With a forecast of 3-6 inches of snow Saturday, 16 days before Christmas, towns and cities are getting ready and shoppers are changing plans.The National Weather Service issued an urgent winter weather message early Friday, saying the snow will fall Saturday and into Sunday morning – a far cry from earlier forecasts of little to no snow.
The winter weather advisory is in effect from 4 a.m. Saturday to 7 a.m. Sunday, the service said. But for the most part, the snow is expected to fall after noon Saturday.
During the day, 2-4 inches are expected to fall, and Saturday night, another 1 to 2 inches are expected, according to the service’s forecast for the Hartford area. The chance of snow falling during the day is 80 percent, the service said, and the chance of snow Saturday night is 90 percent.
“A Winter Weather Advisory for snow means periods of snow will cause primarily travel difficulties,” the NWS said. “Be prepared for snow-covered roads and limited visibilities, and use caution while driving,” the NWS warned.
From West Hartford to Naugatuck, towns started announcing parking bans. South Windsor police reminded residents that the parking ban will be in effect for 24 hours after the snow stops to allow highway crews to finish clearing roads.
Hartford Public Schools have canceled all school-based activities for both Saturday and Sunday, said spokesman Pedro Zayas.
Public works crews in the capital city were trying finish leaf pickup before the snow flies.
The weather service and meteorologists said the storm’s path was hard to predict because of changing conditions. On Thursday, it said: “Still lots of uncertainty regarding exact storm track, intensity and evolution of rain-snow line.”
Before the snowy Saturday, Friday will bring partly sunny skies and highs in the low 40s and lows in the mid upper 20s, the NWS said.
Flurries may linger early Sunday, the NWS said, but most of the day is expected to be clear.
The next chance for snow isn’t far away. Forecasters are watching another system that could graze the state Tuesday.
Another coastal storm may bring rain and/or accumulating snow to the region Tuesday into early Wednesday, the weather service said.
There a 40 percent chance of snow, it said.