Sunday, November 20, 2016

Humdinger Of A Storm (In Spots) Has Begun In Vermont

Road conditions looked bad in this web cam
shot of Route 9 in the hills east of Bennington,
Vermont at 8:30 a.m. 
Shortly before 8 a.m. this Sunday morning, heavy snow was falling in Bennington, Vermont as the expected wintry storm cranked up.

The cold air with this dynamic storm has been coming in from the southwest, which is a sign that it's a really wound up storm.

The changeover from rain to snow has also been traveling from southwest to northeast, hence the heavy snow in Bennington while rain was still going on in lower elevations further to the north in Vermont and New Hampshire.

If anything, the changeover to snow is happening a little sooner in many areas than anticipated. At 8 a.m. at my house in St. Albans, in the northwest corner of Vermont, a little sleet was already mixing with the rain. By 8:30 a.m., it was snow mixed with rain.

However, the low elevation changeover to snow in Vermont, while it will eventually happen, might take awhile as the storm trudges northeastward over New Hampshire today. When you're closer to the storm, you are closer to the warm air ahead of it, so it might take time for things to go over to wintry today.

Still, as the morning goes on the rain will change to snow in the valleys of Vermont heading north from Bennington. I noticed it was already snowing in Rutland, too. By mid afternoon, it will probably be snowing in most areas of northern New York and Vermont. Snow will be beginning to reach into New Hampshire by then, too.

Of course, northern New York and the high elevations all over Vermont were firmly into the snow by 8:30 a.m. Sunday and that will continue.

It still looks like the big snow winners in this storm will be the St. Lawrence Valley and Adirondacks of New York, where a widespread snowfall of 8 to 18 inches is likely before things taper off later Monday into Tuesday.

Vermont's Green Mountains, and the western slopes of those mountains are also still looking like they are in for a big dump. Elevations above 1,000 feet there are in for 4 to 12 inches of snow, as it seems now.

I also wouldn't be surprised if there ends up being a few spots in the mountains, say, in the Adirondack high peaks, and places like the summits of Jay Peak and Mount Mansfield, that end up with two feet of snow out of this long lasting, wet, snowy storm.
Web cam image of the base of the Sugarbush Ski Resort
in central Vermont starting to pick up some snow accumulation
as of 8:30 a.m Sunday. The resort and others in Vermont
and New York, will have a lot more snow than this
by the time Tuesday rolls around.  

A lot of the snow is, and will be, wet and heavy, so I expect some fairly widespread power failures out of this today through Monday.

As of 9 a.m. Sunday, Green Mountain Power was already reporting nearly 2,000 homes and businesses out, mostly in Bennington County where the snow got going earliest and in earnest.

Road conditions were already bad in parts of New York and Vermont, especially south and west of Interstate 89 as of 8:30 a.m. Sunday. Many low elevation roads there were still just wet, but the higher you go, the slicker it got.

Slippery roads will gradually get more and more widespread as the day wears on.

For you in the Champlain Valley, where it was still mostly rain Sunday morning, I'd still gear up for a terrible Monday morning commute. Snow will continue off and on tonight and Monday, and the roads will be slow and treacherous on the way to work as you begin your week.

Oh joy!

Overall, I think the Champlain Valley will get 1 to 4 inches of snow out of this. Maybe a little more if the rain changes to snow earlier than expected.

Light snow will continue off and on through the day Monday into Tuesday, so there still will be slick spots here and there through that day. Starting later tonight and on into early week the western slopes of the Green Mountains will get the most, and most persistent snow.

Skiers are rejoicing.

For those of you who are less enthusiastic about the snowy weather, there is a silver lining. The rain and then the snow is falling on unfrozen ground, which means some will melt and soak in.

The regional drought is still ongoing, so this storm will help a little because there is quite a lot of precipitation with it. If you melt the expected snow down, and add in the rain that preceded it, we're looking at one to two inches of precipitation.

Not bad.

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