Saturday, February 1, 2014

Sat. Snow/Sleet Update, And A Look Back At January

In northern Vermont, New York and New Hampshire at least, Saturday is starting off gorgeous. It's not that cold, there's some blue sky, and for a change, not much wind.
National Weather Service in Burlington has
pulled back a bit on their snowfall forcast.
Down to 2-4" in northern Champlain Valley
and practicaly nothing around Rutland.  

But a storm is still coming, so the day won't end nearly as nicely as it began.

We're still looking at a mix of light snow, sleet and rain for the southern two thirds of Vermont and New Hampshire and in New York south of the central Adirondacks.

In many of those spots, a trace to three inches of slushy new accumulation will be on the ground by Sunday morning.

If anything, this storm will be a bit warmer than what we were predicting yesterday. I wouldn't be surprised if some sleet mixes in as far north as the Canadian border.

In the far northern areas of the three states, it still looks like new accumulations will amount to 2 to 5 inches.

So, nothing huge, but enough to cause some travel problems tonight and early Sunday.

It still looks like a bigger storm will hit the area Wednesday, with the potential of more than six inches of snow. But there are still questions about the track of the storm, which would influence how much precipitation we get, and even bigger questions on whether the midweek storm will bring in enough mild air to make the snow mix with or change to ice or rain.

So stay tuned on that one.


For all the hue and cry about polar vortexes and huge Arctic outbreaks, this wasn't an extreme January by Vermont standards.

In Burlington, the mean temperature for the month was 18.3 degrees, just 0.4 degrees colder than normal. It was the chilliest January since 2009, so that's no saying too much.
This gargoyle seems to have the same attitude
I do about this winter so far. Too much ice,
not enough snow. Blech.  

It's true we had our share of cold snaps. On three days the temperature never made it above zero and we endured nine mornings at or below zero. But we've seen worse.

Maybe it was the wind that made January feel so cold in Vermont. It was a particularly windy month. Seventeen days saw winds gust to 30 mph or more, including each of the last eight days of the month. So I'm sure wind chill was a factor.

The worst of the cold snaps during January focused their attention mostly to our west and south. Some cities in the Midwest and maybe the South had one of their top 10 coldest Januaries, but I haven't found any place in the nation that had its coldest January on record.

A few places in California and Alaska did manage to have their all time hottest Januaries on record.

Back in Vermont, January precipitation in Burlington came to 2.45 inches. Again, that's not weird. The month was only 0.39 inches wetter than normal.

As we all know too well, much of the January precipitation came as rain or ice. Snowfall for the month was a scant 12.5 inches, or 8.6 inches below normal. For the season so far we've had 34.2 inches, which is about ten inches on the light side.

February looks like it might be a bit stormy at times, so we'll see if we catch back up to normal in the snowfall race for the season.

Snow lovers can look on the bright side: We've already blown our chances for the least snowiest winter on record. The least snowiest winter had 31.8 inches (1912-13) and we've already had more than that.

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