Tuesday, February 16, 2016

UGLY Weather As Another Large Storm Lumbers Through Northeast

Freezing rain starting to accumulate on a light
outside my St. Albans, Vermont house this morning 
As expected, yet another storm is raising havoc across much of the eastern United States today, as it has since yesterday.

The storm has had it all, including tornadoes, severe icing, heavy snow, wind, torrential rains. I'm surprised there hasn't been locusts with this thing.

As I write this at 7 a.m. Tuesday at my house in northwestern Vermont,  there's freezing rain falling. Mixed precipitation is covering most of northern New England and northern New York.

It's an ugly commute this morning. Most of the schools are closed around Vermont for good reason. If you can delay your drive into work until later this morning, that might be good in many places, especially the Champlain Valley, where it will warm up first.

In Vermont and eastern New York, the freezing rain will change to rain from southwest to northeast during this morning and early afternoon. The temperature had already rocketed up to 45 degrees in Bennington as of dawn and that air will move north.

A caution: Not everyone will get into the warm air and that will cause some issues. More on that in a minute.

As I mentioned yesterday, even after the temperature gets above freezing, the rain will still ice up roads and sidewalks across the North Country. The ground is so cold after last weekend's Arctic air  that liquid water will still freeze on contact.

The ice won't have a chance to accumulate heavily on trees and power lines in the Champlain Valley, so at least in that zone, I don't anticipate much in the way of power failures today.

Also: Areas of east of the Green Mountains will warm up more slowly, so freezing rain will last into the last morning, or even early afternoon in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, northern New Hampshire and northwestern Maine.

The ice probably there will accumulate more thickly on trees and power lines, so there might be a few power failures along with the dangerous roads in northeastern Vermont and in northern New Hampshire, but I don't think the power issues will be that widespread there.

The worst trouble spot with this storm is in northwestern Pennylvania, western New York and especially the St. Lawrence Valley of northwestern New York and adjacent Ontario and southern Quebec.

The storm's center is expected to move right up over western New England or extreme eastern New York.

That track puts the areas I just mentioned into the heaviest precipitation, and on the cold side of the storm Out in western New York, that means eight to 16 inches of snow.

It'll be the worst up in the St. Lawrence Valley where more than two inches of liquid equivalent of precipitation will fall. That's a LOT for a winter storm.

It'll come in the form of heavy wet snow, and possibly a huge dose of freezing rain. The snow will pile up to between four and seven inches, and the ice could be as much as three quarters of an inch thick.

That's more than enough to bring down a lot of trees and power lines, so it's going to be big trouble in places like Watertown, Massena, and in Ottawa and Montreal in Canada.

Environment Canada says Ottawa can expect up to a foot of snow and sleet today and early tonight.
Even worse, Environment Canada has a freezing rain warning today for the Montreal area. It's never good when a big urban area like that gets a bunch of ice, so don't bother heading up there today to see the sights and sounds there.

Later today, in most of the Northeast east of central New York, the temperature will briefly sky rocket to the 40s and 50s. A few places might flirt with record highs, just a couple days after a record chill settled over the region.

Winds could get quite strong, too, especially in southeastern New England, where a high wind warning alerts us to gusts fo 60 mph or a little more later today.

Small stream and street flooding could become an issue in some areas as well.


Tornado damage in Mississippi yesterday.
From television station WLBT 
The storm has already done most of its damage in the southeastern and Middle Atlantic States. Several tornados hit the South, especially in Alabama and the Florida panhandle, where a number o houses and other buildings were destroyed or damaged.  

More tornado warnings were issued early this morning for parts of central and southern Florida.

In the Mid-Atlantic states, including Washington DC, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, snow changed to freezing rain, causing chaos on the highways.

Among the victims: Storm chaser Simon Brewer, (Storm Riders on the Weather Channel) who got caught up in a big pileup on the ice along Interstate 81 in Pennsylvania. Brewer's injuries appear to be minor.

No comments:

Post a Comment