Tuesday, March 1, 2016

March Arrives In Vermont Like A Lion, But A Mediocre One

Here's the National Weather Service office
in Burlington's projection for amounts of
snow we'll get with the storm late tonight
and Wednesday. Click on the image to make
it bigger and easier to read.  

Storm seems to be trending a little north and west, which means a little more warm air creeping into the region.

That means somewhat less snow and more mix and rain across Vermont and northern New York.

The storm could still surprise us, but it looks like an inital burst of snow will drop 2 to 4 inches north and west, with less south and east.

There will probably be a tenth of an inch of ice or less.

The snow will start late tonight, and the changeover to ice and rain will begin before dawn for most of us.

I still expect a nasty commute into work tomorrow.

Rest of the forecast is unchanged. Temperatures will peak tomorrow morning and fall off in the afternoon. Any mixed precipitation will turn to snow and snow showers in the afternoon with not all that much accumulation.

Cold wave is still expected Thursday and Friday.


We in Vermont ended the warmest meteorological winter on record yesterday with a record-tying 50 degree Leap Day high in Burlington, but the beginning of March has much more wintry plans for us.

I'll have more on the record hot winter in a subsequent post later today.

Yeah, March is coming in like the cliche lion, but on the bright side, it won't be the most ferocious animal we've ever seen.

You probably heard winter's last minute stab at an attack last night as a cold front arrived with nasty gusts of wind. It reached 59 mph near Warren and up to 58 mph at Bolton late last night.

Those gusty winds cut power to about 18,000 homes and businesses in Vermont, according to Green Mountain Power. Most areas have had power restored by late morning.

The wind has calmed down, but it's cold out.  It's only around 10 degrees this morning and will only make it into the 20s this afternoon. That's a good ten degrees colder than average for this time of year.

Also it's pretty clear and sunny. Which means you have no weather excuse to blow off Town Meeting Day today. Grab your coats and go!!!

The real nasty weather comes in late tonight, well after the polls close.

Yet another fairly strong storm is coming and the center of it looks as if it will go right over Vermont.

That means, once again, we'll have an ugly mix of weather. Since the storm is going overhead and not to our west, we won't get as much plain rain out of this but more snow and ice, especially the further north and west you go.

Up in New York's St. Lawrence Valley, it'll stay mostly snow, so they'll get a good six to 10 inches out of this, as it looks now

Forecasting amounts of snow and ice is always tricky when you're right in the transition zone between snow, ice and rain, so there's a big bust potential.

Just know that it will be snowy and icy and slushy and icky by the time you get up Wednesday morning. You'll need extra time to get to work. A winter weather advisory is definitely in effect late tonight and Wednesday.

At this point, the National Weather Service is going with four to six inches of snow, plus some ice, north and west of a line roughly from Burlington to Newport.

Yeah, it's going to snow in Vermont, but it won't be
nearly as bad as this scene in high elevation
Crissolo, Italy this week.  
A broad southwest to northeast zone in central Vermont can expect two to four inches of snow, some ice, and a brief interval of plain rain in the middle of the storm Wedneday afternoon.

The southeastern third of Vermont will probably get only one to three inches of snow and slush out of this and a fair amount of rain.

By the way, we'll continue with our out of sync temperature trends. It'll gradually get warmer overnight, with temperatures peaking Wednesday morning. Then during the afternoon it will turn colder again, as the storm begins to pull away to the Northeast.

I said this is a fairly strong storm, but it's nothing like last week's powerhouse that brought record amounts of precipitation and flooding. This one will be fairly impressive, but not extreme.

Still the storm will be strong enough to produce some severe thunderstorms and maybe a tornado or two along the Gulf Coast and Tennessee Valley areas, but the dangerous weather won't be nearly as widespread as last week. Also, unlike last week, there won't be any severe thunderstorms in the Northeast, and I highly doubt there will be any thunder and lightning in Vermont.

Winter isn't done with us yet after the storm pulls away. We're in for what by March standards is a pretty impressive cold wave on Thursday and Friday. Nighttime temperatures will get below zero in  many places in Vermont, and daytime highs will struggle into the teens.

That's very cold for early March, but not record setting. We've seen worse.

For those who don't like winter, despite the fact we didn't really  have one this year, there's hope. A gradual warming trend will start Saturday, and by Monday, afternoon temperatures will be well into the 30s. That's about normal for this time of year.

And while I don't entirely trust long range forecasts, most signs point toward warmer than normal Vermont March weather starting by the middle of next week and possibly lasting well into the middle of the month.

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