FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — It's a head-spinning forecast, especially for March. The National Weather Service overnight posted a Blizzard Warning for all of Fairfield County and increased the projected snowfall totals to 18 inches to 2 feet for the nor'easter headed our way.
The Blizzard Warning extends to the entire metro New York region and all of coastal Connecticut from late Monday until late Tuesday night.
The National Weather Service warns that there will be heavy snow and blizzard conditions for hours as the powerful nor'easter slams the Northeast.
Snowfall will come at a rate of 2 to 4 inches per hour, with total accumulations expected of 18 to 24 inches.
Drivers should expect dangerous travel due to whiteout conditions. Several roads may become impassable due to heavy snowfall and blowing and drifting snow. Visibility will be a quarter-mile or less, the National Weather Service warns.
Power outages are possible with northeast winds of 20 to 30 mph and gusts up to 40 mph. Temperatures will be in the mid-20s. The howling winds could knock down trees or power lines — and cause blowing and drifting snow.
The National Weather Service warns residents not to travel. If you must travel, keep a winter survival kit in the car. If stranded, stay with your car.
There should be no need to go out. Residents should expect school, work and store closures as well as parking bans.
Residents have Monday to prepare — whether to pick up food and ice melt or run last-minute errands.
Also, coastal flooding could occur at high tide on Tuesday afternoon, with water 2 to 3 feet above normal levels.
Before the storm arrives, Monday will also be chilly with a high struggling to reach the freezing mark under sunny skies.
The state's Severe Cold Weather Protocol, which went into effect on Friday, is being extended through 8 a.m. on Thursday, March 16, Gov. Dannel Malloy said.
"If anyone is in need of shelter, call 2-1-1 to find the nearest available location,” Malloy said.
A list of shelters and warming centers that are open across Connecticut can be located by calling 2-1-1 or visiting www.211ct.org .