Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Snow Update: Winter Storm Watches Up In New England

There was still a lot of uncertainty Tuesday evening about who will get the most snow from the brewing storm on the East Coast.
As of Tuesday evening, it was unclear if
it will look like this in Montpelier winter
street scene come Thursday night and Friday.
A snowstorm is definitely possible.  

Already, up to six inches has been reported in North Carolina, and an area from Atlanta, Georgia to Raleigh, North Carolina is bracing for a truly epic ice storm that you will surely hear about ad nauseum in the news.

It looks like that will be a bonafide disaster.

More to the north, ice won't be as much of a factor. The questions are whether coastal areas in the Northeast will get all snow, or will rain mix in? And how far west into the Appalachians will the heavy snow get?

Here where I am in Vermont, a winter storm watch is in effect for Thursday afternoon into Friday for the possibility of a general six to 10 inch snowstorms.

But the devil is in the details, and this forecast is very uncertain. The computer forecasting models are still struggling with where the stripe of heaviest snow will fall to the west of the storm's path.

The National Weather Service in South Burlington says there could well be a sharp east to west gradient of snowfall amounts across Vermont, with the east getting dumped on and the Champlain Valley and New York State not so much.

It's really hard to pinpoint just where the heavy snow will go and where it won't. The tiniest variation in the storm track will determine who gets the big powder and who gets left out.

I don't think we'll really know until the last moment with this one. But for now, the best guess is a snowstorm in Vermont that would be similar to the one that came through last Wednesday. Which would actually be nice.

I'm sure the ski areas in northern New England are praying the computer models that give us the big powder dump are right. The big President's Week holiday is next week, and the ski areas want all the good publicity they can muster. A big snowstorm would help immensely.

Meanwhile, if you can, forget about traveling along the East Coast this week. The roads, the airlines and everything else will be a mess. Get the hot chocolate and sit inside and watch and see what happens.

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