Monday, March 21, 2016

Nor'easter Misses Vermont But Winter's Returning To Green Mountain State

New England snow on  a budding lilac bush
this morning, via @weathernut27 on Twitter. 
You can wipe that smug look off your faces, denizens of Vermont.

Yeah, the nor'easter missed most of Vermont last night. It snowed or is snowing in much of eastern New England from that storm, but not in Vermont.

Back to regularly scheduled spring, right? Aren't we the lucky ones?

Not so fast.

There's more weather on the way, and it's looking a bit bleak for springtime enthusiasts in Vermont this week.

Oh sure, today and much of Tuesday won't be so bad. Daytime temperatures will only be a little below normal --- in upper 30s and low 40s generally -- and there won't be any precipitation to speak of.

Then, starting Tuesday night, it goes downhill. Light rain and light snow will break out in northern New York, Vermont and New Hampshire Tuesday evening. It won't be that big a deal, especially in southern areas, and in the southern and central Champlain Valley.

But a light coating of snow is likely in other areas of the state, with up to four inches in the mountains.

That's just the opening salvo.

A weather front is still expected to set up just to the south of New England Wednesday, then slowly move northward through Thursday as a storm from the Midwest rides along this front.

With a cold high pressure system to the north, that means much of the precipitation will be an ugly mix - snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain.

This is especially true, it appears, the more north you go in the North Country, and this is precisely the area that missed out on the nor'easter.

I gave you the vague outline of the scenario this week, but there are lots of huge questions about how this is going to play out.

It all depends upon how that cold high pressure system to the north, the weather front to the south, and the storm from the Midwest interact. At this point, it looks like there are these three general scenarios:

If the high pressure really dominates, it might me hard for the moisture to really get far into the North Country, and the precipitation would be relatively light.

Or, the chilly high pressure might hold strong, but allow lots of moisture to flow north, giving us lots of snow and ice.

Or, the surge of warm moisture associated with the storm will overwhelm the chilly high pressure in Quebec, and we'll end up getting mostly rain in Vermont and surrounding areas.

Stay tuned for that.

This storm should depart later Friday, but then there are even bigger question marks for next weekend. Some computer models bring in high pressure and temperatures well into the 40s to near 50 next weekend -- not bad for March.

Other models bring in yet another storm, with another possibility of cold rain or mixed precipitation.

I'm beginning to wonder if we're starting to pay for our record warm winter. Is the other shoe dropping? Stay tuned.

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