Update: 10:38 a.m. Jan. 2:
The Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich has announced it will be closed both today, Thursday, Jan. 2 and tomorrow, Friday, Jan. 3.
Update: 9:56 a.m. Jan. 2:
Greenwich Public Schools has announced that "All Schools Follow a Standard Early Release Schedule Today, Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014." The first dismissals will begin at 11:30 a.m. with all Pre-K programs and the Arch School.
Update: 5:58 a.m. Jan. 2:
Greenwich Public Schools have announced: "All Schools Will Open On Time Today, Thursday, January 2, 2014. Please stay tuned to all modes of communication for Weather Alert and School Status Updates."
Original story: 12:45 a.m. Jan. 2:
In anticipation of near-blizzard-like conditions Thursday into Friday, the Town of Greenwich has declared a snow emergency, according to Greenwich Police advisory issued late Wednesday night.
The snow emergency is to become effective at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 2.
According to the Town of Greenwich website: "As in previous declarations, this requires that all vehicles parked on designated snow routes be removed. Vehicles that are not removed shall be subject to fines and towing. Travel should be restricted to only that which is absolutely necessary."
According to the advisory sent by Greenwich Police, officers will enforce all snow emergency regulations.
There also is a coastal flooding advisory in effect throughout Thursday.
The snow emergency comes in the face of Greenwich Public Schools returning to classes Thursday morning from the winter break. As of midnight Wednesday, classes were on schedule to return.
The National Weather Service (NWS) has posted a winter storm warning that is effective from 4 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 2 through 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 3.
Some snow is expected overnight into Thursday morning but the bulk of the snow is expected to fall Thursday evening into Friday morning. There will be sustained northeast winds of 15 to 25 mph causing wind chills of up to 15 degrees below zero.
Near blizzard conditions are forecast from Thursday night into Friday morning in southern Connecticut, according to the NWS. Six to 10 inches of snow are forecast with winds gusting to 35 mph causing whiteout conditions with visibility limited to a quarter to a half-mile.
The NWS also advises:
"A winter storm warning for heavy snow means severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring. Significant amounts of snow are forecast that will make travel dangerous. Only travel in an emergency. If you must travel...keep an extra flashlight...food... And water in your vehicle in case of an emergency."Here is the forecast for the region:
- Thursday: Snow likely. Cloudy, with a high near 25. Northeast wind 13 to 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.
- Thursday Night: Snow. Low around 15. Wind chill values as low as -2. Blustery, with a north wind 17 to 22 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 3 to 7 inches possible.
- Friday: Snow, mainly before 1pm. High near 18. Wind chill values as low as -8. Blustery, with a northwest wind 20 to 23 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.
- Friday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 1. Northwest wind 10 to 15 mph becoming light north after midnight.
- Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 25.
- Saturday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 20.
In a statement, Malloy said"
"I am asking residents to use caution as they head out for their Thursday and Friday commutes and give yourself some extra time to get to your destination," said Governor Malloy. "I am also asking that you avoid travel during the height of the storm Thursday night. We are also taking steps to make sure that we can take care of those in need of shelter. I urge anyone in need of shelter to call 2-1-1 and encourage local communities to consider opening warming centers or other facilities to help people in need.
"State emergency management officials are preparing for the potential impacts of this severe weather and continue to provide me with regular updates."
The current forecast is calling for light snow to begin after midnight tonight and continue through the day on Thursday with heavy blowing and drifting snow overnight Thursday into early Friday morning. Wind chills are expected to range from -5 F to -20 F Thursday night and Friday. The National Weather Service has issued Winter Storm Warnings for most of the state through Friday morning. Please stay alert for additional Watches and Warnings if they are issued.
Under the state’s Severe Cold Weather Protocol, DEMHS activates its WebEOC communications network – an internet-based system that allows local, regional and state emergency management officials and first responders to share up-to-date information about a variety of situations and conditions. The system is used to monitor capacity at shelters across the state, enabling 2-1-1 to act as a clearinghouse to assist in finding shelter space for those who need it. Local officials, working through WebEOC, can alert 2-1-1 and the state when they open temporary shelters or warming centers.
DSS coordinates with 2-1-1 and the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, as well as working with existing vendors to resolve transportation issues for people needing shelter during the period of severe cold.
DMHAS, meanwhile, has teams who specialize in working with homeless people to locate those who are at risk, spread the word about the 2-1-1 system, and encourage everyone to take advantage of the safety of shelters. The agency is also working with shelters to assess and meet the needs of individual clients during this cold snap."Patch will have updates on weather advisories and possible school closings, delays or early releases as they become available.