Thursday, February 13, 2014

Snowstorm In Vermont Likely More Of A Blockbuster Than Originally Thought

The afternoon updates are in for this big snowstorm and in Vermont especially, National Weather Service forecasts for the amount of snow that will come down have gone up quite a bit.
Heavy snow falls on a Queens train station
earlier today. It could easily snow just
as hard in Vermont, surrounding states
later tonight and Friday morning.  

This increased snow expectations are most noticeable in the northern Champlain Valley.

Where forecasts this morning predicted a mid-sized 4 to 8 inch snowstorm in that area, the predictions are now for a good 10 to 16 inch dump.

The winter weather advisory out in the St. Lawrence Valley of New York has been upgraded to a winter storm warning because four to eight inches are expected in that area.

Back in Vermont, there is the possibility that up to two feet could accumulate on some of the ridgelines in the central and southern Green Mountains. Valley locations elsewhere in Vermont are expecting 8 to 14 inches, at or just slightly above this morning's projections.

I've been watching the radar patterns with this storm and they're a little weird. An initial heavy, but narrowing band of snow is working its way north from southern Vermont and central New York and that will probably cause a fairly decent burst of snow this evening.

There's a huge dry slot, an intrusion of cool, dry air into the middle of the storm, which is typical of these types of nor'easters. That dry slot looks to me like it might work its way into northern New England for a time tonight, and the snow could taper off for awhile.

If the dry slot does make it into Vermont, or nearby, enough warm-ish air might accompany it to cause a little sleet or freezing drizzle, especially east of the Green Mountains, according to the National Weather Service in South Burlington.

If that mix does arrive, it won't amount to much at all and quickly change back to snow.

But it seems like the core of the storm will come up the coast, and set up another band of heavy snow on its northwestern flank between midnight tonight and into Friday morning. That seems to be where forecaster thing we'll get most of this big powder dump.

The NWS meteorologists in South Burlington think that heavy snow band will set up over western Vermont, the Champlain Valley and parts of northeastern New York.  Snow could come down at a rate of up to 3 inches per hour for a time, which really is incredible.

Uncertainty still hangs in the air. I and everybody else is excited about this heavier storm forecast, but if the heavy snow band doesn't really set up, or sets up in an unexpected place, the predictions for a heavy Vermont/New York/New Hampshire snowstorm could turn into a bust.

I just want to throw that out there in case we're surprised by a lack of snow Friday morning.

Of course, if the forecast is right, and I'm not doubting it, the trip to work could be hellish in northeastern New York, Vermont and New Hampshire Friday morning with deep snow, heavy falling snow and winds to 30 mph blowing it all around.

The snow should gradually dwindle down to snow showers during the day Friday. Continued gusty winds will continue the blowing and drifting. At least it won't be that cold as temperatures will remain in the 20s.

Believe it or not, another nor'easter looks to get going Saturday. But relax, it won't amount to much in western New England.  It'll form off the mid-Atlantic coast, but not really get cranking until it gets past New England.

That means Vermont and eastern New York can expect only a couple of inches of snow at most from that, with maybe more as you get toward New Hampshire and Maine.

The only bad news for snow lovers: It could rain toward the end of next week.

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