Thursday, November 23, 2017

No Bad Weather This Thanksgiving; But 1950 Great Appalachian Storm Shows How Bad It Can Get

Storm surge Southport, CT during the Great Appalachian
Storm of 1950.
As advertised, the weather across most of the nation this Thanksgiving is mercifully quiet. It can get pretty darn stormy this time of year, so we're lucky.

There have been extreme Thanksgiving weekend storms in the past that really gummed up the works.  I remember when I was a kid, a 1971 Thanksgiving storm dumped more than a foot of snow across much of the Northeast, including here in Vermont.

But the granddaddy of Thanksgiving weekend storms was the Great Appalachian Storm of 1950, which on this date that year was just getting its act together.

A strong Arctic cold front passed through the middle of the country on this date, brining temperatures to record lows in many cities, including Chicago.

A storm formed along the Arctic front, which happens quiet commonly. But this particular storm had all the ingredients to form one deadly, remarkable and scary storm. There was record cold on the west side of the front, and record warmth to the east. With extreme upper level support, it allowed the storm to attain extreme levels. We haven't seen anything like this since.

On the cold, west side of the storm, the problem was snow, and lots of it.

The temperature contrast was pretty intense. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania got 30.5 inches of snow as temperatures there held in the single digits. Just to the northeast in Buffalo, New York, it was in the 40s with no snow.

In that warm sector on the east side of the storm, the wind was incredibly intense. The weather set up was not too different than the one that created our severe wind storm in late October. But the 1950 set up was much more intense than this year's, and so were the winds.

Digging out from the Great Appalachian Storm of 1950
Winds gusted to 94 mph in New York City.  The peak gust in Newark, New Jersey was 108 mph. Concord, New Hampshire endured a gust to 110 mph.  Bear Mountain, New York reached 140 mph. Here in Vermont, gusts over 70 mph were widespread and common.

You can imagine how many trees and power lines fell across the Northeast. A million or so people had no electricity for days.

The intense winds caused a nasty storm surge along the East Coast which caused severe flooding. Ocean water breached a dike at LaGuardia airport, flooding runways.

The weather station in Bridgeport, Connecticut was inundated with five feet of water. In some areas of Long Island and Connecticut, coastal destruction was even worse than during the Great Hurricane of 1938.

In the end, the Great Appalachian Storm killed 160 people and caused the greatest damage of any United States storm up to that date.

Bet you're glad there's nothing like that in the forecast for this weekend.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Summer Thunderstorms Will Be Epic Deluges In Warmer World

Satellite view of an intense mesoscale convective complex
over Kansas in 2014. A new study says these clusters
of thunderstorms will grow more frequent and intense
as global warming ramps up. 
Another study indicates that torrential drenchings and flash floods will be more likely in the United States in a warmer world.

Several studies have linked climate change with heavier rain storms. The latest takes a look at summer thunderstorms and something called mesoscale convective systems or MCS's.

These MCS's are very common in the summer especially in the middle of the United States. They are large clusters of often torrential thunderstorms that usually erupt at night.  On average, about 60 of these things form every summer.

MCS's often bring welcome rains to the corn belt and other agricultural regions of the United States, but also sometimes cause destructive flash floods. This is especially true if a particular area is hit by several MCS's on successive nights.

In a warmer world, these MCS's would get more intense, increasing the risk of flash floods, according to the latest study, which was published Monday in Nature Climate Change.

Bob Henson, writing in Weather Underground says the study "found that increased atmospheric moisture in a warming climate will help lead to a 15 to 40 percent increase in peak MCS rainfall rates, along with a 20 to 70 percent jump in the rainfall area. Together, these lead to a 30 to 80 percent boost in the total hourly volume of rain deposited by a typical MCS."

These more vicious MCS's in the future will affect almost all of us in the United States and much of Canada and Mexico.  The study indicates the MCS's will become a bit less frequent in the central United States, (though more intense.) However, MCS's will become more frequent elsewhere, espeically in the Northeast U.S and Canada.

That increase in MCS's in the Northeast is worrisome. The Appalachian chain, including the Green Mountains here in Vermont are especially prone to flash floods as water from torrential rains tends to rush down the slopes of the mountains.

Plus, the Northeast is heavily urbanized, and storm drains aren't designed for especially heavy rains.

The bottom line: I just gave you another reason to worry about climate change.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Surprise Vermont Snow Had Source In Warm Great Lakes

A car slid off the road in yesterday's surprise snow in Williston,
Vermont. Image from WCAX-TV

I didn't tell you it was going to snow yesterday in Vermont, beyond flurries. Neither did the National Weather Service or all the other good meteorologists in the Vermont media.

Yet, Burlington got its first measurable snowfall of the season, with 1.3 inches.

The western slopes of the Green Mountains got clobbered, with 6 inches of new snow reported in Jericho Center and 5 inches in Jonesville, which is sandwiched between Richmond and Bolton, Vermont.

I'm sure the surprise snow cheered Thanksgiving week skiers, but motorists grumbled over the unexpectedly slick roads. There were a number of accidents and slide-offs.

So what  happened?

Forecasters knew there was enough moisture coming off the Great Lakes to pose the risk of snow flurries on Monday, especially along the western slopes of the Green Mountains.

However, when subtle weather disturbances get involved with lake effect snows from the Great Lakes this time of year, surprising things can happen.

This is prime lake effect snow season for the Great Lakes. There's virtually no ice on the any of the lakes yet, so they're wide open. Cold northwest winds can pick up moisture from anywhere on those lakes and deposit snow on downwind shores.

The lakes are also relatively warm. In fact, warmer than normal for this time of year. If the contrast between cold air and the lakes increases because the water is toastier than usual, you can get more widespread lake effect snows.

As of yesterday morning, lake effect snow was coming off all the Great Lakes.  The snows from the Great Lakes sometimes make it all the way to Vermont's Green Mountains, but usually it's only a limited amount of snow, confined to the upper elevations in a narrow area of the state's mountains.

But a very subtle weather disturbance - almost too small to be detected by meteorologists - moved over the Great Lakes and made it into northwestern New England yesterday. This disturbance was able to pick up lake effect snows from Lakes Superior, Huron, Ontario and Erie and bring it all the way over to us.

Hence the surprise snow. It is kind of cool in a weather geeky way that we managed to get lake effect snow in Vermont from four of the five Great Lakes.

It's warmer today and tonight ahead of a cold front, so some of the snow will melt. But don't worry, skiers and riders! The general trend through early next week is for chilly weather. Cold fronts tomorrow and Sunday will bring more mountain snow showers, ,and possible a little more lake effect snows courtesy of the Great Lakes.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Traveling For Thanksgiving? Looks (Mostly) Great Nationwide

Fortunately, for the vast majority of Americans, Thanksgiving
travel won't look like this this year because there are
no large storms on the horizon.
It seems like every Thanksgiving, when people are traveling all over the country to talk turkey with their far-flung families, there's a big storm mucking things up in much of the nation.

Not this year.

Most of us are going to have a quiet Thanksgiving travel week, but of course there are a few exceptions.

Broadly, there is a general west to east air flow across the country, with no big southward dips or northward leaps in the jet stream.

That means no big storms can form, since there's no real opportunity for a wannabe storm to scoop large amounts of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. And there's no big opportunity for Arctic air to plunge way south, which would set up a temperature contrast to spawn a big storm.

Instead, there are just little moisture-starved features zipping along, mostly along the northern tier of the United States.

That means not much precipitation, if, anywhere in almost all of the nation. It'll be rather chilly or the most part in the northern third of the country, but not extremely cold. The south and west of the country will be generally warm, especially in the southwest, say, southern California, Arizona and those areas, which could see record high temperatures over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Many of us will tune into the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, and conditions look good there, too. At parade time, it will be sunny and chilly, with rather light winds so the giant inflatable characters in the parade will behave and not blow away.

One trouble spot would be the Pacific Northwest, where on onshore flow will probably bring a fair amount of rain and mountain snow, which would affect road travel and perhaps delay flights Wednesday.

It looks like some Gulf of Mexico moisture will head toward Florida so the Sunshine State isn't lookintg particularly sunny this Thanksgiving.

On Sunday, when a lot of us will be traveling back home, it looks like the same weather pattern will be holding, so I don't expect huge problems then, either.

Locally, here in Vermont, a cold front will zip on through, mostly Wednesday morning. We'll get some rain showers, changing to snow showers, especially in the mountains. There might be a few slick spots, mostly in the higher elevations, but no big mess.

Thanksgiving Day itself (when I travel from St. Albans to Rutland, Vermont) will have quiet weather, so if you have to drive somewhere in the Northeast, don't worry.

Safe travels, everyone and Happy Thanksgiving week!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Warm World Continued In October

Yearly global October temperatures from the
1880s to now. See a trend?
A strong cold front is sweeping past my house in northwestern Vermont this Sunday morning as I write this, and rain will soon change to snow showers.

It's going to be another chilly day, which has been the trend around here for the past couple of weeks.

However, the worldwide warmth seems to be continuing, at least as far as NOAA data from October is concerned.

NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information put out their monthly report late last week and said October on a global scale was the fourth warmest on record.

What makes coming in at Number 4 rather than Number 1 is that we are settling into a La Nina pattern in the Pacific, which tends to cool the world a little bit. The opposite, El Nino, warms the eastern Pacific and tends to make the entire globe a bit warmer. The record hot years of 2015 and 2016 were generally El Nino, or at least neutral years.

So far, 2017 is the third warmest year on record, with only 2015 and 2016 being hotter.

Here in Vermont, we contributed our tiny bit to make October the third hottest global one on record. Vermont had, by far, its hottest October on record.

So far here in Vermont, November is running a little cooler than normal, but that obiously won't have much of an effect on the overall global temperature readings for the month.

Because of global warming, we are permanently having warmer than normal months on a global basis. The only question about November is how much warmer than average will it be, and will it be another top 10 warmest November?

We'll watch that report when it comes out in another month.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Russians Have Problems Driving In The Winter, Too

Chaos in Vladivostok, Russia streets during the first
major snowstorm of the season. Image from RT.
Russia has a pretty wintry weather reputation, but that doesn't mean everybody can handle the cold season.  

The most recent example comes from Vladivostok, which had just had a slippery snowstorm (which is not at all unusual for mid-November in that city. )

It was the first major storm of the winter, which always seems to catch people off guard.

Like in cities in the United States and elsewhere, things did not go well on the roads and highways around Vladivostok.

The Russian news and propaganda agency RT says there were at least 256 accidents around the city due to the storm.

Let's not get too smug here in the U.S. There's already been plenty of winter-related car mishaps and there will be many, many more before winter ends.

The video below shows you the traffic jams and the wrecks that ensued during the snow in Vladivostok and is an instructional video of what not to do when it snows. Although the cat at the very end gets it right by staying indoors and just observing.


Friday, November 17, 2017

Geeky But Wicked Cool NASA Video Shows Sea Salt, Smoke And Hurricane Interaction

An image from NASA's visualization of aerosols in the
atmosphere during the hurricane season. The blue and
white swirls over the oceans are hurricanes and other
storms concentrating sea salt in the atmosphere. The ghostly
white stuff in western North America is smoke from wildfires.
I just came across a cool visualization video that shows how aerosols in the atmosphere such as sea salt, smoke from wild fires and dust from the Sahara Desert interact and move around the world.

I know, I know, it sounds just a bit dull and science-y, but definitely watch the video at the bottom of this post. It's mesmerizing. Even to people who aren't weather geeks.

Says NASA:

"This visualization uses data from NASA satellites, combined with mathematical models in a computer simulation (that) allows scientists to study physical processes in our atmosphere. By following the sea salt that is evaporated from the oceans, you can see the storms of the 2017 hurricane season."

That is perhaps the most striking feature of the video. You can see high concentrations of salt gathered up in strengthening and strong hurricanes like Harvey, Irma, Maria and Ophelia.

A unique feature of Ophelia that you can see in the video is how it sucked up sea salt, like all hurricanes do, but also Saharan dust and smoke from deadly wildfires in Portugal, and that helps explain the odd smoky skies over Britain as Ophelia and its post-tropical remnants blustered through.

Another fascinating part of the video is how you can see wildfires break out in western and northern Canada, and in the western United States, then watch the smoke blow across the continent and over to  Europe and Asia.

The erupting wildfires are seen as dense pinpoint plumes of smoke before the smoke and ash disperse over wide areas.

The video sure helps explain why the sky was so often hazy and smoky over Vermont in August and September. A lot of wildfire smoke blew our way.

Smoke from the increasing trend of wildfires is raising health concerns as all the additional smoke from longer and more intense fire seasons is affecting human health, especially in areas relatively close to the fires.

You'll probably want to watch the video repeatedly to catch all the activity going on with the hurricanes, salt and smoke.

Here's the video:

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Watch Out In Vermont During Friday A.M. Commute: Looks Icy To Me

A rainbow graced the November skies over St. Albans
Vermont Thursday. Snow will probably grace the ground
by Friday morning, with a dusting to two inches
likely in the valleys, maybe more in the mountains.
Today was a pleasant, classic November day in Vermont.

Lots of dark, brooding clouds overlooking a landscape of gray, leafless trees. Shafts of sunlight cut through the clouds, and a few rain showers managed to produce some rainbows to light up the otherwise dark late autumn vibe.

Also typical of November, things are about to change abruptly, as they always do this time of year.

It was pretty mild today, but a sharp cold front is on our doorstep. Upper level support, moisture - a lot of it from the Great Lakes - and favorable winds will give many of us some snow late tonight.

The weather set up looks like that - unlike last Friday - the snow showers will extend into the Champlain Valley. That means most of us are in for a dicey, icy Friday morning commute, not just the people who live up in the high elevations or in central Vermont away from the lake. Those places will get some snow, too, so it looks like we're all in for it.

There's a good chance Burlington could see its first measurable snowfall of the season. It won't be much - probably less than an inch - but with rapidly falling temperatures, melting snow will then refreeze on the roads.

The western slopes of the Green Mountains stand to get more snow out of this, probably one to three inches. And the summits of the central and northern Green Mountains, , like the top of Mount Mansfield and Jay Peak, could come in with six inches of fresh powder.

I'm sure that will encourage the skiers. The resorts are opening at a fast pace, thanks to chilly weather that is encouraging snow making. The snowfall tonight and tomorrow morning will just add to the mood.

Another storm over the weekend will produce first a little mix, then rain regionwide, then mountain snow showers Sunday. The mountains could pick up a few inches on Sunday.

Winter is settling in.

Flooding In Greece Kills At Least 14 Damage, More Floods Feared

Destruction from severe flash flooding in Greece
this week
The weather across the United States is relatively quiet, other than quite a bit of wind and rain over the Pacific Northwest. 

However, as usual, the weather isn't staying quiet in other parts of the world.

The worst and most tragic situation is in Greece, where flash flooding has killed at least 15 people and has left widespread destruction.

The hardest hit area seems to be a heavily populated region called Attica, near Athens. The Greek government has declared three days of mourning because of the disaster.

Forecasters fear a that the weather pattern over the Mediterranean will encourage more heavy rain and flooding in Greece over the next couple of days.

Here's a video of a the powerful floodwaters, and a Greek highway overrun with water, with scary results. It reminds me of an even worse version of the extremely frightening 2016 flash flood in downtown Ellicott City, Maryland.  

This video shows the destruction in the aftermath of the powerful flood:

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

You MUST Skip Stones Across A Frozen Pond Or Lake

This dude reacts after, for the first time in his life,
he skipped a stone across a frozen lake.  He's
obviously amazed at the sound. 
As yesterday's weather proved in Vermont, there's usually not much  joy or action or beauty during November in the North Country.  

Typical of this time of year, it was overcast and dark and dreary and quiet and gray. A few snowflakes descended through the chilly air from time to time. The forests, now devoid of leaves, was as gray as the depressing sky.

So you've got to find the cool things. Here's one thing I have done, especially as a kid, that you should go out and do, too.

Ponds and quiet coves in lakes are beginning to freeze this time of year. Please don't walk out on the ice, as it's way too thin to support you. You'll fall through.

Instead, pick up a rock and skip it across the frozen surface. Many of us Vermonters and other northerners have done this, and it's rewarding for the cool sounds it makes. If you have not given yourself the pleasure of doing this, please do it!

If you want a preview, watch this guy's reaction when he tries this for the first time in his life.

Live Science explains why you get sci-fi sounds when you skip a rock out onto a frozen lake:

".......The lake ice acts like a vibrating plate. When the stone hits, the impact launches a bending wave           (also called a flexural wave) in the ice. The bending wave travels at supersonic speed and continuously radiates sound into the air while it zips forward (away from the impact).......Because short waves travel faster than long waves, the higher pitches, or frequencies, hit your ear first."

So, you hear the higher pitch sounds separated from the lower pitches that are combined when the rock hits the ice. You need to be a little distance away from impact. If you drop the rock on the ice next to you, you just get a boring thud. So give the rock a good throw when you try this.

I will surely find a frozen pond soon to do this, as I often do. I'm still a kid at heart.

Here's a video of what you'll hear:

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Carbon Emissions To Hit Record High This Year

Global carbon emissions are expected to rise this year
after three years of no growth, disappointing c
climate change activists
Carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels will reach a record high this year, according to news from the UN world climate summit ongoing now in Bonn, Germany.

Emissions had been flat for the past three years, which raised some hopes that the long decades long increase in carbon emissions had finally peaked. The carbon emissions are of course what is behind global warming.

As the Guardian points out, however, you can't read too, too much into one year. The increase this year was driven by an improved world economy. Increased industrial and economic output corresponds to increased carbon emissions.

Also, a piece of the problem was dry weather in China, which reduced hydroelectric power output. So  China resorted to fossil fuels to make up the difference.

Growing economic powers like China are emphasizing more renewable resources, like wind and solar, though coal and oil are still mainstays of China and the rest of the industrialized world.

The Guardian article reflected mixed reactions in the world of climate change watchers.

"The news that emissions are rising after the three-year hiatus is a giant leap backwards for humankind....Pushing the Earth closer to tipping points is deeply concerning. Emissions need to peak soon and approach zero by 2050," said Amy Luers, executive director of the global research initiative Future Earth.

Other officials said there's naturally going to be year to year fluctuations in carbon emissions. It's possible 2017 will turn out to be a blip in an otherwise steady or slowly falling carbon emissions trend. Who knows?

Monday, November 13, 2017

Pine Cones And Acorns: Why There's So Many This Year

White pines weighed down by a multitude of pine
cones in Burlington this past summer
The other day, I brought a load of yard waste from a client to a Chittenden Solid Waste District drop off site and nearly fell trying to walk across a big patch of acorns somebody left there. It was like walking on marbles.  

It turns out lots of people are cleaning up TONS of acorns and pine cones and such from their yards this fall. And there's a meteorological reason why. (With me, everything turns to the weather, doesn't it?)

An excellent article by Rebecca Way in the Vermont State Parks blog has an excellent explanation why, but I'll summarize it here.

The summer and fall of 2016 were quite dry here in Vermont, and much of the rest of the Northeast for that matter. When trees are stressed, they produce more cones, seeds and acorns than normal.

These cones and seeds and such started to develop in 2016 as a survival mechanism against the drought. (Produce a lot of seeds and you're more likely to get more seedlings to start growing, which would help perpetrate the species despite the strains of the drought, had it continued on into 2017.)

The summer of 2017 turned out to be rainy enough for trees to survive and thrive just fine. So all those pine cones and acorns and seeds developed just fine, too. You might have noticed over the summer the new pine cones were so plentiful that they weighed down the branches of white pines as if the branches were burdened with a snow or ice storm.

There's also a lot of acorns for the squirrels and you to clean up. And there were plenty of apples this year, too, so that means lots of apple pies for us to enjoy this year.  On top of that, you have plenty of pine cones and red berries to add to your natural holiday decor.

I imagine there will be fewer pine cones and acorns next year, since there were not particular drought stresses on trees this year. True, much of September and October were pretty dry, but that came at the tail end of the growing season, so it won't affect trees all that much. Especially since the rains returned in recent weeks, which put moisture in the ground to start off next spring.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Record Cold Over; But It Was Impressive

After a remarkably warm fall, a record cold snap hit the
Northeast the past couple of days, including New York
City. Photo bu Shannon Stapleton/Reuters
It's still kind of cold this Sunday in the Northeast, but we are climbing out of a pretty remarkable cold snap.

High temperature records are still far outpacing record lows, but this brief frigid spell was impressive.

Dozens of record lows were reported over the past couple of days from Minnesota to New England.

One of the record lows, 24 in New York City's Central Park, was the first time they had any kind of record low in the first half of November since 1976.

Other record lows included 5 in Saranac Lake, New York. In Dubois, Pennsylvania, the record low of 9 was impressive because it far, far exceeded the previous record low of 23.

Here in Vermont, Burlington avoided a record low, but Springfield had a record 15 degrees and Morrisville hit a record low of 16 degrees.

The weather this week here in Vermont will return to something pretty normal for mid-November. Highs will be in the upper 30s and 40s, but there will be little precipitation, if any, until Thursday, when some rain showers will move in. Expect a lot of clouds, through the period, though, as is typical for November.

We're watching a potential storm for next weekend that will probably give us some rain around Saturday, and possibly some snow Sunday.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

New Delhi, India, Choking In Toxic Smog

Thick smog in New Delhi this month. Photo by Altaf
Qadri/Associated Press
In 1952, a deadly smog enveloped London, England.   

In those days, coal and polluting fuels heated homes and businesses and basically powered the city.

During one of those famous London fogs, all those pollutants got trapped within the fog, causing a four-day dense cloud of smog that killed an estimated 4,000 people.

London has literally cleaned up its act, and pollution there rarely gets to dangerous levels.

Not so in other cities in the world.  Beijing, China is famous for its toxic pollution.

So is New Delhi, India, which is now enveloped in a smog so bad that it's being compared to that terrible London smog of 1952.

The smog cloud in New Delhi, like most pollution outbreaks is caused by an inversion, which is warm air over the top of cooler air that acts like a lid, preventing pollutants and smoke and such from rising and moving away. So it sits there.

Illegal crop burning at farms surrounding New Delhi, vehicle emissions and construction activity and dust are pouring into the New Delhi air, and the pollutants keep accumulating under this inversion.

The Straights Times says New Delhi is trying to deal with the immediate crisis by reducing the number of cars allowed to be driven on its streets each day, banning commercial trucks unless they're carrying essential commodities, new construction has been stopped and charges for parking cars has quadrupled to force people into public transportation. Schools are shut down.

But that's not really doing the trick. There has been a 20 percent spike in hospitalizations due to heart and lung problems. The amount of microscopic particles in the polluted air is 75 times what the World Health Organization considers safe. Breathing the air is the equivalent of smoking two packs of cigarettes per day. 

And this pollution attack isn't a one-off. It's happening with increasing frequency in New Delhi and other cities in India and elsewhere in Asia.

And remember how I said London and England's air is cleaner? That's true, but it's still too polluted even there. Of 51 British towns and cities in a WHO database, 44 have too much air pollution, the Independent said.

Meanwhile, in the United States, air quality has also improved since the 1960s and 1970s but still sometimes falls short.

Don't expect even cleaner U.S. air in the coming years. Robert Phalen is an appointee to a Trump White House environmental panel. Phalen has said that "Modern air is a little too clean for optimum health."

He claims that children should be exposed to some dirty air to teach their immunie systems to ward off irritants, or something like that.

Hope you love breathing microscopic, toxic particles, folks!

Friday, November 10, 2017

That Impressive Cold Front Last Night Will Bring Near Record Cold To Some Northeast Cities

Boy, that was as impressive of a November cold front as you could get last night.

City forecast that are circled are where record
lows are threatened Saturday morning. Click on
the map to make it bigger and easier to see
When it rolled past my house shortly before 12:30 a.m. it was accompanied by thunderstorms, which brought cloud to ground lightning, loud thunder and quite a bit of pea-sized hail.

The National Weather Service office in South Burlington also reported thunderstorms.

As expected, the temperature plummeted behind the front, as strong northwest winds are blasting the cold air into the Northeast.

The strong winds will continue today and wind advisories are up for sizeable portions of New York and New England. Winds could gust to 45 mph, which would cause some scattered power outages once again

Temperatures before dawn ranged from the teens in northern New York to the 30s in central New England. Those temperatures will either stay steady or continue to fall the rest of the day.

Although not unprecedented, this is a strong cold snap for mid-November, and quite a few record lows for the date will be broken across the Northeast. The record low for Saturday in Burlington is 16 degrees, and current forecasts have the temperature dropping to 14 degrees.

I still wouldn't be surprised if a few of the cold pockets in the mountains get to zero.

The last time I saw a cold snap that threatened so many record lows was Valentine's Day, 2016.

Already, some records in the Midwest have fallen. It's even worse than here in some northern zones out that way.

International Falls, Minnesota, normally considered an icebox, is even more so. Both yesterday and this morning, it got down to 13 below in International Falls, breaking yesterday's daily record of 0 and today's daily record of -6. Duluth, Minnesota also saw record cold yesterday and today.

The record low of 18 degrees in Chicago was tied. At last check, Green Bay, Wisconsin had set a new low temperature record for today's date with 11 degrees.

However, like that Valentine's cold snap, the current one will be brief. We just have to endure a couple days of cold. By Sunday afternoon, temperatures will not exactly be warm, but not far from average for November.

Those highs Sunday in the upper 30s to mid 40s in Vermont will seem tropical after today and Saturday.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

We're Still On For Biting Cold Tomorrow, Saturday

Get ready for midwinter cold Friday
and Saturday in the Northeast
November so far isn't following the playbook of September and October playbook here in Vermont and the rest of the Northeast.  

Gone is the persistent warm to record warm weather, and welcome to winter.

The first week of November here in Vermont was a little warmer than normal, but not to the extreme of the previous two months. And we're still bracing for quite a blast of Arctic weather tomorrow and Saturday.

The coming slam of cold air is far from unprecedented for mid-November; we do get this sort of thing from time to time in November. Still, a few towns and cities in the Northeast could have some near record cold for the date Saturday morning.

Here in Vermont, I'd still expect some icy roads for the Friday morning commute, especially in the north and mountains. When the cold front comes through tonight, there will initially be some rain, them some snow showers and snow squalls.

Accumulations won't amount to much, and in some areas, there will be no snow accumulation at all. But the temperature will plummet sharply after the cold front and any water on the roads and sidewalks will freeze super quickly.

This is the first time this fall that there is a risk of icy roads. People are particularly stupid the first time of the year we get this type of thing, so you're probably going to be late for work. Because the people ahead of you will probably cause car crashes. Leave for work early.

And take your ski parka. With expected high temperatures in the 20s Friday with wind chills in the single digits, it'll basically be a typical mid-January day.

Temperatures Friday night will bottom out in the single numbers, with some lower teens in the "warmer" spots near Lake Champlain. I wouldn't be surprised if a few of the coldest hollows flirt with zero degrees.

There might be clouds and flurries near the east shores of Lake Champlain as the contrast between the very cold air and the relatively warm waters will produce clouds and perhaps lake effect flurries. The overall air mass will be quite dry Friday and Friday night, though, so I don't expect anything substantial off the lakes.

In western New York, south of Lake Ontario especially, there could easily be a brief period of lake effect snow as well. The dynamics of the cold front, and the sharp drop in temperature and the contrast with the warmish water of the lake, could actually trigger a thundersnow squall or two.

Saturday will also feature mid-winter cold, but with lighter winds and sunshine, it won't be quite a bad. Then from Sunday onward, it's back to seasonable November weather -- highs in the 40s. Which means winter hasn't permanently settled in just yet. Give it time.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Reality Show Host As President Creates Own Climate "Reality"

Trump is running a fake climate "reality" show that is
anything but reality 
We all know that those "reality shows" on TV aren't actually reality. They're pretty scripted.

These shows create the illusion of reality and we're entertained by it. It's all harmless fun, really.

What do you do, though, when a reality show host and huckster lands in the White House, like Donald Trump somehow did.

Trump's good at one thing: Putting on a show to obscure reality and give us a bunch of fiction. And his crowning achievement in this realm is climate change.

He and his minions are trying so hard to pretend climate change doesn't exist that they've created their own reality. And the number of efforts in this regard are breathtaking.

I'll list just some of them in a minute, but Trump the reality show host keeps having actual reality thrust on him. Though I'm sure he doesn't care. The show must go on.

As noted in the Category 6 weather and climate blog, the latest salvo is a Climate Science Special Report, an initial report from a congressionally mandated effort by hundreds of U.S. scientists that assesses how climate is changing in the United States.

The report says humans are likely responsible for 93 to 123 percent of Earth's net global warming after 1950, notes Category 6. 

Wait a minute, how can humans be reponsible for more than 100 percent of the warming, as the report suggests?

It turns out there's a decent chance that if it weren't for us burning fossil fuels and releaseing tons and tons of greenhouses gases into the air, the world might have actually slightly cooled since 1950.

Trump and his group, though, continue their full court press to obscure facts like those that appear in this assessment, and facts agreed upon by almost all climate scientists.  There's so many examples I don't know where to begin.

This week, Syria signed the Paris Climate Accord. Last month Nicaragua did. That makes the United States under Trump a rogue nation. Because now, the United States is the only nation on the planet not to sign on to the accord. We were in, of course, but now Trump is trying to back us out.

Trump's move is deeply unpopular both globally and within the United States, but what does he care about what voters want?

Trump's Environmental Protection Agency would not allow its scientists to speak at a recent Rhode Island climate change conference. The Trump administration won't replace aging satellites that monitor Arctic sea ice, and the Republican-led Congress ordered an alternative sea ice monitoring system dismantled because it doesn't want to pay for storage costs.

Yep, keep pretending climate change isn't reality. Just keep "enjoying' Trump's alternative reality show. It'll all come back to bite us.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Winter To Finally (Briefly) Hit At The End Of The Week

We might get a dusting of snow, like this one pictured last
November in St. Albans, with a strong cold front Thursday
night. Winter cold to follow Friday, Saturday.
Yesterday's post remarked about how warm the autumn has been and how things are still growing in the garden and all that jazz.  

True, but we New Englanders now need to rush our winter preparation to completion, as winter is going to hit very abruptly, but probably rather briefly late in the week.

It'll be seasonably cold through Thursday, with highs in the upper 30s and 40s across Vermont, but then, watch out! A strong cold front will arrive Thursday night.

Some snow showers or even snow squalls will probably accompany the front, especially in the north and mountains.

Accumulations won't amount to all that much, but the dustings of snow along with the rapidly falling temperatures will almost certainly slicken up many roads later Thursday night and for the Friday commute.

Yeah, it's that time of year.

For many of us in northern Vermont, the temperature will fall below freezing Thursday night and not rise above freezing again until Sunday. Friday will seem brutal, even though we can get this type of weather in mid-November.

But how brutal? Try high temperatures in the 20s with winds gusting to 30 mph. That translates to a wind chill in the single digits. Some of us have yet to see an overnight low in the 20s, so this will seem like quite a shock. By the way, the last time we had a day with a high temperature that stayed below freezing, at least in Burlington, Vermont, was way back on March 16.

On the bright side, this will finally get the Vermont and other north country ski areas to get their snow guns out, and start covering slopes with what will hopefully be ski-able snow soon.

On the even brighter side, if you don't like deep cold, winter will ease its grip for a little while after Saturday. Temperatures will begin to ease up later Saturday and by Sunday and Monday, we'll be back in the 40s again. Not warm, exactly, but not midwinter conditions either.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Incredibly Warm Autumn Creates Unheard Of November Vermont Gardens

Once again, we're waking up to incredibly warm autumn weather here in Vermont, just as we consistently have all season.

The end is nigh, at least temporarily, as we are in for a week of seasonable November weather. That means highs in the 30s and 40s lows in the 20s Tuesday through next Sunday, with maybe some snow Thursday night and Friday.

That kind of weather is perfectly normal in a Vermont November, but it will feel abnormal because of the warmth we had.

We've come off the hottest October on record, by far, and one of the hottest Septembers. The first week of November was well above normal. Totally unprecedented for these parts.

Which makes putting my gardens to bed weird, since things were still going in early November. This in a location so far into northern Vermont that I can literally see Canada from my house.

Until last year, I never picked an edible tomato from a Vermont garden in October. This year, I picked on in early November. No frost protection, no nothing.

I ate salad greens from the garden yesterday. My zinnias are hanging in there. And a patch of hyacinth near the shed, which usually blooms in early spring, is attempting to blossom.

Meanwhile, it's supposed to be stick season. All the leaves should be off the trees in Vermont by now. Most of them are, but there are still flashes of color as we begin the second week of November.

Lots of people have asked me if this warm autumn will have any influence on what kind of winter we will have. The answer is probably not.

Despite the variety of long range forecasts you hear, it's really impossible to tell precisely what kind of winter we'll have. Will the other shoe drop? After all, no good weather in Vermont goes unpunished, so that would bring us intense cold and snow.

On the other hand, winters are not the same as they used to be, thanks in large part to global warming. Will this be another mild winter? Could be.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

A Busy Weather Day Great Lakes To NE To Canada; Storms, Wind, Rain

One of thousands of trees that blew over in Vermont during
last week's windstorm. This one is in Milton. Gusty winds
today could bring down a few more branches and power
lines, but today's gusts won't be as bad as last week's.
Welcome to another active Sunday in the weather department.

Parts of the Midwest, Northeast, Great Lakes region and into southern Ontario and Quebec can expect a variety of things to watch out for.

Here in Vermont, wind will be the problem, but it won't be as big a problem as last Sunday and Monday, that's for sure. I'll have more on the Vermont wind in a moment.

We'll first pick today's hazards apart one at a time:


As expected, parts of Illimois, Indiana, Ohio and some surrounding areas are under the gun for severe storms and possible tornadoes today.

I was impressed by how rapidly the first volley of storms formed in eastern Illinois this morning. Went from nothing to hailers in seemingly a half hour or less. This first wave won't be the severest of them. The tornado and big hail and damaging wind threat comes this afternoon.

It looks like the target zone for tornadoes today would be southern Illinois, southern and central Indiana and western and central Ohio. Big hail and strong damaging winds are a definite possibility in this area as well.


The highest flooding threat because of locally heavy rain today and tonight from central Indiana, much of Ohio and on into Pennsylvania.  Training thunderstorms - repeated storms that roll over the same area - could dump up to six inches of rain in this area, which of course would trigger flash flooding.

Heavy rain could extend tonight up through western New York, the St. Lawrence River valley and parts of southern Ontario and Quebec.

These areas had two to five inches of rain in last weekend's storm, so it wouldn't take much to trigger some flooding in these areas. Further east into Vermont and the rest of New England, some of the showers could be briefly heavy tonight and Monday, but will fall well short of being able to cause flooding, so no worries there.


The actual worry, especially in northwestern Vermont, is strong winds today. I'll emphasize the wind today will definitely NOT be nearly as severe as what we had late Sunday night and Monday morning.

Still, the wind was picking up outside my house in St. Albans, Vermont as of mid-morning.  I already saw a couple more small branches come down.  Gusts were already as high as 47 mph out on Lake Champlain at Colchester Reef. The wind will only get stronger late this morning and through the afternoon.

Northern New York and the northern half of the Champlain Valley is under a wind advisory for gusts to around 50 mph. Winds will be somewhat less strong elsewhere in Vermont and the rest of New England.

This kind of wind is enough to take down some trees and power lines. This is especially true now, because we have trees and branches weakened by the even stronger gusts nearly a week ago. And although utility crews had power back to almost everybody in Vermont by Saturday, not all line and pole repairs are finished. Some temporarily jury rigged lines might not hold up in today's wind. We'll see.

Just to be on the safe side, I'd fully charge your smart phones and have those flashlights ready again.

After the rain pushes through tonight and tomorrow, dry, seasonably cool weather should take over for the middle of the week around here

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Another Active Weather Weekend, But New England Not Ground Zero

Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes are possible
across the middle of the nation Sunday. 
There will be lots of weather activity to report in the nation again this weekend, but unlike a week ago, Vermont and New England won't be ground zero for the storm action.

That said, I worry that it will be windy enough Sunday into Monday to create new power outages across Vermont, just not as widespread as a week or so ago.

And there are more signs of winter. Winter weather advisories stretch all the way across the northern tier of states today from Montana all the way to the Upper Penninsula of Michigan. The gathering system in the middle of the country is drawing moisture into cold air in the north, causing widespread light ot moderate snow.

But the real weather action will rev up tomorrow, when a severe weather outbreak in the middle of the country looks like a real risk.  The focus of the severe thunderstorms and possible tornadoes seems to be Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and maybe southern Michigan.

The risk of tornadoes and large hail will be near a warm front lurking in that neck of the woods. We think of severe weather outbreaks as a spring and early summer phenomenon, but of course they can occur any time of year, given the right conditions.

In November, 2013, for example, a very bad tornado outbreak produced 70 twisters, some of them very strong, that killed a total of 11 people and caused $1.6 billion in damage, with Illinois being hardest hit.

Sunday's severe weather won't be as bad or as extensive as that in November, 2013, but people in the middle of the country will still want to keep an eye on the changing weather tomorrow.

Up here in New England, basically the same warm front that is affecting the middle of the country will come through here, but in a much calmer way. You'll notice clouds coming in this afternoon, the wind picking up tonight, and temperatures getting warm again later tonight and Sunday as the warm front passes through with light showers - definitely no severe weather.

However, those winds concern me. Gusts Sunday night and Monday ahead of an approaching cold front could reach 40 to even 50 mph. That's well short of the gusts we had in the damaging wind storm last Sunday and Monday.

However, there are trees weakened by last week's storm that could come down. In fact, although power is mostly restored from the storm in Vermont, there are still trees resting against active power lines in many areas.  Not all the mess is cleaned up yet. Winds could create new power failures, especially if the gusts shift damaged trees on or near power lines. I'd get the flashlights ready again, and charge those phones!

Showers will be scattered and light on Sunday, but be a little more intense Monday as the cold front passes through. Nothing super heavy, but it will be wet.

After that, we get into typical November weather, something we're not used to because it's been such a warm autumn. Expect high temperatures most of next week, after Monday to be in the upper 30s and 40s and lows in the 20s.

We're watching another cold front for Thursday night and Friday which could cause snow showers and snow squalls, which would slicken up the roads if they do happen. Yep, tis the season!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Newly Released Video Shows Hurricane Sandy Drama On New Jersey Beach

Video still of Sandy's assault on a barrier island
in New Jersey five years ago
The epic windstorm we had on Sunday and Monday came right around the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, which of course was a much worse storm, especially in New Jersey and the New York metro area.

As public radio station WHYY reports, somebody with the handle Bartski released on YouTube a fascinating video of the Sandy's approach, hit and aftermath on Normandy Beach, New Jersey, a barrier island that was under mandatory evacuation.

However, "Bartski" stayed behind to watch the storm, which was foolhardy. (Kind of like my husband, who stayed at a beach house in Rhode Island during the Perfect Storm in 1991. In that case, he awoke the morning after the storm to find that enormous boulders placed in front of the house had washed away.)

Anyway, the video show the orange glow of a fire that destroyed many cottages nearby. It also shows the worsening storm, with water coming onto the streets. The wildest and saddest parts of the video are near the end, which shows the destruction the next morning.

The video is 15 minutes long, but totally worth the view:

Thursday, November 2, 2017

If You Think The Weather Has Been Bad And Extreme Here....

Think the weather has been bad in New
England? Then check out this hail
in Argentina.
Some New Englanders are still waiting to get their power back after the huge windstorm Sunday and Monday took down countless trees and power lines.

Winds this morning are gusting as high as 40 mph outside my house in St. Albans, Vermont, which was really slammed by the storm Monday. Today's winds are nothing compared to those Monday morning, but I bet the gusts are complicating efforts to complete repairs.

I'm sure insurance agents are booked up full with claims for damage at homes and businesses.

But if you think the weather has been bad here, and it has, check out this quick video from Argentina, where a hailstorm a few days ago caused absolute havoc.

It hailed like hell, as you can see. It accumulated up to four feet deep, stranding motorists and causing lots of damage. The video is here just to prove to  you it could be worse:

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

More Big Heat Records Falls In Vermont, Northeast

Many cities in the Northeast, including here in Vermont
reported their hottest October on record this year.
The few cities that did not set the record came close.
If you're in Vermont and found it odd that you were sweating through the month of October, you were correct.

At Burlington, Vermont, October was by far the hottest on records, in data that goes back to the 1880s.

The mean temperature for October, 2017 was 58.6 degrees, a whopping 10.6 degrees above normal.

This month beat October, 1947 as the warmest by a full 2.2 degrees. It's almost unheard of for a monthly record to be set by more than half a degree, so this past month was truly impressive.

Every daily high temperature of the month was above normal, except one at midmonth that was right on normal, and yesterday, which was marginally cooler than normal.

All this comes after September, which was tied for the second hottest September on record. We're well on our way to have our warmest meteorological autumn (Sept. 1 - Nov. 30) on record. Of course that depends upon how November's weather works out.

Precipitation worked out to be very close to normal in Burlington in October, so at least that wasn't so far off the rails. It was a windy month, typical of October, with 10 days having gusts at or above 30 mph. This includes the epic wind storm on Monday, which brought a gust to 63 mph to Burlington.
I'm not sure how November will turn out - nobody is. But it looks like the first week or so of the month will swing wildly between much warmer than average weather and days that are near or a bit cooler than normal.

I did find out this morning from WBZ in Boston that Portland and Caribou, Maine, Hartford, Connecticut and Worcester, Massachusetts had its warmest October on record and Concord, New Hampshire and Boston had their second warmest.

New York's Central Park, where records go back 146 years, also had its hottest October on record. So the heat really is widespread through the Northeast.

Strong winds send leaves blowing off trees past a rainbow
in St. Albans, Vermont on October 24. Nearby Burlington,
Vermont set a record high of 78 for the date that day
in the midst of the warmest October on record.
This warm autumn has caused quite a few oddities out there in the real Vermont world. I will pick a cherry tomato and eat it today. In November! I will also gather some nice salad greens that have not been in a cold frame or anything like that. Some of my zinnias are still blooming. All this in northern Vermont in November!  

Several people have asked me what this warm autumn means for the kind of winter we'll have. I've seen all kinds of confident predictions about this winter, ranging from very warm to very harsh.

The short answer is nobody knows for sure what the winter will bring, and don't let them tell you otherwise. The National Weather Service does do long range forecasts as do many others, and for what it's worth, the NWS seems to suggest a rather warm winter for us. But they've certainly been wrong before.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Still Kinda Gusty As Crews Work To Restore Power

White pine trees held up particularly poorly in
this week's windstorm. This one bit the
dust in Milton, Vermont.
As of early this morning, close to 39,000 Vermont homes and businesses were still without power in the wake of that tremendous wind storm we had Sunday  night and Monday morning.

The winds remained gusty overnight and as crews restored power to some areas, new outages were reported.

Here at my house in St. Albans, Vermont, the power was out for seven hours Monday morning, then returned. But it went out again for an hour or two last night. Now, knock on wood, it's back on.

Some people probably won't get their power back until the weekend, we're told. On the very bright side, there are so far no reports of deaths or serious injuries in Vermont because of what was a truly dangerous storm.

There's a couple things making this situation worse than it would otherwise be. These windstorms usually tend to focus on one section of the state, which means power companies can focus all their crews and attention there. But this storm caused big problems state wide. 

On top of that, most states have a mutual aid agreement. If a particular state has an especially bad storm, crews from neighboring states come in to help. Not this time. That's because all the surrounding states had their own big time problems and had no crews to spare.

New Hampshire, New York and Massachusetts has massive power failures and damage from the storm. In Maine, the power outages with this storm were worse than the legendary ice storm of 1998, which until now had been that state's benchmark for worst case scenario.

Those surrounding areas were also contending with flooding, and coastal damage. Boats broke loose and in some cases sank in Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and Connecticut because of the storm.
Massachusetts and especially New Hampshire endured serious flooding.

There was still a flash flood watch in one section of northern New Hampshire this morning because there were questions about the structural integrity of a dam along the Androscoggin River. The Saco River went on a rampage Monday through Bartlett and Jackson, New Hampshire. There's a video at the bottom of this post of a house being carried away by a river in Warren, New Hampshire.

Some damage in Vermont is particularly bad. Seven Days says the Audubon Nature Center in Huntington, Vermont is close indefinitely because a falling tree smashed through their office and all the trails are impassable because of fallen branches and trees.

This is a particularly windy time of year, so more setbacks could yet come as a variety of weather systems and cold fronts come through.

Though the expected winds will not be nearly as strong as they were Monday morning, they could drop already weakened trees and power lines. Gusts to 30 mph or more are expected Thursday night and Friday, and we there's a risk of even stronger winds next Monday, perhaps in the 40 mph range.

We'll keep an eye on that for you.


Monday, October 30, 2017

Digging Out And Reconnecting After Epic Vermont Windstorm

A blue spruce fell against this house in Milton, Vermont
during the windstorm early Monday
As we struggle to get our electric power back, pick up the mess in our yards, contemplate the fallen trees and blown off roofing shingles, it's turned into a gorgeous late afternoon after the storm, at least in western Vermont.

It's still windy, but the sun has popped back out and the temperatures are still relatively mild for this time of year. A nice interlude to start cleaning up.

Lots of problems remain of course. As of 3:30 p.m. this Monday afternoon, a whopping 64,000 Vermont homes and businesses remain without power. It could take days to restore electricity in some areas.

Workers put tarps on a roof that lost many shingles in the
big windstorm in Milton, Vermont. 
Late this morning, those numbers translated to 150,000 Vermonters without electricity. That's roughly 25 percent of the state's population. At one point 1.4 people in New England had no electricity today.

Although my town, St. Albans, was pretty hard hit, I'm lucky. My power is back on. Most of the few patches of siding that were torn off my house can easily be put back in place. A large branch pierced the roof of my shed, but it looks easily repairable.

And I'll have to spend time picking up the countless branches down on my property. (It looks like I'll have a HUGE winter burn pile.)

Green Mountain Power, Vermont's largest utility, says 350 linemen, tree workers and others have mobilized to fix all these power failures.

Non-functioning traffic lights due to continued power
failures in Colchester, Vermont after the big windstorm
At least here in Vermont, the damage was hit and miss. Most of the strongest winds came from downslope winds off the west sides of mountains, especially the Green Mountains. The cause of this was screaming strong winds, in excess of 100 mph several thousand feet overhead.

In some places, lower level winds going up and over the tops of the mountains were able to "grab" some of the stronger winds aloft and translate them down to the surface, where we live.  That explains the pockets of heavy damage.

In other sections of the state, this "grab" didn't quite happen, so the winds weren't quite as strong in some aresa. Which left us with swaths of heavy damage, with many trees down, roof shingles gone and chaos, and other areas that had a rather stormy night, but nothing super scary.

A tangle of fallen trees in Milton, Vermont Monday after
the severe wind storm earlier in the dauy. 
Unlike most downslope wind events, the strongest winds were felt a several miles west of the Green Mountains, rather than along the immediate slopes.

That's why towns like St. Albans, Milton, Georgia and South Burlington were so badly affected. Towns closer to the Greens in the traditional wind belts also had trouble, too, but they've seen that, done that.

We can count ourselves lucky in Vermont, too, that it wasn't worse. Southern New England was blasted by even stronger winds than Vermont, and more damage, too. Mashpee, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod reported a gust of 93 mph. The wind gusted to 80 mph in Duxbury, Massachusetts.

And in southern New England, up to five inches of rain fell. So flooding accompanied the high winds. There were no reports of serious flooding in Vermont. In the White Mountains region of New Hampshire, rainfall of up to five inches caused damaging flash floods this morning.

My dog Jackson inspects the chaos on our back deck in St.
Albans after the severe windstorm tossed outdoor furniture
all over the place earlier Monday morning. 
Going forward, the weather in Vermont and much of the rest of New England will remain unsettled as we go into November, but that's normal for that time of year.

There's a good chance of showers from Wednesday night through Sunday, and there will be some fairly gusty winds at times, but nothing particularly dangerous.

Some of those rain showers will turn to mountain snow showers at times through the period, but again, that's normal in Vermont for early November.

I guess, then, it is now becoming safe to go out and clean up after one of the worst Vermont windstorms in recent decades.

Major Damage In Vermont, New England From Powerful Wind/Flood Storm

Strong winds early this morning ripped siding off my St. Albans,
Vermont house near the front door and cut power to the house, too.
(It was still too dark early this morning to get photos of more
dramatic damage.)
Power is out to at least tens of thousands of New Englanders early this morning as a very powerful storm brought huge wind gusts regionwide.

Damage is extensive. This blog will just have a few examples, but the bottom line is, take your time getting to work this morning.

There's lots of power failures, lots of traffic lights not working, lots of debris on the roads in Vermont and throughout the Northeast.

Many major roads in Vermont are closed, or were at least closed earlier this morning due to fallen trees, power lines and debris. These routes include Vermont 116 in Hinesburg, U.S 2 in East Montpelier, Calais and Plainfield; Vermont 15 in Jericho and Underhill, and several main roads in Colchester, says Vermont Public Radio

The heavily traveled commuter route I live on Route 36 is closed between St. Albans, just above my house, all the way to Bakersfield.

At my St. Albans, Vermont house, I would say several gusts exceeded 60 mph, which was common to the west of the Green Mountains. My power is out, and was out for most of the rest of St. Albans earlier.

Siding has been ripped off my house, and trees are down everywhere.

Since the power is out, I'm doing this blog from a convenience store in St. Albans, which does have power, for now. I'm overhearing plenty of customers saying they had to take long detours to get around roads blocked by trees and power lines. The gas pumps aren't working here.

Elsewhere in the region, fallen trees had blocked southbound lanes of Interstate 89 in Georgia, Vermont earlier, and the town of Milton is advising no travel through that town because of trees and debris in the streets.

Winds gusted to 63 mph at the National Weather Service office in South Burlington, Vermont. Wells, Vermont reported a gust to 78 mph and the top of Mount Mansfield gusted to 115 mph.

Many schools are closed. No fewer than 58,000 homes and businesses in Vermont were without power early this morning,  affecting more than 100,000 people.

This is easily Vermont's worst wind storm since December, 2012, if not longer.

Elsewhere in New England, 270,000 people were without power in Massachusetts. In and around Boston, several roads and closed by fallen trees. Several homes have been hit by falling trees. In Portland, Maine, power flashes were going off everywhere as trees and limbs collapsed onto power lines in the gales.

In the White Mountains of New Hampshire, a serious flash flood situation was evolving this morning.  The strong upslope winds wrung out heavy rains. Radars estimate that six inches of rain has fallen there.

As of 6 a.m., the wind has tapered off slightly in Vermont, but is still strong, and will remain a threat for a few more hours. The wind will shift from southeasterly to westerly. That will diminish the strength of the winds somewhat on the western slopes of the Green Mountains, but could increase the gusts in places that have largely escaped the worst of the winds.

It could take days to restore power in some areas of Vermont and surrounding states because the damage is so extensive. And the wind gusts will cause more power lines to fail in Vermont and the rest of the Northeast today, slowing the recovery efforts.

It's been an extreme autumn in the weather department here in Vermont and this was another example. But it was just the most destructive example of the oddball weather we've had.

As testimony of how strong the wind is, barometric pressures are near record lows in northern New York and western Vermont. I noticed the sea level pressure at Burlington was at 28.84 inches this morning, the lowest I've seen in many years. The pressure was down to 28.77 in Saranac Lake, closer to the storm's center.

I'll update as time and circumstances allow. Be careful out there this morning, even if the wind has tapered off where you are. You might still encounter fallen trees debris, power lines and such for the rest of the day.