Sunday, January 5, 2014

Cold Wave To Be Epic In Much Of Nation. In Vermont: Meh.

That well advertised huge cold wave, the worst in decades, is taking hold in the Midwest this Sunday morning and is spreading south and east.
The cold snap engulfs Toronto late last week. 

Many places in the eastern two thirds of the nation face record low temperatures. And since the cold is more intense than anyone has seen in at least a decade, probably more, there will be some unexpected disruptions.

I'm thinking there might be problems with barge traffic on major Midwest rivers as they freeze over.

There will be some spot fuel shortages due to shipping problems and high demand, pipes will freeze, produce prices might go up as Florida gets a freeze, there might be quite a few fires caused by overtaxed heaters and, worse, people will die of exposure.

The good news is this cold wave won't last. By the end of the week, temperatures across the nation will be near, or even a little above normal for this time of year.

So any disruptions I think will be relatively minor and won't last a long time.

Here in Vermont, we've already experienced the worst of the cold wave, when the polar vortex descended down on us last week. As you know, we had a few days of subzero weather.

This time, the "polar vortex" that's causing this cold wave first came down over the Great Lakes, and then will move toward us by midweek.

By then, the air within the vortex will have started to modify.  Which means Vermont is in for a routine, normal, run of the mill style cold snap Monday night through Wednesday.

That means temperatures at night will range from 0 to 15 below and highs for a couple days midweek will be in the upper single numbers and low teens.

Cold, definitely, but something we experience every winter and isn't that big a deal.

Before then, watch for some icy roads tonight amid some sleet and freezing rain tomorrow.  Roads could get icy again in Vermont Monday afternoon as the cold wave arrives, changing any lingering rain to snow and quickly freezing up any wet roads and puddles that might be around.

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