January 3, 2014 01:25AM
By Lauren Sievert and Jeff Gebeau
A storm that was expected to drop from five to 10 inches of snow regionally forced the cancellation of school Friday.
Meriden, Wallingford, Southington and Cheshire schools also closed early Thursday, ahead of the storm. About an inch fell during the day, said Gary Lessor, a meteorologist at Western Connecticut State University’s Weather Center.
Sgt. Jeff Herget of the Meriden police said several minor motor vehicle accidents occurred in the city during the day and one in the evening, none of which involved injuries. He said he hoped residents would follow Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s urging and stay off the streets because conditions were expected to worsen throughout the night..
Lt. Tim Rogers of the Cheshire police said the department responded to two minor accidents during the day Thursday.
Southington emergency services did not report any accidents. Lt. Eric Heath of the Southington Fire Department said the town’s roads were “navigable,” as of 6 p.m.
Battalion Chief Joseph Czentnar of the Wallingford Fire Department said as of 9:15 p.m. units had responded to one accident, which sent one person to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries. “We’re just gearing up for tonight,” he said.
Municipal road crews began preparing for the storm Thursday morning. Meriden Public Works Director Robert J. Bass said the city brought in extra salt from New Haven as a contingency.
Lessor said snow was expected to fall into Friday morning.
Residents should be prepared for significant blowing and drifting and an arduous cleanup process, Lessor said. Gusting winds will likely re-cover areas with snow that have already been cleared, he said.
Temperatures dropped into the teens Thursday night, and Lessor expected the “bitterly cold” temperatures to drop to 10 degrees. Tempratures are expected to rise into the mid-teens Friday, but the wind chill factor will make it feel like zero, Lessor said.
Friday evening will bring “basically Arctic air” with a dew point of between negative 15 to 20 degrees, Lessor said.
Dew points, which are measurements of the amount of moisture in the air, rarely drop below negative five degrees in New England, he said.
Lower dew points reflect drier air. The dew point forecast for Friday night is a common reading in northern Canada, Lessor said
Lessor said the temperature will be between zero to negative 14 degrees Friday night. He advised residents to remain in a place of adequate shelter, as well as ensuring that their animals are adequately sheltered.
“Needless to say, people should not leave pets outside,” nor bring them along for car rides, he said.
Lessor said the temperature will rise to the mid-twenties during the day on Saturday and climb to 35 to 40 degrees on Sunday.
The region will see rain on Sunday night into Monday morning that could be of the freezing variety, which could complicate travel during the day, Lessor said. Colder air will return to the area Tuesday, he said.