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Weather service warns of high winds and flooding in Darien

The radar image as of 3:30 p.m. Thursday, showing the snow system approaching Darien from the southwest.

The National Weather Service has issued winter weather advisories for tonight and early Thursday for most of the state. High wind warnings have been issued for Darien, from this evening through early Thursday morning. The weather service estimated snow accumulation over the next day to be between one to four inches.

Coastal flood warnings have been issued for Fairfield and New Haven Counties during high tide, which happens around 10:10 tonight in Darien. Minor to moderate coastal flooding is expected during high tide tonight and again Thursday morning at 10:30 a.m.

Snow is predicted to start falling between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. The snow — mixed with rain at the coast — is then expected to spread across the rest of the state by 8. Temperatures are expected to drop a few degrees as the precipitation begins.

At 1:45 p.m., showed snow falling aloft over Long Island and New Jersey, the weather service said, with snow reaching the ground in Southern New Jersey. Temperatures currently range from 30 to 35 degrees at the coast and 25 to 30 degrees inland with fairly dry air in place over the state. Winds along the coast are currently from the east at 15 to 20 mph.

Snow mixed with rain at the coast will become moderate to heavy at times by 9.  A rain/snow line is forecast to become established from Danbury to Middletown to Norwich by 10 tonight.  The impact across Southwestern Connecticut during rush hour traffic could be moderate if a burst of heavy snow coats roads for a few hours early this evening before changing over to sleet and rain by 10 tonight.

Overnight, winds are expected to increase as the precipitation enters the state this evening and a period of strong winds accompanied by heavy mixed precipitation is expected between 10 p.m. and 6 Thursday morning. East winds along the coast are forecast to be sustained at 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 60 mph at times. Northeast winds across inland valleys are expected to be sustained at 15 to 25 mph gusting to 40 mph at times, according to the weather service. Temperatures tonight are forecast to slowly rise from the low 30’s at midnight into the upper 30’s by daybreak.

The combination of strong winds, some icing and some wet snow sticking to trees and power lines is expected to result in a moderate number of power outages, especially along the coast and also in Litchfield County.

As daybreak approaches on Thursday, the rain/snow line is expected to move north to the Massachusetts border before the precipitation tapers off to showers of lighter mixed precipitation by mid-morning on Thursday and ends by late afternoon, according to the weather service. The impact on the morning rush hour is currently expected to be minor in Darien, with mainly wet roads. Total snowfall is currently forecast to range from around an inch at the coast, 3 – 5 inches in the Hartford Area / Northeast Hills and up to 6 – 9 inches in the Northwest Hills.

The Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security will continue to monitor the latest forecasts and will issue another update on this storm event at 5:00 PM this afternoon.

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