FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — A nor'easter blasted into Fairfield County early Thursday, with heavy snow beginning to fall before dawn and blanketing area roads and highways.
The entire state of Connecticut is under a Winter Storm Warning through 6 p.m. Thursday, with 10 to 14 inches of snow expected to fall across Fairfield County with strong winds, according to the National Weather Service. It is expected to be the worst storm of the winter.
Every school district in Fairfield County is closed for Thursday along with UConn-Stamford, Western Connecticut State University, Norwalk Community College, Housatonic Community College, Sacred Heart University and the University of Bridgeport. Many Town Halls and City Halls are also closed, and the state gave the day off to nonessential workers.
Many towns and cities have also issued snow emergencies and parking bans, forcing residents to move their cars to other parking areas to allow for plowing of the heavy snow. State and local police urged drivers to stay off the roads if they can. Snowplows were already out across the state.
Few travel problems were reported early Thursday, with much lighter than usual traffic because of the widespread closures. But roads were already covered with snow by 6 a.m.
Trains were running on-time early Thursday, but Metro-North said delays, cancellations and train combinations may occur later Thursday depending upon the severity of the storm.
The storm is expected to quickly intensify Thursday morning, with the heaviest snow between 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Snow cold fall at a rate of 2 to 4 inches per hour, causing near whiteout conditions and rapidly deteriorating travel conditions.
Wind will be blowing from the north at 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 30 to 35 mph, which will cause blowing and drifting snow. Temperatures, which hit the upper 50s on Wednesday, have dipped into the 20s.
The heavy snow will cause hazardous and dangerous travel due to snow-covered roadways and poor visibility. Blowing and drifting snow is likely. Power outages with downed trees and power lines possible, the National Weather Service warned.
Up to a foot of snow is expected to fall across the day, according to the National Weather Service. Snow will taper off by early evening. Thursday night will be mostly cloudy, with a low around 10 degrees.
Friday will be mostly sunny, with a high near 25. There is a 50 percent chance of snow for Friday evening.
On Saturday, there is a slight chance of rain and snow before 3 p.m. It will be mostly cloudy, with a high near 38.