A delightful day of weather is on the way if you ask me as a potent Arctic cold front approaches from the west. I was just recently musing about how we’ve gotten a good blizzard, some solid overrunning snow, and some bitter cold air so far this winter but we’ve been missing out on good Arctic cold frontal passages. Thankfully, Mother Nature is on it!
Ahead of the front this morning, some breaks of sun will quickly become obscured by approaching clouds as temps rise into the upper 10s up north and low 30s elsewhere, except perhaps for a few mid 30s along the Midcoast shorelines and SE NH. Light snow will break out in the mountains around lunchtime before attempting to wander towards the coast. The real action will begin around 4 PM though when a potent line of snow squalls will cross the CT river. These squalls look like the real deal with extremely heavy snow, wind gusts of 40-50+mph, and near-whiteout conditions. Much like a summertime squall line, nobody will get to enjoy these conditions for very long but while they’re ongoing it will be pretty intense. Also similar to summertime thunderstorms, these squalls will arrive quickly and conditions could go from clear to blizzard in under 5 minutes. That’s especially dangerous if you’re on the road (highways are the worst place to be in snow squalls- by the time everyone realizes they really ought to slow down, there’s already a slick half inch of snow on the ground) so plan to ride these out in a stationary position at least for the 10-15 minutes of peak conditions.
Strong westerly winds behind the squalls will lead to blowing and drifting snow, prolonging occasionally slick travel conditions through the first part of the night. Temps will also fall rapidly behind the front so whatever moisture might be on the move especially near the coast will freeze solid once again tonight.