UPDATE at 5:45 a.m.
It's another snow day today for Branford Public Schools students.
UPDATE at 6:55 p.m.
As the sleet and freezing rain slowly falls now, encouraging many residents to come outside to shovel and dig themselves out, you may think that the worst part of today's storm is over.
Another round of heavy snow is headed our way late tonight, with snowfall rates of 1 to 3 inches per hour, according to the latest National Weather Service winter storm warning.
The light freezing rain will gradually change over to sleet and snow as the evening moves along, and then change to all snow around midnight — becoming heavy at times.
Even a few rumbles of thunder are possible, as the unsettled weather pattern moves through the region overnight.
Additional accumulations of snow and ice of 4 to 9 inches are expected, with statewide totals reaching anywhere from 10 to 22 inches of snow.
UPDATE at 6:35 p.m.
Gov. Dannel Malloy has declared a state of emergency in hopes of securing federal funding, as many towns face road salt shortages, given the number of winter weather events so far this season.
UPDATE at 11:25 a.m.
It looks as though the near blizzard conditions the area has been experiencing since earlier this morning, will now continue well into the afternoon.
The National Weather service just issued an updated special weather statement warning the heavy snowfall — up to 2 to 4 inches an hour — and high guts will continue to sit over the region for a few more hours.
"Snow will gradually mix with or change to sleet from south to north during this time period," the meteorologists report, adding an additional 3 to 6 inches of snow are possible through the early afternoon.
UPDATE at 8:50 a.m. on Thursday
The National Weather Service has issued a special weather statement warning of "near blizzard conditions" this morning along the southern portion of the state — including Branford.
As the latest band of heavy snow sits atop the region, snow fall rates will be in the 2 to 4 inches per hour range. That heavy snow along with rising wind gusts up to 40 miles per hour will significantly reduce visibility.
The blizzard-like conditions are expected to ease as the temperature rises and a wintry mix develops.
"Snow will mix with and possibly change to sleet and rain late this afternoon and evening, before changing back to all snow tonight," the meteorologists stated in their report. "The snow will taper off after midnight."
The coastal flood watch for coastal Connecticut is no longer in effect, according to the National Weather Service's latest weather updates.
The current winter storm warning, however, remains in effect until 6 a.m. tomorrow morning.
The following is a Town of Branford public alert announcement.
Due to the forecasted heavy snowfall for our community beginning early Thursday morning and continuing into Friday, all residents should begin emergency preparations for an expected snowfall of up to 8-12” of heavy snow with a possible accumulations of 16”.
We are requesting all residents voluntarily avoid parking in the roadway. The Town’s ordinance prohibits parking on the even side of the roadway during and for 24 hours after the snowfall is in effect. Please comply with this ordinance as it will greatly enhance the Department of Public Works ability to clear roadways efficiently. Violators of the ordinance could face up to a $90 fine and have their vehicle towed at their expense.
In addition, Owner, tenant, occupant or any person having the care of any land or building adjoining any sidewalk or gutter shall within eight (8) hours if by daylight, by 11:00am if in the night all ice and snow. If unable to remove sand/salt or other proper substance shall be sprinkled in a manner to make safe for travel the walkway.
It is also a violation of town ordinance to deposit snow from private driveways into the roadway and homeowners are responsible for violations committed by their private plowing contractors.
Additionally, the Branford Fire Department warns to avoid carbon monoxide (CO) backing up into buildings. Please take the time to clear snow from the area where furnaces, hot water heaters, clothes dryers and other appliances vent outside the building. Should your Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarm activate please evacuate the building and call 911.