Update as of 4:55 p.m. on Jan. 3:
Temperatures in West Hartford are expected to plummet Friday into Saturday to as low as five below zero. Winds will diminish a bit, but may still gust up to 20 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service.
"Wind chills below zero could lead to frostbite or hypothermia for anyone exposed to the cold," the weather service warns in a special statement.
On Saturday, temperatures will climb back into the 20s, but it will still feel like below zero with the wind chill.
And on Sunday into Monday, a wintry mix consisting mostly of rain is in the forecast.
Anticipated cold temperatures have led Westmoor Park to cancel its Polar Bear Fair scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 4.
From the West Hartford Department of Public Works
West Hartford DPW has been out maintaining town roads all night. A full complement of town trucks and contractors (about 45 trucks and equipment) are out actively plowing a final clean up. 36 trucks and equipment are dedicated to town roads. As of 7:30 this morning most of town arterial roads have been cleared for the morning commute. Crews are now clearing secondary collector streets and residential neighborhoods now. The extremely cold temperatures have been an added challenge for us - however the combination of continues plowing and salt application has been effective.
I would expect that we will have the vast majority of the town’s 215 miles of roads cleared by noon today. (emphasis added by Patch)
Drivers should expect slippery condition and continuous re-freezing with temperature this low and not expected to rise much today. Other town resources are clearing town building parking lots so essential town service can open and operate today. Residents are reminded that parking ban is still in effect. We cannot clear roads if cars are parked and blocking travels lanes that need to be cleared. Our truck have 12’ plow on the front of them they need extra space to safely travel down some of our narrow streets and cul-de-sacs.
[Original story] The first snowstorm 2014 has led West Hartford public schools to close early Thursday and close schools entirely on Friday.
The decision to close came around 9 p.m. Thursday.
The National Weather Service is predicting the snow will pick up after 1 p.m. with for a total of 3 to 7 inches today. More snow will fall overnight, according to the service.
Department of Public Works Director John Phillips issued a parking ban that will go into effect at 6 p.m. Thursday.In addition, Phillips said that DPW has "ramped up to handle whatever this latest snow storm drops on us. We are fully staffed and will call in contractors when the inches start stacking up."
Phillips said that the roads are slippery, so people should drive slow, especially when maneuvering turns and corners.
"We are in storm maintenance mode right now," Phillips said. "We'll continue to maintain a safe as possible street base on storm intensity and conditions until final clean up work begins tomorrow morning. The added extremely cold temperature add to the complexity to our work."
Phillips also requested that residents who have left out their Christmas trees to pull them from the snow cast off by plows, as collection does not start until Jan. 6.
"A tree buried in snow will be very hard to collect and will most likely not be collected," Phillips said." "The program runs for only two weeks. If residents wish to take advantage of this recycling program, the tree must be accessible."
Check back with Patch for any additional details.