Connecticut’s worst ever tornado touched down in Wallingford on August 9th, 1878. This F4 tornado (with an F5) being the highest on the Fujita Scale had the size, power and devastation of one that has the same characteristics of the most deadly tornadoes that rampage the US Great Plains. Winds in the Wallingford tornado were estimated to be 260 miles per hour and being a half mile wide destroying everything in its path from homes to brick industrial factory buildings. Damage was documented to be unimaginable across the entire town. At least 34 people lost their lives and over a 100 were seriously injured in a matter minutes. Unfortunately there were no warnings from the impending storm due to a lack of technology to spot severe weather conditions in predicting the pending doom.
Today we have the technology to forecast an event of severe weather days in advance to prepare for the worst. The National Weather Service has many services available to us on such preparation.
It’s been 75 days since we had over 3 inches of snow way back on December 11 and 391 days since there was a 6 inch snowstorm on January 29th 2022. That’s and incredible snow drought for southern New England. Right now things look interesting as the calendar begins to turn the page into March. A coastal storm which is not on any weather maps at the moment will likely start developing Monday to our south and as it intensifies there could be a swath of snow moving into New England late Monday into Tuesday night. The rain/snow line will likely be in southern Connecticut which a possible significant snow event here in central Connecticut. A possible shovellable and plowable snowfall could be setting up. We’re still 3-4 days out and things could change as the weekend winds down, but maybe, just maybe our first major winter snowstorm may be days away.
We are mercurial and unpredictable as the New England Weather. We are cold as a cold bitter winter day to those who disagree with us. We are warm as a spring day to those less fortunate as myself. We are like a storm at times waiting to tear into someone with rage. But often we are like the sun rays after the storm with love, humor, kindness and a sense of adventure.
I’ve been a weather watcher most of my life. I recall happy times watching changing weather conditions, listening intently to the AM Radio for a potential powerful snowstorm and staying up all night watching the first snowflake to illuminate itself passing through the street light outside my bedroom window. Watching the western horizon in the summer as distant thunder seemed to be gathering the dark cumulus nimbus clouds with tones of black and dark gray.
My eye is always to the sky everyday using my sixth sense to formulate a forecast for my own being which usually brings a smile and a sense of satisfaction.
This post is dedicated to Salvatore Fusco Jr. a true weather enthusiast.
Don’t hold your if you’re expecting and measurable snowfall anytime soon. Weather enthusiasts who may have snow rulers in their yard have likely forgotten about them. To date central Connecticut is over 3 feet below normal with only 5 inches officially measured at this location. Any snow storms need to come in a hurry the next 6 weeks to challenge the lowest snowfall total for a winter season of 13 inches. Over 4 and half feet is our average for a season. The next 10-14 days will have much warmer than normal temperatures with below average precipitation.
I have been keeping climate and weather data in New Britain for 36 years and have never seen anything like this with departures from normal in temperature and snowfall. December averaged an incredible 10 degrees above normal and February to date 4.5 degrees normal. Snowfall for the season is looking like it may not reach a one foot total amount. To date I have recorded only 5 inches of snow with the bulk of it falling two months ago on December 11th with 3 inches. The average winter seasonal snowfall here is 53 inches. Looking at long range weather models, above normal temperatures with continue through February with not much measurable snowfall. At least our fuels bills will get a reprieve with a savings of 20-25% from last year. Mother nature always seems to have away to even the score. So, March and April could make up for the balmy winter days we all endured.