FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- As Fairfield County residents shivered on Friday during the coldest day of February, it probably seemed like the long, cold winter could not get any worse.
But it can. Another storm is heading straight for the East Coast and may dump between 5 and 9 inches of snow on Fairfield County, according to Gary Lessor, assistant to the director of Meteorological Studies and the Weather Center at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury.
"The worst we could get is 8 to 10 inches, especially along coastal areas," he said of the storm that will start Sunday evening and continue all day Monday.
The National Weather Service said the quick-moving storm, which is coming across the country, could drop 8 inches or more across New Jersey, New York City and the Hudson Valley as well as Connecticut, the weather service said.
But the bright sun on Friday brought no warmth across Fairfield County as temperatures struggled to get out of the teens.
In fact, the high temperature of 15 degrees recorded in Danbury is colder than the usual low temperature at this time of year, Lessor said. The normal low temperature is 23 degrees, and high temperatures should reach a balmy 42 degrees on Feb. 28.
"For the last day of the month to be the coldest is kind of disheartening," he said.
The low temperature got down to 3 degrees early Friday, with gusts of 20 mph making for wind chills of -10 to -15 below zero overnight.
"It's very rare" for the high temperature to be that unseasonably cold, Lessor said. "You know you are having issues with arctic air when that happens. The polar vortex just doesn't want to let go. It wants to hold on tight."
Temperatures will rise to a more moderate 30 degrees on Saturday, which is still 12 degrees below normal. "But it will certainly feel better," Lessor said.
Sunday will also see temperatures warming to the mid-30s, but that is when the trouble begins. A snow shower could occur in the afternoon, with the big storm taking shape between 8 and 11 p.m. Sunday, Lessor said.
Snow estimates have varied, he said. But "we are looking at 5 to 9 inches of snow," Lessor said. More snow will fall along the shoreline and less to the north.
"Because of the arctic high pressure over New England, it will suppress the storm and keep it farther south," he said.
The storm will continue throughout the day Monday, dropping a "light, very fluffy snow," Lessor said. "The worst should be over by 3 or 4 p.m."
But even as the storm ends, the cold will continue into March. "The polar vortex just doesn't want to lose its grip," Lessor said. "There are more indications of snow and cold, for the next three weeks."
On March 15, also known as the Ides of March, the high temperature should be 44 degrees, he said. But long-term forecasts are predicting it will be 16 degrees.
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