Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Midsized Snowstorm Looks Like A Good Bet For Most Of Vermont

As of early Wednesday morning, I see that the National Weather Service in South Burlington has gotten confident enough about the upcoming nor'easter's effects on Vermont that they've issued a winter storm warning for most of the state.
Here's the early thinking from the National Weather
Service in South Burlington as to how much snow
is coming. As always, click on the image
to make it bigger and easier to read.  

The computer models have come into pretty good agreement the storm will race over Cape Cod as it heads northeastward Thursday night, so it looks like a general 6 to 12 inch snowfall is a good bet for most of Vermont.

It still looks like the outer edge of the storm will have a band of heavier snow as it moves by. That's common in these types of coastal storms. And it appears the band will set up over Vermont.

Of course, it's still tricky as to precisely where the band will set up. It might be a little to the east, affecting New Hampshire and eastern Vermont more, or it could go a little more to the west, affecting the Champlain Valley and eastern New York more.

Right now, the betting is for the heavier snow to set up from the Green Mountains eastward. The winter storm watch in Vermont and New York's Champlain Valley has not been upgraded to a warning because it's unclear whether the heavier snow will get that far to the northwest.

The National Weather Service says it will evaluate more computer forecasting models today to determine if heavier snow will hit the Champlain Valley or not. My guess is by this afternoon, they'll either upgrade the Champlain Valley storm watch to a warning, or reduce it to a winter weather advisory for a 2-5 inch snowfall.

And the amount of snow that falls will fall sharply to the northwest of the heavier snow band.  Once you get out to New York's St. Lawrence River Valley, the bet is it won't snow that much at all.

As far as timing goes, it looks like the snow will creep in during the day Thursday in northern New England, so the trip home from work might be a little slow and slick. And the snow will just be tapering off Friday morning, so it'll be slow going then on the roads, too.

Although any snowstorm, and any winter storm warning means you need to be prepared for slow travel and slick roads, we in New England are lucky this storm won't be too bad.

It'll race by, meaning it won't have a chance to drop feet of snow.  The most we'll probably see in the Northeast is around 15 inches in maybe the southern Green Mountains, western Massachusetts and the far northern suburbs of New York City.

In most of interior New England, including all of Vermont, the snow will be pretty powdery, so I'm not worried about it piling up on trees and powerlines.  Power failures won't really be a problem in the reen Mountain State.

So, as I said, it'll be a pretty good snowstorm in some areas but not The Worst Storm EVER.

Not so in the Southeastern United States.

The expected freezing rain has developed there, and a disaster is in the making in places like Georgia and South Carolina. The ice will accumulate to as much as an inch thick in many areas, trees and powerlines will collapse, the power will go out for a week and the roads will be impassable.

You'll hear about it on the news, for sure.

Up in New England, ice won't be that much of a factor. There will be some mixed precipitation nearer the coastline, and maybe even a broken branch and power line or two. But it won't be a wholesale calamity for those of us in the Northeast.

In northern New England, the snow will end Friday, and it'll be a mild day to enjoy the snow, with temperatures well into the 20s.

Look for a quick shot of cold air over the weekend followed by a warmup Monday.

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