that affects the pre-treatment of roads. Police and Fire personnel are completing their storm prep checklists, and will continue to monitor this storm track closely throughout the next two days,” Blanchfield said.
“We’d ask that Wilton residents also pay attention to the forecasts, and certainly try to be off the roads once this storm starts up,” he added.
Day by Day NWS Forecast
Monday, March 13: A chance of rain and snow before 8 a.m., then rain. High near 41 degrees. East wind 7-9 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. Little or no snow accumulation is expected.
Monday Night, March 13: Rain. Low around 35. Wind chill values between 25-30 degrees. East wind around 18 mph, with gusts as high as 29 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New precipitation amounts between 1-2 inches is possible.
Tuesday, March 14: Rain before 5 p.m., then rain and snow, possibly heavy at times. High near 36 degrees, with wind chill values between 20-30 degrees. Breezy, with a northwest wind 14-22 mph, with gusts as high as 33 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 1-2 inches is possible.
Tuesday Night, March 14: Snow likely, possibly mixed with rain before 2 a.m., then snow. Low around 31 degrees, wind chill values between 20-25 degrees. Blustery, with a northwest wind 25-29 mph, with gusts as high as 44 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 1-2 inches possible.
Wednesday, March 15: Partly sunny, with a high near 41 degrees. Windy, with a northwest wind 26-30 mph, with gusts as high as 46 mph..
Wednesday Night, March 15: Partly cloudy, with a low around 28 degrees. Blustery
Thursday, March 16: Sunny, with a high near 48 degrees.
Thursday Night, March 16: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 33 degrees.
Friday, March 17: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 50 degrees.
Wilton Schools: What happens if there’s a snow day?
With just over three months left in the school year, some members of the Wilton Public Schools community have asked what a possible snow day could mean for the rest of the school year calendar.
As of today, the last day of school for Miller-Driscoll Elementary, Middlebrook Middle School and Wilton High School is scheduled for Friday, June 16; the last day of classes for Cider Mill School is Monday, June 16.
Hypothetically, if there is another day officials close the schools because of inclement weather, the last day of school would move to Monday, June 19 for everyone except for Cider Mill, which would continue on to Tuesday, June 20.
Superintendent Kevin Smith typically waits until April 1 until confirming a scheduled date for graduation, but he told GOOD Morning Wilton he is “doing whatever we can to keep graduation on Saturday, June 17,” even with the threat of a Nor’easter approaching.
Eversource: “We’re ready across Connecticut.”
Eversource issued a statement Sunday afternoon saying it is closely monitoring the weather forecast and is ready for the heavy, wet snow and strong winds that are expected to impact Connecticut. The company is prepositioning equipment and line and tree crews at its work centers around the state to respond to any damage or outages caused by this storm. There are also additional out-of-state crews on-hand in case widespread power restoration is needed.
“We began monitoring this storm last week using several weather services and continue to closely watch its path and will adjust our plan as needed,” Eversource President of Connecticut Electric Operations Steve Sullivan said. “The heavy, wet snow and hazardous winds forecasted have the potential to bring down trees and branches onto electric lines and equipment, causing damage and power outages. The hazardous conditions can also make travel challenging for our crews, so we’re staging extra staff and equipment in our work centers across the state to ensure we’re ready to respond as quickly as possible to whatever this storm brings.”
Eversource urges customers to always stay clear of downed wires, report them immediately to 911 and report any outage to Eversource online or by calling 800.286.2000. Customers who signed up for the company’s two-way texting feature can send a text to report an outage and receive outage updates as they happen.
The company offers additional tips on its website to help customers prepare for emergencies: