Thursday, November 27, 2014

Storm Departing; Widespread Shoveling To Start Thanksgiving

Via Twitter: Josh Elniger captured
this nice image of the snowstorm during
thunder snow Wednesday in
Mt. Pleasant, N.Y.  
Look at it this way: You're probably going to consume a LOT of calories, this Thanksgiving Day.

So you might as well burn it off by shoveling.

In the eastern United States, a lot of people have the opportunity to do just that.

A huge area stretching from the higher elevations of West Virginia and Virginia all the way up through the Northeast to Maine have six or more inches of new snow on the ground this morning.

Most of these accumulations are west of Interstate 95, but a big, big area is covered by this.

So far, judging from incomplete reports, the biggest snow totals are 18 inches near Paw Paw, West Virginia and 16 inches in Orwell, Vermont. So you can see how widespread this is.  I'm sure we might find bigger storm totals once all the reports are in.

The storm is departing now. There is some lingering snow falling across northern New England, but in other areas, the roads are being cleared for travel today. So maybe you can still make it to your Thanksgiving feast.

I talked about shoveling to burn off calories, but be careful. The snow in most places, except in northern New England north and west of Albany, N.Y., is very wet and heavy.  Shoveling it will be a lot like shoveling wet cement.

If you're over the age of 50 and/or not in great shape, you'd better let someone else clear the snow. You don't want to have a heart attack. Or destroy your back.

A bigger problem is power failures caused by the heavy wet snow bringing down trees and power lines. AccuWeather reported more than 300,00 outages in New England early this morning, with 148,000 or so in New Hampshire alone.

I can't imagine they'll be able to restore power to everybody today, so that really screws up Thanksgiving feast plans. What, build a bonfire in the backyard and cook the turkey in that? I don't think so.
Via Twitter: Geoff Pattern photographed this
weather related crash Wednesday in
Towamencin, Pa.  

One interesting thing about this departing storm is it went a little more to the west than expected.

Most nor'easters like this have something called a "deformation band" which is a band of heavier snow well northwest of the storm center, near out outer edge of the precipitation shield.

This storm had a well developed one, running from northeastern Pennsylvania, through central New York, curving to near and northwest of Albany, then into western, central and northeastern Vermont.

Albany, N.Y, in this heavier snow band, got 9.6 inches of new snow, making this one of the city's Top 10 biggest November snowstorms. 

In this band, a lot of places had more than 10 inches of snow. Just to the northwest of this band, amounts tapered off dramatically.

Burlington, Vermont, just on the outer edge of this band of heavier snow, got 8.4 inches of accumulation. At my house in St. Albans, 24 miles to the north of Burlington, I barely got three inches, and communities just 5 to 10 miles northwest of my house could barely muster an inch or two.

For the rest of the holiday weekend, it's looking pretty quiet in the Northeast, with just some small storms with scattered rain and snow showers moving through.

An exception might be coastal Massachusetts, where one of those small storms could gather some strength, and moisture from the Atlantic Ocean, to dump a few inches of snow late tonight and Friday morning.

That situation is uncertain, but should be watched.

Other than that, time to go play in the snow.

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