Sunday, December 15, 2013

Big Vermont Snow Dump (But Conditions May Apply)

It's a winter wonderland across pretty much all of Vermont and surrounding areas this Sunday morning as the expected snowstorm turned out to be real, but with a few twists and turns along the way.

The big winners for deep snow were along the east slopes of the Green Mountains, especially west of the Connecticut River Valley. There, more than a foot has been reported in some spots, and it's still snowing.
About four inches of snow had dusted my truck
and driveway in St Albans, Vermont as of 8:30 a.m.
Sunday. Snow was much deeper east of
the Green Mountains.  

The least snow came on the western slopes of the Green Mountains, with as little as four inches reported in the Champlain Valley as of 8:30 a.m. (including around my house in St. Albans, Vermont)

Click on THIS LINK for a summary of snowfall totals in Vermont as of 8:30 a.m. Sunday.

The heavy snow on one side of the mountains and the lighter totals on the other side are all due to the same reason.

The storm hugged the coast a little more than forecast, and came a bit more to the north than forecast.

That slightly shifted storm path allowed strong east winds to develop just a few thousand feet overhead in northern New England and New York.

The east winds were forced to rise up the eastern slopes of the Green Mountains. The rising air really wrung extra moisture out of the air, making it snow more heavily in eastern slope communities like Brookfield, Rochester, and Chelsea, Vermont. Each town got more than a foot of snow and it was still snowing Sunday morning.

Those same east winds roared down the western slopes of the mountains, Sinking air tends to dry out, so western slope towns got a lot less snow.

They also got a lot of wind. There have been numerous reports of gusts exceeding 50 mph along the western slopes of the Green Mountains from east and south of Rutland all the way north to Underhill and Cambridge and beyond.

That has caused a lot of blowing and drifting snow in those spots, with really lousy visibility and an inability of road crews to keep drifts off the roads.

Those east wind was starting to diminish and shift into the north as of midmorning Sunday, which will mean snowfall rates will increase a bit along the western slopes for a few hours and diminish along the eastern slopes.

So western slope towns like Underhill, Jericho,  Lincoln and Ripton which got cheated out of deep snow will partly make up for it today, and still wind up with a good 6 to 10 inches of snow.

I noticed in the past hour that snowfall, which was quite light in St. Albans, has picked up a bit. Still, the Champlain Valley will be the big loser in this storm, if you want to call a relative lack of snow "losing" It all depends upon your perspective.

Low elevation towns a little west of the Green Mountains will end up with something like six inches of snow. Not bad, but not a huge dump.

It's going to get COLD again. Temperatures hovered near 20 degrees Sunday morning and will slowly fall through the teens the rest of the day as the snow slowly tapers off this afternoon.

It'll get into the single numbers either side of zero tonight, not make it above 10 degrees in most northern Vermont towns Monday, with wind chills around 20 or 25 below. Then get below zero again Monday night.

The rest of the week looks pretty average, with near to slightly below normal temperatures with bouts of light snow from time to time. There might be a brief thaw Friday as temperatures rise to near or just under 40 degrees.

Then temperatures will fall again, but it's anybody's guess whether another storm will come along next weekend. Computer models have no idea.

A week from now, it will snow, sleet or rain unless it doesn't.  That's the best I can do at this point.

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