Schools Close Early, Cars Slide

Wolcott Public Schools are closing early today due to the snow. Bristol, Cheshire, Plymouth, and Southington are also calling school off early. As of 11 am, Waterbury schools are still in full session for the day.

While the storm seems to have caught most residents by surprise, John Bagioni of the fax alert weather service says that the snow we’ve experienced this morning are still classified as snow squalls. “They’re much like summer thunderstorms. Usually there are signs in the atmosphere that they will be there, but you never know how they will actually play out. Around six or seven this morning this band just exploded -much like summer rain showers or thunderstorms sometimes morph from hitting one or two towns to a much larger area.” Bagioni added that most of the snow experienced by Wolcott hasn’t made it much farther east than the Connecticut River.

Motorists are urged to use caution. Drive slowly, especially on Wolcott’s hillier terrain. There is no such thing as driving too slowly or leaving too much distance in between yourself and the vehicle ahead of you. Wolcott police, fire, and EMS have already responded to many accidents.

About 2-3 inches of snow have fallen this morning and temperatures are in the high 20s. Most accidents occur with less than 3 inches of snow because car tires smooth out the snow and make it more slippery from contact with the warmed tires. “There’s more of a water content that gets squeezed out” and adheres to the road surface, said Bagioni. After vehicles pass by the snowy patch, the wet snow can re-freeze and become icy.

The precipation is expected to taper off early this afternoon. After this, the temperature should rise slightly and road crews will have an opportunity to treat the roads. Snow squalls may be possible later this afternoon, but these are expected to be more typical than this morning’s rush hour experience. Tonight will be windy and temperatures may reach as low as 10 degrees.

If you must travel, you may want to delay going out until later this afternoon. The roads will be better treated and there likely will be less traffic after busses bring students home. For now, roads may become very slippery.


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