Friday, December 30, 2016

Snow Forecast A Semi-Bust In Vermont; Maine Buried

The Maine Turnpike looked dicey last night. 
Well, that didn't end perfectly, from a forecaster's point of view.

Yep, less snow in Vermont that you might have seen in forecasts ahead of the storm, that's for sure.

The European computer model was more right than many forecasters thought. (I hedged my bets on it too).

The big storm tracked a bit further east  and less snow fell in Vermont than a lot of people anticipated.

It was still snowing in many areas of northern Vermont early this morning,and snowfall totals will come closer to predictions.

I'll get to an attempt as to what will happen next with the weather further down. First, we'll recap what we know about what happened with this storm so far.

As of 11:30 last night, the most snow I'd see was 10 inches in Springfield and 7.8 inches in Williamstown.  I'm sure we'll get some slightly higher totals in later updates today.

To be fair to the National Weather Service in South Burlington, Vermont, they knew how uncertain this storm was right to the end when it started blowing in.

They put out three sets of forecast maps, one showing what they thought would be the least impacts in Vermont, another showing about what they thought might happen, and a third showing a worst case scenario.

It appears we got more snow than the least impacts map, but not quite as much as the middle of the road one, which was the one forecasters hedged their bets on. 

New Hampshire, thought to be in the bullseye of this storm, got less snow than anticipated, too. The most I've seen so far in the Granite State is 15 inches in Wakefield, with numerous reports of around a foot.

Western and southern Maine got  totally buried with this. They got NAILED. Thundersnow spread up from Massachusetts into Maine and the results were incredible.

Hollis, Maine got 5.8 inches in just one hour during thundersnow. Oxford, Maine had a total of 20 inches of new snow, including 3.8 inches within an hour.
A burst of heavier snow in Stowe, Vermont Thursday
Via Instagram/Universityepicphoto

So far, the most I've seen in Maine is 25.6 inches in North Waterford and 25 inches in Limerick. Many places in southwestern Maine got 20 or more inches of snow. 

Summing the incredible Maine snowfall rates up, Mike Dross had just about one of the best weather tweets I've ever read: "Atmosphere is projectile vomiting hexagonal shaped ice tonight in Maine."


The now intense storm is heading into the Canadian Maritimes. It was still snowing pretty hard in northern Maine early this morning but that will taper off.

As expected, northwest winds around the backside of the storm is bringing moist air into the North Country. As the wet air rises up and over the Green Mountains, it'll wring out a few more inches of snow today over the ski resorts and western slopes.

Expect another two to four inches there, and a couple additional inches maybe in the Northeast Kingdom.

In the Champlain Valley,  the most you'll see is just a few flurries.

Usually, it gets very cold after a nor'easter goes by, but there was just not a good supply of cold air up in Quebec to swoop down on us.

So it'll be mild-ish for this time of year, with daytime highs in the 20s to near 30 and lows tonight just in the teens to around 20. Not bad.

We're still expecting a weak storm New Year's Eve to filter some light snow down on First Night celebrations. It won't amount to much, but will slicken roads somewhat Saturday night. I'm a bit worried about the mix of slick roads and drunken drivers.

(As is my custom, I'll be home early New Year's Eve and watch 2017 arrive from the safety of my own home.)

Unfortunately for winter sports enthusiasts, the next storm coming along Tuesday still looks as if it will be a mix to rain scenario.

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