Tuesday’s nor’easter brought less snow than expected to area towns. Warm temperatures prevented snow from sticking to roads, and heavier snow bands were observed in the western and eastern parts of the state.
Gary Lessor, meteorologist with the Weather Center at Western Connecticut State University, said snow began just after midnight and was falling at rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour late Tuesday morning. By early afternoon, about 5 inches of snow had accumulated in Southington. Between 9 and 10 inches of snow was originally expected.
Heavier snow bands originally forecast to impact the central part of the state ended up impacting the western part of the state.
Lessor said Tuesday’s temperatures, which were in the mid-30s, were too warm for snow to stick to roads. Snow accumulated on grass, however.
“That’s the good thing about March snowstorms; there tends to be more snow on the grass than on the pavement,” Lessor said.
The storm was the third nor’easter to hit the area in less than two weeks. On March 2, a storm brought heavy rain and strong winds to the area, taking down trees and power lines. On March 7, a winter storm dropped more than a foot of snow in some local towns, resulting in thousands of power outages.
Cheshire Public Works Director George Noewatne said crews began working to clear snow at about 3 a.m. Tuesday.
“We’re hoping to clean it up here in the next few hours and send the guys home,” he said Tuesday afternoon. “This one we definitely caught a break.”
Schools in Meriden, Wallingford, Southington and Cheshire were closed Tuesday. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced all state offices were closed due to the weather.
“We encourage everyone to be safe and stay off the roads if at all possible,” Malloy said. “If you absolutely must travel, please allow extra time, reduce speeds, keep a safe distance from plows.”
As of 4 p.m.., state police had responded to 77 accidents and 170 motorist assists.
State police spokeswoman Kelly Grant asked motorists to drive at slower speeds.
“We don’t want people to be tricked by the fact that they can see blacktop,” she said. ““It really is about reducing your speed and taking it slow.”
About 9 a.m., a one-car rollover crash closed one lane on I-91 north in Wallingford. It was not immediately clear if anyone was injured.
Grant added that there was less traffic on roads in comparison to previous storms.
Eversource Energy spokesman Mitch Gross said scattered power outages were reported, mostly in the eastern portion of the state.
“We have thoroughly saturated ground and previously weakened trees from the first two storms and that’s what we’re seeing this morning, some of those trees coming down and taking out those lines,” he said.
Many out-of-state electric crews brought in to assist in repairs following the storms on March 2 and 7 remained in the state to assist.
“We always prepare for severe weather and our crews will be out there as long as it takes,” Gross said.
State Department of Transportation spokesman Kevin Nursick said the department had plenty of salt supply and no concern of employee fatigue.
About 75 percent of arriving and departing flights at Bradley International Airport were canceled.
“Additional cancellations are possible as the airlines continue to adjust their schedules in response to the storm,” spokeswoman Alisa Sisic said.