Connecticut to weather storms ahead of sunny weekend

Experts say umbrellas will be in order this week, though those could be exchanged for parasols by the weekend.

The National Weather Service has highlighted a Hazardous Weather Outlook for southern Connecticut, northeast New Jersey and southeast New York. The forecast in Connecticut is 1-3 inches of rain Wednesday afternoon and night into Thursday.

“Localized flash flooding will also be an issue for low-lying coastal roads if heaviest rain coincides with the (Wednesday night) high tides,” the NWS weather outlook reads.

In its write-up on the approaching storm, the AccuWeather mentioned the chance of a bomb cyclone. That's the abbreviated name for when a surface cyclone undergoes "bombogenesis," or when the atmospheric pressure in the storm drops rapidly — 24 millibars in 24 hours — due to hot and cold temperatures colliding, which can cause high winds, lightning and thunder. A millibar is the unit that meteorologists use to measure pressure in the atmosphere; as it plummets, conditions intensify.

Western Connecticut State University Meteorologist Gary Lessor said Connecticut residents should expect 1-2 inches of rain, and some localized areas could receive up to 3 inches.

Wednesday night and into Thursday morning will bring 15-25 mph winds, Lessor said, and gusts that could reach 40 mph. During the day Thursday, he said, it’s going to be windy and cool, especially inland. Peak gusts could reach up to 45 mph.

“Once we get through Friday, it’s going to be a beautiful weekend,” Lessor said. “We'll have plenty of sunshine. Temperatures will warm up, especially Sunday and Monday. So it's not all bad, we basically just have to get through Wednesday night and Thursday morning.”

So, should people take any particular precautions?

“We’re New Englanders, we’re used to windy rain events, you don’t really plan for it,” Lessor said. “It’s an everyday spring or fall storm.” He did acknowledge that there could be a few power outages scattered around the state.

New London Director of Public Utilities Joseph Lanzafame was readying his city. New London’s new Stormwater Authority has been instrumental in developing plans for “microbursts,” or "huge quantities of water in short periods of time,” he said.

As for the severity of the upcoming weather, “We’re prepared for these kinds of storms,” he said.

Lanzafame identified several areas that historically see flooding, including Connecticut Avenue, Cedar Grove Avenue, and Broad and Bank streets.

“Our main goal is to reduce potential for flooding and keep roads clear in case of emergency,” Lanzafame said.

s.spinella@theday.com 

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