UPDATE at 6 p.m.
The snow may be done with the shoreline, but Father Winter continues to flex his frozen muscles.
Temperatures in Branford are expected to plummet tonight to as low as 10 degrees below zero, according to a special weather statement from the National Weather Service.
The meteorologists report that today's blustery winds will diminish overnight, reducing down to about 5 miles per hour. This, however, is still enough to amplify the region's already bitter temperatures.
"Wind chills below zero could lead to frostbite or hypothermia for anyone exposed to the cold," the weather service warns.
On Saturday, temperatures will climb back into the 20s, but it will still feel like below zero with the wind chill.
The weekend forecast for Branford is as follows:
Saturday Night - Partly cloudy and not as cool. Near steady temperature in the mid 20s. Southwest winds 5 to 10 mph.
Sunday - Partly sunny with a slight chance of light freezing rain in the morning...then cloudy with a chance of rain in the afternoon. Not as cool with highs in the lower 40s. Southwest winds around 5 mph...becoming southeast in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation 50 percent.
Sunday Night - Rain. Not as cool with lows in the lower 40s. East winds 5 to 10 mph with gusts up to 20 mph. Chance of rain 80 percent.
UPDATE at 8:45 a.m. on FRIDAY
Just had a Branford resident tell me that driving conditions throughout the area remain dangerous, their car slid down much of Snake Hill this morning — and that's with a new set of tires! And so, if you don't have to go out, please stay off the roadways. It's still treacherous out there!
UPDATE at 6:02 p.m.
Due the approaching winter storm, Branford Public School officials have cancelled classes for tomorrow, Jan. 3.
UPDATE at 5:55 p.m.
Upon an order from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was partially opened at 4 p.m. today.
UPDATE at 6:25 p.m.
The following is a town-wide snow storm alert from the Branford Police Department.
Due to the forecasted heavy snowfall for our community beginning Thursday and continuing into Friday, all residents should begin emergency preparations for an expected snowfall of up to 12-14”.
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.
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.
The holiday season may be over — but winter itself still has several weeks of snow, ice and frigid temps up its sleeve for those of us living here along the shoreline.
Case in point: The National Weather Service has just issued a winter storm warning for Branford, as well as much of the rest of the region.
The warning goes into effect tomorrow morning at 4 a.m. and continues through to early Friday afternoon.
Thursday Night Into Friday Afternoon
During that time, the shoreline region will receive a total accumulation of some 6 to 10 inches of snow.
"One to two inches are forecast through the Thursday morning rush hour followed by a lull," the NWS meteorologists state in their report. "The most significant period of snow will redevelop by Thursday evening and continue into Friday morning."
'Near Blizzard Conditions'
During that time period, the coming storm is expected to deliver "near blizzard conditions" — with wind gusts of up to 35 miles per hour blowing and drifting the heavy snow about, creating hazardous driving conditions.
Frigid air moving in with the storm will have an impact over the next 36 hours.
"Wind chills from 5 degrees below 0 to 15 degrees below 0 Thursday night through Friday, will produce extremely cold conditions," the meteorologists state in their report.
The upcoming forecast for Branford is as follows:
- Tonight - Light snow likely, mainly after 3am. Cloudy, with a low around 23. Light and variable wind becoming northeast 9 to 14 mph in the evening. Chance of precipitation is 70%. Total nighttime snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
- Thursday - Snow. High near 25. Blustery, with a northeast wind 17 to 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.
- Thursday Night - Snow with widespread blowing snow. Low around 15. Wind chill values as low as -3. Windy, with a north wind 23 to 26 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 3 to 7 inches possible.
- Friday - Snow, mainly before noon. High near 18. Wind chill values as low as -6. Windy, with a northwest wind 21 to 26 mph decreasing to 14 to 19 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of around an inch possible.
- Friday Night - Clear, with a low around 1. Northwest wind 8 to 10 mph.
- Saturday - Sunny, with a high near 23.