Story Summary

Winter Storm Dec. 14

FOX CT’s weather team expects significant amounts of snow in some parts of the state. The heaviest snowfall will occur after sundown, but you should start to see snow in the afternoon. Check back here for continuous updates!

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Text from Hartford Courant staff reports; video by Mike Magnoli, FOX CT

A winter storm that started late Saturday morning dropped between four and nine inches of snow in much of the state before tapering off early Sunday.

The southeast portion of the state got three to five inches of snow. FOX CT Meteorologist Dan Amarante said the weather will gradually clear on Sunday, with a little bit of sun. He said temperatures should be in the 30s.

The snow began falling at a rate of 1 to 2 inches per hour Saturday night, according to FOX CT Chief Meteorologist Joe Furey.

“The roads are all passable for sure, but you want to use some reduced speed and exercise caution as you’re traveling out there,” said Jeff Adams from the state’s Department of Transportation Sunday morning.

Adams said at its peak, the state had 820 trucks on the road, including contractors, and at 7 a.m. still had about 750 trucks out.

Adams said the roads in southeast Connecticut are in good shape, but there is still some frozen precipitation in other parts of the state.

The interstates are, in most cases, the best roads to travel, but caution should be used on the exit ramps, Adams said.

Bradley International Airport had more than 20 flights cancelled this morning – most of those cancellations are because planes didn’t fly into the airport, an airport spokesman said.

Both Connecticut Light and Power and United Illuminating were reporting very few outages Sunday morning.

State police responded to 91 accidents with seven injuries during the day Saturday, Lt. J. Paul Vance said. Traffic was light, Vance said, showing that people had heeded warnings to stay off the roads.

AAA had received 1,000 calls for emergency road service in Greater Hartford and eastern Connecticut since early Saturday – 34 of which came in on Sunday – organization spokesman Aaron Kupec reported at 4:30 a.m. Common calls included requests for towing service, jump starts, lockouts and “winch outs” — pulling out vehicles that slid off the road — Kupec said.

Call volume, he wrote in an email, has been high.

“Last Saturday, we had 774 calls for the entire day,” Kupec wrote. “However, we expect call volume to drop off … as the storm intensifies. If past storms are any indicator, we will also be in for a busy Sunday. Following a lull at the height of a storm, call volume usually spikes after the precipitation ends.”

State police deployed special emergency vehicles across the state in preparation for the storm and additional troopers are on call if needed. Police remind motorists that a heavy snow storm means highways may become extremely treacherous. Disabled vehicles may block roads, preventing plow trucks from clearing some areas. As the storm intensifies, police recommended that motorists stay off the roads.

Many communities announced parking bans for the duration of the storm, which continue through Sunday morning, including Hartford, New Britain, New Haven and Bridgeport. In Hartford, a parking ban will be in effect from noon on Saturday until noon Sunday. During that time, all on-street parking is prohibited.

“This is the first storm of the season,” said Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra. “It’s important that we as a city do everything we can to ensure clear roads for the emergency responders and public works crews working to keep us safe.”

The Winterfest skating rink, Santa’s House and the carousel in Bushnell Park were all closed Saturday, Segarra said.

In Hartford, any vehicles parked on the streets will be ticketed and towed, city officials said. Motorists whose cars are towed should call Hartford police at 860-757-4000. The fee for retrieving a towed car is $196.84, officials said.

Residents who do not have access to off-street parking may leave their vehicles in one of the city’s snow emergency lots. The lots are on Holcomb Street, Ridgefield Street, Naugatuck Street, Park Terrace, Franklin Avenue, Wawarme Avenue and at Elizabeth Park. All Hartford Public Schools parking lots may also be used.

For a full list of lots and addresses, visit www.hartford.gov/snow-parkingcq.

Courant Staff Writers Nicholas Rondinone, Jesse Leavenworth and Kelly Glista contributed to this story.

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UPDATE:

Bands of moderate to heavy snow will continue across the state for the next couple of hours with snowfall rates of an inch per hour.

A changeover to sleet & rain will occur quickly after midnight, inland toward 4-5 am.

Total snowfall 6-10”, with locally higher amounts across far nortwest and lesser amounts across the coast.  Precipitation will taper off by sunrise

Slick conditions and low visibility created hazardous travel conditions on Saturday night, as the first storm of the season blanketed Connecticut in several inches of fast-falling snow.

The snow that fell lightly throughout the day Saturday picked up speed during the evening hours, falling at a rate of 1 to 2 inches per hour, according to Fox CT Chief Meteorologist Joe Furey.

The worst of the storm is expected to last until about 2 a.m., Furey said. Visibility was poor Saturday night, which combined with slick road conditions made for dangerous driving.

The snow will gradually change over to an icy mix or rain Sunday morning, said Furey. The forecast for the rest of Sunday calls for sunny skies and temperatures from 35-40 degrees, but cold temperatures are expected to return Sunday night and remain well into the week.

State police responded to 91 accidents with seven injuries during the day Saturday, Lt. J. Paul Vance said. Traffic was light, Vance said, showing that people had heeded warnings to stay off the roads.

AAA had received 810 calls for emergency road service in Greater Hartford and eastern Connecticut since early Saturday, organization spokesman Aaron Kupec reported at 5:30 p.m. Common calls included requests for towing service, jump starts, lockouts and winch outs (vehicles off the roadway), Kupec said.

Call volume, he wrote in an email, has been high.

“Last Saturday, we had 774 calls for the entire day,” Kupec wrote. “However, we expect call volume to drop off later in the day as the storm intensifies. If past storms are any indicator, we will also be in for a busy Sunday. Following a lull at the height of a storm, call volume usually spikes after the precipitation ends.”

Bradley International Airport reported several canceled flights starting Saturday afternoon. Many incoming flights were canceled as well.

State police deployed special emergency vehicles across the state in preparation for the storm and additional troopers are on call if needed. Police remind motorists that a heavy snow storm means highways may become extremely treacherous. Disabled vehicles may block roads, preventing plow trucks from clearing some areas. As the storm intensifies, police recommended that motorists stay off the roads.

About a third of the full force of 630 state plow trucks were out on state highways and roads as of about 9:45 a.m., state Department of Transportation spokesman Kevin Nursick said.

“We’re just ramping up here,” Nursick said Saturday morning.

“What we typically do, we deploy geographically to meet the storm, so if the storm’s rolling in east to west, we deploy east to west, so there’s no wasted effort,” Nursick said.

Many communities announced parking bans for the duration of the storm, including Hartford,New BritainNew Haven and Bridgeport. In Hartford, a parking ban will be in effect from noon on Saturday until noon Sunday. During that time, all on-street parking is prohibited.

“This is the first storm of the season,” said Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra. “It’s important that we as a city do everything we can to ensure clear roads for the emergency responders and public works crews working to keep us safe.”

The Winterfest skating rink, Santa’s House and the carousel in Bushnell Park were all closed Saturday, Segarra said.

The gathering storm left many a holiday-party host at a loss.

Shear Transitions in Enfield is taking a wait-and-see approach to its holiday party, scheduled for Saturday night.

“We would reschedule it if we canceled it, because it’s something we do every year,” said hair stylist Caroline Aldrich. But it would take more than a few flakes to make that happen.

Aldrich said she remembers that a pretty big storm occurred on the day of the annual party a few years ago, but they went ahead and had it, anyway.

“It’s in Springfield, so it’s really not that far and we all live really close,” she said. “There’s just six of us, and we bring dates, and it’s a lot of fun.”

The people who run Westfarms mall weren’t overly concerned about the impending snow.

Sarah Williams, marketing and sponsorships director at Westfarms, said it would take a lot to keep shoppers away on a Saturday 11 days before Christmas.

“People are going to want to shop. They want their list taken care of and gifts under the tree,” she said.

On the other hand, Aqua Turf, a banquet hall in Southington, had four parties planned for Saturday night, with a combined guest list of close to 1,000 people, and all four were postponed until after the New Year.

Although it might mean a little less overtime before the holidays for the hall’s 90 or so waiters and waitresses, it won’t cause any financial losses to the business. General Manager Tim Needham noted that those parties will “show up in next year’s sales numbers.”

Just how much snow will actually fall is a moving target, depending on how quickly sleet mixes in after midnight south and east of I-84, Furey said. The storm will start as a dry powdery snow between 8 and 11 a.m. on Saturday. That might accumulate an inch or two by dark, and then the storm will intensify, Furey said.

Wind might also be a complicating factor Saturday night, he said.

“It’s one thing to have a steady snow with no wind — when the wind starts gusting to 30 to 40 mph, now it could look like a blizzard,” Furey said. “You could have near-blizzard conditions for a short period Saturday night.”

The snow and wintry mix will end about sunrise Sunday, Furey said. The sun will come out Sunday and temperatures could go above freezing for the first time in several days.

Temperatures on Saturday will remain in the teens during the daylight hours, then rise into the 20s Saturday night.

State police will be deploying specialty emergency vehicles throughout the state as part of a storm plan to ensure safety on highways and roads, said Lt. J. Paul Vance.

Residents are encouraged to stay off the road as the storm intensifies, Vance said.

In Hartford, any vehicles parked on the streets will be ticketed and towed, city officials said. Motorists whose cars are towed should call Hartford police at 860-757-4000. The fee for retrieving a towed car is $196.84, officials said.

Residents who do not have access to off-street parking may leave their vehicles in one of the city’s snow emergency lots. The lots are on Holcomb Street, Ridgefield Street, Naugatuck Street, Park Terrace, Franklin Avenue, Wawarme Avenue and at Elizabeth Park. All Hartford Public Schools parking lots may also be used.

For a full list of lots and addresses, visit http://www.hartford.gov/snow-parking.

FOX CT Meteorologist Sam Sampieri has the latest storm information.

12/14/13

Saturday Storm Update: 5 P.M. Update With Matt Scott

FOX CT Meteorologist Matt Scott has the latest weather update for today’s storm.

Local News
12/14/13

Winter Storm Preparations

Mike Magnoli has more from Glastonbury.

12/13/13

Friday Night Weather: The First Winter Storm Of The Season

A winter storm warning  is in place for the majority of the state – with storm conditions worsening around Saturday afternoon – and staying lousy for the bulk of the evening and overnight. If you’re traveling on Saturday, do it early – get to where you need to be, and stay there. It’s enough heavy snow, and wind, to cause trouble on the roads Saturday night. Don’t add to it please.

The storm is expected to drop around 5-8” of snow across most of the state. The higher elevations of the Litchfield Hills, and Northern CT may see a bit more. New London County, which may get some ice and rain mixed in with the snow, may see a bit less. But everyone is getting into the action. No one is missing out Saturday.

Sunday is clean up day – and Monday – hopefully – will not be impacted by the snow removal, so that school and work won’t have any delays. We stay cold for the week ahead, with maybe some more snow showers Tuesday.

12/13/13

What To Expect From This Weekend’s Storm

weatherTIMING

Light snow begins during the afternoon on Saturday. It’ll gradually pick up in intensity, but before sunset it appears that travel won’t be a major issue. After the sun goes down the snow will come down pretty heavily, with the wind gusts picking up to 35 or 40 mph. There could be near white-out conditions at times on Saturday night into Sunday morning. In the early morning hours on Sunday there will be a gradual changeover to a wintry mix and rain, beginning from south to north. By 8 AM or so on Sunday the snow/sleet/rain will begin to taper off, leading to improving conditions throughout the morning.

ACCUMULATIONS

There will be a decent range, and of course it all depends on the exact track of the storm. The majority of the state will be in the 4 to 10 inch range. Towards the southeast coast (towns like Groton, Stonington, Norwich) will get lesser amounts, to the tone of 2 to 4 inches. As is often the case, the northwest hills of CT will see the most. We’re expecting 8 to 10 inches, with a few spots possibly picking up as much as a foot.

IMPACT

Travel should be acceptable for much of the daytime hours on Saturday. We know that a lot of people have holiday parties on Saturday night, and it doesn’t look good, especially towards the midnight hour. Overnight travel will be very rough, with freezing rain possibly causing a sheet of ice on top of the snow. After sunrise on Sunday the roads will slowly improve. By Sunday afternoon the roads should be driveable throughout much of the state.

There’s definitely a chance for power outages, but it doesn’t look like there will be anything widespread.

Other than a few scattered school delays on Monday morning, it does not look like there will be an impact to school systems.

Bottom line: Stay inside, curled up with a mug of your favorite hot beverage (and the snuggie of course) and you should be okay! Share this status to let people know what’s going on.

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