Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Snow, Sleet, Rain, Wind, Temperature Swings In Store For New England

A classic winter covering of nice powdery snow in my
St. Albans, Vermont yard greeted me this morning.
That'll soon change with a bout of mixed precipitation
then rain expected later today and tonight. 
I'm a little later at starting to write today's installment of this blog thingy than I thought I would be today.

That's because I unexpectedly awoke this morning to three inches of fluffy snow on my driveway this morning and the damn thing needed shoveling.

I knew ahead of time it would snow last night as a weak system blipped on by, but I didn't think we'd get more than an inch, quite frankly. So the snow had a little more oomph than I thought.

The snow we woke up to this morning marks the start of an active weather pattern. We've had somewhat of a lull in the storminess the past few days, but that's over. Expect lots of changeable weather for at least the next week.

Toward the bottom of this post, I'll get into some very rough weather going on in other parts of the nation, but first I'll break down what we think will happen in Vermont and the rest of New England over the next few days:


This new snow is nice powder and you'd better enjoy it quickly because the next storm system is hot on our trail. It's much bigger than last night's little thing, and, as previously advertised, we've got a messy mix of precipitation to deal with here in New England (And that includes all of you, my fellow Vermonters.)

The highway crews did a nice job of clearing up last night's snow, and it's not all that bad out there this morning.  You won't be so lucky on your trip home from work and school late this afternoon.

All of Vermont, along with almost all of the rest of New England, New York and other spots in the Northeast are under winter weather advisories today.

As of 9 a.m. today, some precipitation had already made it into southern New England, and the main batch was moving across Pennsylvania, on a bee line toward us.

Here in Vermont, snow and/or a mix will move quickly from southwest to northeast across the state this afternoon. Most places will get one to three inches of snow before the changeover to sleet and freezing rain.

It's hard to say exactly what will be falling from the sky on your trip home this afternoon and evening. It depends upon where you are. Just  expect some messy stuff, and drive carefully.

The sleet and freezing rain won't be enough to break trees and power lines, but it will ice up the roads.  Eventually this will change over to rain tonight, first in the lowlands of southern Vermont and the Champlain Valley, last in the northern Adirondacks and St. Lawrence Valley of New York, and in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and northern New Hampshire.


Chances are you'll wake up to rain in Vermont and the rest of New England Wednesday morning, which will taper off. There will be a hint of spring for a few hours Wednesday as temperatures go up into the 40s in the North Country and 50s in southern New England.

There will be some sun, and a few scattered rain showers. Then, the storm's strong cold front will invade, with sharply falling temperatures and gusty winds spreading west to east from New York into and through New England Wednesday afternoon and evening.

Return to winter, folks!


The storm coming through tonight and Wednesday is going to be just a bit weaker than origionally thought. That means the forecast for a subsequent storm has been adjusted.

Had today's storm been stronger, another storm expected to develop along the Mid-Atlantic coast Thursday would have been whisked far out to sea, pushed there by the influence of the earlier storm. No problem for us.

Now, with the weaker first storm, the Thursday storm will be able to come closer to the coast as a nor'easter, just offshore.

It's still a bit tricky at this point to figure out how far inland precipitation will get in the Northeast, but in almost all places, it will be cold enough for snow.

The best chances for a plowable snow Thursday are in southern New England, especially close to the coast.

I suspect a little snow might sneak into southern Vermont, but we'll want to watch this thing. It's always possible the Thursday storm could swing a little further west than most forecasters think right now. That would mean more snow for parts of interior New England.

We'll wait and see, but the bottom line is the further north and west you go Thursday, the less likely you'll get snow, and the more south and east you go in New England, the more likely you are to encounter snow.


Expect seasonably cold weather and some patches of light snow as we in New England remain in a cold northwest flow with embedded weak weather systems squeezing out a little precipitation. No big deal, though.


The next somewhat stronger storm is expected to come through Sunday and Monday. Everybody is pretty sure there will be a storm then, but the track of this thing is totally up in the air, so we don't know exactly what will come out of the sky.

Early hints suggest that the storminess Sunday and Monday will be a bit colder than the one today and Wednesday, which hints at more snow and less mix. We'll wait and see.

After that, the weather pattern looks like it will stay quite active and interesting, but it's too far out in the distance to give you any real details.


The storm affecting us here in Vermont later today has brought near record warm temperatures today to the South. Moisture is streaming in from the Gulf of Mexico because of the storm, which is also producing the right dynamics for another severe weather outbreak.
Severe weather is possible today in parts of the nation
with the greatest risk in and near the orange zone 

The same areas slammed by a deadly tornado outbreak in January are under the gun today. The good news is I still don't think today's scary weather in the South will be as bad or as widespread as January's disaster.

Still, severe thunderstorms had already broken out in Arkansas this morning. Severe thunderstorms are possible today from the Ohio Valley to the Gulf Coast of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida panhandle.

Some tornadoes are certainly possible in the Gulf Coast states today, and the risk is also high for damaging winds and large, destructive hail.

Meanwhile, California, which got a break from its stormy winter last week, is back in the active pattern, too.

Another series of strong systems came ashore over the past few days, and one of them is still making its way through the Golden State today.

Flood warnings are widespread in central California today, with storm totals of three to six inches of rain expected in some areas.

The Sierra Nevada mountains are getting slammed with snow again. The snow pack there is the deepest in at least 20 years, which is a good thing, since all that snow will melt in the spring and summer, supplying California lowlands with needed water.

Oregon and Washington State are also under the gun today and over the next couple of days with heavy rain, snow and ice, depending upon elevation. Those states have had a rough winter this year, and that seems to be continuing.

Also, northern Idaho, buried in record snows this winter, is under another winter storm watch for up to a foot of new snow this week.

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