Massive storm brings blizzard conditions to region

George Goss takes the path of least resistance down the middle of Central Ave. in the Greeneville section of Norwich as a winter storm blankets the region in snow Thursday, January 4, 2018. Goss said he was headed out on his daily search for cans and bottles to return for their deposit regardless of the weather. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
George Goss takes the path of least resistance down the middle of Central Ave. in the Greeneville section of Norwich as a winter storm blankets the region in snow Thursday, January 4, 2018. Goss said he was headed out on his daily search for cans and bottles to return for their deposit regardless of the weather. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)

Three counties including New London were in a blizzard warning Thursday after a westward shift pushed a hefty snowstorm away from Cape Cod, which originally was supposed to be the hardest hit.

According to Gary Lessor, assistant director of the Weather Center at Western Connecticut State University, a blizzard happens when two conditions are met: snow or blowing snow must reduce visibility to a quarter mile or less for three hours or more, and there must be sustained winds of 35 mph or greater.

Lessor said he wouldn’t have guessed early Wednesday that New London County would end up in a blizzard warning, but as the storm drew nearer, that changed.

“In the evening hours, it became obvious the storm was going to be closer to the coast and more intense,” Lessor said.

Snowfall predictions haven’t changed from Wednesday evening — the region still could see anywhere between 8 to 14 inches. It’s accumulation that will be hard to clear from roads, sidewalks and driveways as winds continue to gust up to 50 mph at times.

Lessor said the heavy snow should continue until 3 or 4 p.m. Thursday, with some lighter snow falling into the evening.

Amtrak employees clear snow at the train crossing and the platforms at Union Station in New London early during the snow storm Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018.  (Dana Jensen/The Day)
Amtrak employees clear snow at the train crossing and the platforms at Union Station in New London early during the snow storm Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
Amtrak employees clear snow at the train crossing and the platforms at Union Station in New London early during the snow storm Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018.  (Dana Jensen/The Day)
Amtrak employees clear snow at the train crossing and the platforms at Union Station in New London early during the snow storm Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
Martin Parkhurst shovels the sidewalks along Broadway outside the Wauregan in Norwich as a winter storm blankets the region in snow Thursday, January 4, 2018.. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
Martin Parkhurst shovels the sidewalks along Broadway outside the Wauregan in Norwich as a winter storm blankets the region in snow Thursday, January 4, 2018.. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)

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