Friday, November 18, 2016

Big Thanksgiving Gift To Vermont Skiers? (Winter Storm Watch Added For Mountains)

Rina Knapp snapped this photo of a skier
at Mad River Glen, Vermont after a
snowstorm in October. The snow has
since melted, but it's coming to the
Vermont mountains in a big way in the
next few days.  
UPDATE: 3 p.m. Friday:

The National Weather Service in South Burlington, Vermont has now issued a winter storm watch for central Vermont, especially for areas in and near the Green Mountains with elevations of above 1,000 feet.

As noted in my earlier information, below, there will be some snow even in the valleys, which will lead to a tricky Monday morning commute.

The winter storm warning extends from Sunday morning all the way through Monday. This snowfall will last a long time, giving plenty of opportunity for a lot of snow to accumulate, especially along the western slopes of the Green Mountains, and the summits.

The only thing that will cut back on total snow accumulations will be relatively warm ground, made that way by unusually mild weather in recent days, and continued very, very warm weather for this time of year today and tomorrow.

Still, many areas at elevations over 1,000 feet will get four to eight inches of snow by the end of the day Monday. Some places above, say, 2,500 feet in the western slopes of the Green Mountains could easily get more than a foot.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if isolated spots, like Jay Peak, end up with two feet of snow.

Northern New York, including the St. Lawrence Valley and Adirondacks, are also under the winter storm warning.

I'm very concerned about the commute to work Monday morning everywhere in the region, including the Champlain Valley around Burlington. It'll get below freezing, so wet snow will freeze on roads to form a very slick ice.

Expect crashes and epic delays on roadways. I'm guessing most of Interstate 89 will turn into a parking lot Monday morning.


Back in October, heavy snow in the Vermont  mountains prompted some die hard skiers to hike up the slopes to take advantage of up to a foot of new powder.

Warm weather has melted all that, and skiers and riders are itching to go at it again, especially after last winter's very lackluster season.

It looks like these skiers and riders are about to get a pre-Thanksgiving gift.

It's balmy now, and will stay that way through Saturday, but things are about to change, hugely, as they say.

The storm that's causing the upper Midwest blizzard this morning will redevelop over New England Saturday night then largely stall over southeastern Canada later Sunday and Monday.

This will set up a wet, cold northwest air flow that promises what could be lots and lots of snow in the mountains.

Unlike in October, some of the Vermont, New York and New Hampshire ski resorts will be open over the Thanksgiving holiday, so skiing and riding will be that much easier.

It'll snow for a long time in the mountains. Probably from Sunday morning through Monday night. I would not be surprised to see places like Jay Peak and Stowe pick up a foot or more of snow near the summits. Mid-level elevations I imagine would pick up a good four to eight inches.

Plus, it will be more than cold enough for resorts to make snow Sunday through Wednesday.

This wintry weather comes at a price, as it always does. Some snow will accumulate all the way down in the valleys, including the Champlain Valley, which has not had any real accumulations of snow yet this season.

It won't amount to much, maybe an inch. Or even a little more in spots. Nobody is yet used to driving in snow. Hell, we didn't even get much practice doing that last winter.

The roads Monday morning could be dicey on the commute to Burlington and other Champlain Valley towns and cities.

This would inevitably lead to stupid people doing stupid things in their cars on icy roads. Be prepared to sit in backed up traffic for a long, long time Monday morning if the forecast plays out like I think it will.

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