FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- As Fairfield County workers and students prepare to return to their regular schedules Tuesday morning after a three-day holiday weekend, the day promises to be anything but normal.
Snow is predicted to start falling late Tuesday morning and become widespread by the afternoon, with heavy blowing and drifting in the night-time.
A total of 4 to 8 inches of snow is predicted to fall across interior parts of Fairfield County, with 6 to 10 inches of snow possible along the coastline, by Wednesday morning with below zero wind chills returning for overnight hours.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning, which starts at noon Tuesday and lasts until 6 a.m. Wednesday for Fairfield County.
The daytime high temperature Tuesday will be near 20 degrees, but fall to about 6 overnight, with wind chills as low as -11 with winds of 15 to 20 mph.
Snow is possible across Fairfield County through about 9 a.m. Wednesday. It will become gradually sunnier as everyone digs out, with a high near 15 degrees. But winds of 15 to 17 mph will produce a wind chill as low as -13.
Snow is expected across northeast new Jersey, the lower Hudson Valley and across all of Connecticut, the National Weather Service said. The heaviest snowfall will be Tuesday afternoon and evening.
The storm will reduce visibility to a quarter mile or less at times, with falling, blowing and drifting snow causing hazardous driving and walking conditions, especially during the evening commute.
The bitter cold and low wind chills could cause frostbite or hypothermia. Residents are urged to dress appropriately, with hats and gloves covering exposed skin.
With bitter cold temperatures expected over the next week, Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy activated the state’s Severe Cold Weather Protocol. He has directed the Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, the Department of Social Services, the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and the Department of Housing to coordinate with 2-1-1 and Connecticut’s network of shelters to ensure that all of the state’s residents are protected from the severe cold.
“Throughout the winter season, we continue to take the necessary steps to make sure that we can take care of those in need of shelter, especially our state’s most vulnerable populations,” said Malloy. “I urge anyone in need of shelter to call 2-1-1 and encourage local communities to consider opening warming centers or other facilities to help people in need.”
Under the state’s Severe Cold Weather Protocol, DEMHS activates an Internet-based system that allows local, regional and state emergency management officials and first responders to share information about conditions. The system is used to monitor capacity at shelters across the state, enabling 2-1-1 to act as a clearinghouse to assist in finding shelter space for those who need it. Local officials can alert 2-1-1 and the state when they open temporary shelters or warming centers.
DSS and DOH coordinate with 2-1-1 and the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, as well as with vendors to resolve transportation issues for people needing shelter during the period of severe cold.
DMHAS has teams that specialize in working with homeless people to locate those who are at risk, spread the word about the 2-1-1 system, and encourage everyone to take advantage of the safety of shelters. DMHAS is also working with shelters to assess and meet the needs of individual clients.