Updated Thursday, 5:38 p.m.
Vernon is bracing for a blizzard - a big old dumping of snow accompanied by high winds - and municipal, education and emergency management officials are closely monitoring the maps.
Schools in Vernon are closed on Friday in anticipation of snow.
A lot of it.
Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection has issued the following alert:
The latest computer models continue to forecast that a major winter storm will impact our area Friday afternoon, Friday night and Saturday morning.
The latest track forecast for this storm is predicting that a low pressure system will form south of the Del Mar (VA) Peninsula Friday afternoon and then rapidly intensity as the storm moves northeast Friday night to a position southeast of Nantucket by 7 a.m. Saturday morning.
Light snow is forecast to start Friday around daybreak, remaining light for several hours.
The snow may mix with rain at times from late morning into the mid afternoon in Southern Connecticut.
The snow is then forecast to become heavy by late afternoon with a change to all snow along the coast. Heavy snow is expected overnight on Friday, into Saturday morning, ending early afternoon on Saturday.
Total snowfall is expected to range from 10 to 20 inches in Southern Connecticut and 16 to 26 inches in Northern Connecticut.
Strong Northeast winds are also expected with sustained winds of 20 to 30 mph Friday night, gusting to 55 mph inland and 70 mph at times along the coast. These strong winds may bring down trees and power lines resulting in a moderate number of power outages. Some coastal flooding is expected during the time of high tide Friday night just before midnight with minor flooding possible.
What does that mean for Vernon so far?
• The Emergency Operations Center will be activated as needed.
• So will the emergency shelter.
• In anticipation of the snowstorm, the town is announcing a parking ban. The ban will begin at 11 a.m. on Friday and will remain in effect for a minimum of hours after the snow has stopped. Vehicles parked in violation of the ban are subject to being ticketed and/or towed.
.• Due to the expected inclement weather, the Vernon Department of Public Works will be closing the Transfer Station on Hockanum Boulevard for the entire weekend.
• There will be no trash and recycling pickups on Friday.
• The Transfer Station will be open as normal on Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.
• The Vernon Community Arts Center will be closed Friday and Saturday.
Emergency Management Director Michael Purcaro said the two major concerns are getting the roads clear as soon as possible and dealing with power outages. He said a Connecticut Light & Power representative will join the local conference call.
U.S. Rep. Joseph Courtney left Washington late Thursday afternoon and boarded a train to head back to Vernon.
The following message was delivered from the school systrem:
Good Evening, this is Mary Conway, superintendent of schools in Vernon.
In anticipation of snow, schools will be closed on Friday, Feb. 8, 2013. I repeat, the Vernon Public Schools will be closed on Friday, Feb. 8. Thank you and have a good evening.