Blizzard bears down on Greenwich

A blizzard warning remains in effect for southwestern Connecticut from 1 p.m. Monday afternoon through Tuesday. Weather forecasters are advising people to be off the roads by 3 this afternoon — 5 p.m. at the latest.

Greenwich Schools plan to close early today. Here is the release schedule.

While the forecasts have fluctuated from predicting one to three feet of snow for southwestern Connecticut, the last blizzard warning from the National Weather Service says to expect 18 to 24 inches — with accumulations higher in some parts of Fairfield County.

“All unnecessary travel is discouraged beginning Monday afternoon — to allow people already on the roads to safely reach their destinations before the heavy snow begins and to allow snow removal equipment to being to clear roads,” according to the weather service.

Light snow has begun falling in the region this morning. That should continue off and on until the evening — with one to three inches of snow accumulation by sunset, according to the weather service.

The snow is expected to pick up intensity by Monday evening with the heaviest snow and strongest winds coming between midnight and Tuesday afternoon.

Snowfall rates during the storm could reach two to four inches per hour by late Monday night into Tuesday morning. That high rate of snowfall will be coupled with north winds of 20-30 mph — with gusts 45-55 mph. The strongest winds are expected across the Sound on eastern Long Island. Temperatures are expected to remain in the lower 20s. And with no high temperature above freezing in the seven-day forecast, municipalities and businesses might struggle to find a place put all the snow.

With the high rate of snow and high winds, visibility is expected to be less than a quarter mile at times.

The weather service says the blizzard will bring “life-threatening conditions and extremely dangerous travel due to heavy snowfall and strong winds — with whiteout conditions. Many roads may become impassable. Strong winds may down power lines and tree limbs.”

A blizzard warning means severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring. Falling and blowing snow with strong winds and poor visibilities wilt lead to whiteout conditions making travel extremely dangerous.

“Do not travel,” the weather service warns. “If you must travel, have a winter survival kid with you. If you get stranded, stay with your vehicle.”

The last blizzard to hit Greenwich was in February 2013.

Keep up with Greenwich and regional news related to this storm on Greenwich-Post.com or through our social media feeds on Twitter and Facebook.

During major storms such as this one, HANRadio.com also provides live updates from around the state. You listen at HANRadio.com, the Greenwich-Post.com homepage or by using the TuneIn Radio app on your smartphone and searching “HAN Radio.” HAN Radio’s coverage of Blizzard ’15 begins at 10 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 26.

The latest forecast from the National Weather Service has Greenwich right in the heart of the blizzard's 18-24 inch snow prediction.

The latest forecast from the National Weather Service has Greenwich right in the heart of the blizzard’s 18-24 inch snow prediction.

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