Near-blizzard conditions expected starting Thursday evening

Near-blizzard conditions are expected in what could be the worst storm yet this season, lasting from Thursday into Friday, Jan. 2-3, according to a winter storm warning issued New Year’s Day by the National Weather Service.

Six to 10 inches of snow could fall in the area on the first two days after most school vacations end.

Hersam Acorn Radio will be providing live coverage of the storm, from area closings, traffic, area road conditions and news from all over southwestern Connecticut (and some northern Westchester County). The first broadcast is scheduled for 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 2, followed by early morning coverage of school closings, traffic and more Friday, Jan. 3. You can tune in at on your computer, smartphone or tablet.

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The worst of the storm, which the weather service said could be “near blizzard conditions,” are forecast for Thursday evening into Friday morning.

Snow and strong winds are expected to start Thursday, according to the weather service.

This winter storm warning replaces the winter storm watch issued on New Year’s Eve. The warning goes into effect at 4 o’clock Thursday morning through 1 o’clock Friday afternoon for all of southwestern Connecticut and surrounding areas.

“One to two inches are forecast through the Thursday morning rush hour, followed by a lull,” according to the service. “The most significant period of snow will redevelop by Thursday evening and continue into Friday morning.”

Some area cities, such as Bridgeport, have already declared snow emergencies.

Blizzard warnings have been issued, across the Sound, for all of Long Island.

Snow accumulations could total six to 10 inches in the area.

The forecast also calls for bitter-cold temperatures and winds from 15 to 25 mph, with gusts up to 35 mph in southwestern Connecticut. The wind chill could be from 5 to 15 below zero starting late Thursday into Friday.

The combination of a light, dry snow and windy conditions could make driving conditions worse. Visibilities, according to the weather service, could be down to one-quarter to a half mile at times.

Temperatures are expected to remain below freezing until Sunday. Friday is going to be the coldest day in a while, with a high of 18 and low of 2, and forecasters say it will feel even colder with the wind chill.