Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Big Winter Week To Continue, Vermont And Elsewhere

Blowing snow and cold winter winds in January, 2014
in St. Albans, Vermont. Expect similar conditions
later this week in the North Country. 
We've got a lull in the weather action going on this Tuesday here in the Northeast, but don't get too comfortable: Winter is going to slam us hard. Harder than it has since the winter before last.

We got the week off to a modest snowfall Monday that pretty much worked out as expected, with two to six inches of snow most places in Vermont and surrounding areas. 

The winner in northern Vermont was Lyndonville, with eight inches of new fluff.

That surprised me a bit, since usually the White Mountains to the east block some moisture and cut down on snowfall in the Northeast Kingdom in these kinds of weather situations.

In the Northeast the winning highest snowfall from the storm was 10.4 inches in Toledo, Ohio. There were numerous reports of eight inches in far southern Vermont and southeastern New Hampshire.

A few somewhat unexpected snow showers over northern Vermont last night left some black ice on the roads, leading to slideoffs and a long stretch of stuck traffic on Interstate 89 near Burlington.

Like I said, today's a lull in the Northeast, with nothing more than a few flurries.

Big changes are coming, though. You can see it now in the northern Plains of the United States, where a huge area from Montana to Minnesota is under wind chill advisories.

Those advisories are sure to spread east across the Great Lakes and Northeast as the first big Arctic cold front of the season drives into the United States.

We usually get at least a few of these each year here in Vermont, but last year, we only got one, around Valentine's Day.

This year is shaping up to be more of a typical winter. (It's not surprising that snowfall in Burlington, Vermont this early season sits at right about normal for this time of year.)

Tonight, the first wave of snow showers will come through, though it won't amount to much.

Wednesday the lake effect snows off of the Great Lakes will get cranking. In New York State, this will come ahead of the Arctic cold front coming at us from the northwest.

The front will grab some of that lake moisture and probably set off some snow squalls in northern New England Wednesday night as the front barrels through. Nothing more than a quick inch or two in most spots, but enough to slicken up the roads again.

The cold will get ridiculous, at least compared to recent standards, on Thursday and Friday.  Many places in the North Country will not get above 10 degrees during the day Thursday and Friday, with quite a few areas getting below zero at night.

As you might imagine, the contrast between the relatively warmish waters of lakes Erie and Ontario and the Arctic cold will make the lake effect snows insane out in that neck of the woods. 

Snowfall rates in the most intense bands off of Lake Ontario could reach three to five inches per hour. Combined with winds gusting to 45 mph, this looks ugly out there. Total snow accumulations in some spots will exceed two feet, easily.

As is the case with most of these Arctic blasts, it won't last long. You'll notice a definite warmup Saturday, but it will come at a price.


A strong storm now dumping welcome rain in California and prompting winter storm watches in the northern Rockies will travel eastward and then northeastward into the eastern Great Lakes later Saturday and Sunday morning.

This is a mess that will set off a pocket of severe weather in east Texas and Louisiana, and a lot of messy weather in the East.

Up here in the North Country, expect snow to break out Saturday, then turn to a yucky mix of sleet and freezing rain later in the day. It's still hard to tease out details on this one, but expect it to be awful out much of this coming weekend.

Another cold blast follows the storm later Sunday into Monday, but it won't be nearly as intense as the one coming in at the end of this week.

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