A storm will bring a mix of heavy snow, freezing rain and rain to the area tonight and Sunday before leaving behind Arctic-like temperatures.
Snow is expected to begin this evening and could be heavy at times, according to Gary Lessor, meteorologist with the Weather Center at Western Connecticut State University. It will transition to freezing rain during the early-morning hours Sunday, becoming steady rain by about 7 a.m.
“The end result is going to be extremely heavy wet snow that is extremely difficult to shovel,” Lessor said.
Between 3 and 6 inches of snow are expected, accompanied by a quarter inch of ice. The low temperature Sunday night is forecast to be 4 degrees and the high temperature Monday will be 13 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.
Meriden Director of Public Works Howard Weissberg said roads have been pretreated and 22 work trucks have been loaded with salt.
A street parking ban will go into effect at 6 p.m. today. Weissberg warned drivers to keep a safe distance from plows.
“The biggest thing is staying off roads during the heavy snowfall,” Weissberg said. “Give the department the opportunity to get the roads clear before going out.”
Southington Public Works Director Keith Hayden said the town has contractors at the ready and will pretreat roads this morning.
“Everyone stay home, stay safe, and stay off the road,” Hayden said.
The state Department of Transportation began pretreating roads Wednesday. DOT spokesman Kevin Nursick said a liquid salt brine solution was used to treat areas most susceptible to snow and ice accumulation.
“We strategically treat trouble spots,” Nursick said. “Bridges, hills, valleys and micro-climate areas.”
Nursick said ice is a major concern.
“When talking about ice it’s important to take extraordinary care and not travel.” Nursick said. “It would be prudent to stay off roads during the storm.”
Eversource Energy has encouraged customers to prepare for possible power outages, but assured there are line workers, support staff and tree crews ready to respond.
“We are closely monitoring weather conditions and planning accordingly so we have crews in position to respond and be there for our customers when they need us,” Eversource Vice President of Electric System Operations Mike Hayhurst said in a statement. “Given the extremely cold temperatures we’re expecting following the storm, it’s crucial for customers to take precautions and prepare in the event of power outages.”
The state Department of Public Health cautioned about carbon monoxide poisoning caused by improper generator use during power outages.
“Every winter in Connecticut, hundreds of residents are taken to the emergency department and some are hospitalized and even die due to CO poisoning,” DPH epidemiologist Brian Toal said.
Generators should be placed at least 20 feet from homes and should never be used in enclosed spaces.