What to expect from the storm

When will the storm hit?

The forecast is still being fine-tuned, but generally snow is expected to begin early Friday morning.

WTNH’s Gil Simmons gives the start a time frame between 4 a.m. and 9 a.m.

How much snow will fall?

According to the National Weather Service, southern Fairfield County could get 10 to 14 inches; northern Fairfield County from 12 to 16 inches. Snowfall totals are expected to be higher in interior Connecticut with places like the University of Connecticut in Storrs looking to get up to two feet or more.

The Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection said total snowfall is expected to range from 10 – 20” in southern Connecticut up to 16 – 26” in northern Connecticut.

When will be the worst time of the storm?

Snow will intensify in the afternoon, making the afternoon and evening commute a nightmare.

Friday night is expected to have blizzard-like conditions. Driving will be hazardous. Stay home.

Will there be white-out conditions?

Likely. Strong winds and blowing snow will reduce visibility to less than than one-half-mile at times.

How strong will the winds be?

Northeast winds are expected with sustained winds of 20 – 30 MPH Friday night gusting to 55 MPH inland and 70 MPH at times along the coast.

Will it be a blizzard?

According to the National Weather Service, a storm is a blizzard when the following conditions prevail for three hours or longer:

Sustained wind or frequent gusts to 35 miles an hour or greater

Considerable falling and/or blowing snow (reducing visibility frequently to less than ¼ mile).

When was the last blizzard in Connecticut?

The day after Christmas in 2010.

What about the shoreline?

Just what Superstorm Sandy-battered residents don’t need.

The NWS says moderate coastal flooding in southwestern Connecticut is likely with high tides three to five feet above normal, three to five-foot waves and beach erosion. Just what Superstorm Sandy-battered residents don’t need. Here are the details.

When will the high tides occur?

On Friday, high tide in Milford will be at 9:45 p.m. and 9:52 p.m. in Greenwich.

Will Gov. Dannel Malloy ban travel on state roadways?

He hasn’t said anything yet, but don’t be surprised if he does. During Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy, Malloy closed the Merritt Parkway and major roads.

What about power outages?

With strong winds and heavy snow it’s likely. But utility companies say they are prepared. During the last blizzard in December 2010, more than 25,000 CL&P customers lost power.

The state  Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection said “strong winds may bring down trees and power lines resulting in a moderate number of power outages.”

What about the airports. Will they close?

Likely. And many flight delays too. On Friday and Saturday check with the air carrier and airport. The FAA has a quick, useful site Flight Delay Information for Northeastern States.

Will trains be delayed?

Likely. Before heading out, check  Metro-North’s web site.

It’s almost a certainty that Amtrak trains will be affected since all of the Northeast will be hit  by the storm. Check with AmTrak;’s Service Alerts and Notice page before heading to the station.

Jim Shay