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Southeastern Connecticut could see 4 inches of snow

Southeastern Connecticut may be lucky compared to the rest of the state as the season's first serious snowfall approaches Sunday.

Western Connecticut State University meteorologist Gary Lessor said the New London area shouldn't be in too much trouble as the rest of the state prepares for the coming winter storm.

He said between noon and 3 p.m. Sunday, snow likely will overspread southeastern Connecticut. That should turn to sleet and freezing rain by 6 or 7 p.m., Lessor said. Sunday is expected to bring the most snow — between 1 and 2½ inches.

The shoreline could face rain overnight on Sunday, and a light rain throughout Monday could turn to snow again at night, Lessor added. He predicted a total of up to 4 inches of snow when combining Sunday and Monday, and a half-inch to 1 inch of total precipitation aside from snow. The region also could see up to one-tenth of an inch of ice, Lessor said.

Lingering snow showers could take place on Tuesday morning, Lessor continued.

Alan Leppert, a senior meteorologist at AccuWeather, said the region could encounter 10-20 mph wind gusts Sunday and Monday. His forecast aligned with Lessor, except he expects less total sleet and snow for the area.

The National Weather Services is forecasting for the worst of the storm on Sunday in the Groton/New London area to be snow after 9 a.m. mixing with freezing rain after 3 p.m. with a high of 34 degrees. The NWS foresees an 80 percent chance of precipitation with the possibility of 1 to 2 inches of snow.

State Department of Transportation spokesman Kevin Nursick said the department has been preparing for snow this weekend ahead of the storm.

"We knew a few days out there was going to be a weather event this weekend," Nursick said. "We ran our pre-treatment trucks on Friday to strategically pre-treat those trouble spots that we typically deal with: bridge surfaces, hills, valleys, micro-climate areas, locations we know are more difficult."

Nursick warned drivers to be especially careful because of Thanksgiving traffic on Sunday and Monday's morning commute.

He also said to look out for the state's 634 plow trucks and about 200 private contractor trucks, and to give them a wide berth.

s.spinella@theday.com

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