Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Lingering Snow Falls This Afternoon As We Start Cleanup from Historic, Record-Breaking Snows.

A bit of work to do at this
Trumansburg, New York car dealership

OK, it can stop snowing now.

Snow continues to fall mostly lightly, across especially western Vermont as our storm slowly winds down.

There's not much additional accumulation going on, but it is harassing those of us who are trying to clean up, and it's keeping road conditions from improving as fast as we'd like.

Burlington, Vermont is up to 29.6 inches from this storm, just 0.2 inches from becoming the second biggest snowstorm in the city's history.

Still could do it, as a little light snow continues to fall in the Burlington area as I write this.

I made a mistake in this morning's post. It turned out Plattsburgh, New York DID achieve blizzard conditions in yesterdqy's storm. A blizzard is defined as at least three consecutive hours of visibility of a quarter mile or less in falling and/or blowing snow, with frequent gusts of 35 mph or more during that period.

Turns out Plattsburgh DID have that long a period with blizzard conditions. Ticonderoga, New York also have an official blizzard. Burlington, Vermont did not because winds weren't strong enough.

Other updated snow totals include 41 inches in Lake Placid, New York, 35 inches in Au Sable, New York, 32 inches in Westford, Vermont and 30 inches in several towns in the eastern part of Chittenden County, Vermont.

I'm still sure more updates are coming.  More details on snowfall are in this morning's post. You can scroll down and read it below this update.

Up in Quebec, the snow was deep, too, causing numerous buses and cars to get stuck overnight in the Montreal metro area. A 50 car pileup developed on a highway near Magog, Quebec.

Elsewhere, I should note a freeze warning is up for an ENORMOUS part of the southeastern part of the country, all the way down into northern Florida.

A record warm February caused a record early spring, and now a record cold wave is hitting that neck of the woods. We're still expecting most of this year's peach and pecan crop to be wiped out, along with other foods and veggies.

Temperatures will get into the mid and upper 20s in northern Florida, and thlow 20s, with maybe a few upper teens in Georgia and South Carolina.

The famed cherry blossoms in Washinton DC are absolutely screwed. They were about to bloom and the weather will probably kill a large proportion of them off.

The trees will survive to bloom hopefully next year, anyway.
My husband Jeff snapped this
pic this morning of me starting
the enormous task of shoveling
our driveway out of 26
inches of new snow. 

The blossoms managed to mostly survive cold weather last weekend and a snowstorm yesterday but temperatures might not get above freezing there this afternoon, and temperatures will bottom out at or just below 20 degrees in Washington DC tonight.

Very sad

Back up here in Vermont and the rest of New England, all this snow isn't going anywhere anytime fast. Unlike the snows of February, which rapidly disappeared amid record warmth, it's going to stay wintry for quire awhile.

Computer models disagree on a system for this weekend. Some of the models say a system will come in from the west and bring light snow, maybe a bit of rain in the valleys, and then another nor'easter will blow up off the New England coast.

Some models place that storm too far off the coast to have much of an effect, while other computer models suggest we might get more snow out of it. (But not 30 inches)

Then another sharp wintry cold wave blasts in for the middle and end of next week.


Here's a dramatic video of that snow covered big highway pileup near Magog, Quebec, and below that, you can read this morning's detailed post of this storm if you missed it.


My weather watching dogs Tonks (foreground) and
Jackson (in black) struggled with the two feet of new
snow outside my St. Albans, Vermont house this morning. 
It's still snowing in much of Vermont this morning, but nearly as hard as it did yesterday.

With snow still falling, we haven't finished re-writing the record books yet from this big March storm.

Already, though, the National Weather Service office in South Burlington, Vermont reported its largest March snowstorm on record with 25.9 inches. So far.

It was still snowing lightly there at last report. It's also the third largest snowstorm of any month in Burlington.

Looks like 25 inches of new snow outside my house in St. Albans, so far. It's still snowing. I've got a LOT of work to do outside, don't I?

Well, at least if I was itching to go anywhere, the National Weather Service is putting a stop to that. Yes, the blizzard warning has been cancelled, having been downgraded to a winter weather advisory in the Champlain Valley.  A winter storm warning continues in the Northeast Kingdom and in the mountains.

However, the National Weather Service, Vermont State Police and pretty much everybody else is saying that travel is TOTALLY not recommended in the state this morning. Roads are still hopelessly clogged.

As an aside, I noticed up on Montreal, about 300 motorists were stranded overnight on Highway 13 in the West Island. See? Even in urban areas, you can get in trouble with the kind of road conditions we have now.

Plows are working on it, but this amount of snow takes time. Plus, the wind is going to pick up again today, making the blowing and drifting all that much worse. And, as noted, some more snow is coming down.

They're expecting another one to three inches in the part of the Champlain Valley closest to the lake, two to five inches away from the lake, and four to eight inches additional in parts of northern Vermont and the mountains.

As the day wears on, the snow will become more and more confined to the spine of the Green Mountains and the western slopes. I can't wait to hear storm total reports from places like Jay Peak .


Some tips, since we haven't coped with a storm this big since March, 2011:

Take your time shoveling. Your boss, your school or whatever is going to give you some slack today if you show up late or not at all. Plenty of schools and businesses are closed today anyway, so don't panic. Or get somebody else to shovel and plow. There's always somebody looking to pick up an extra buck.

This is IMPORTANT: The first place you should shovel is near any exhaust vents for your house or building.  If you don't, carbon monoxide can back up into your house and kill you. And you do have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, right?
I don't think these vehicles in my driveway are going
anywhere anytime soon

If you want to warm up your car, and I don't know why if it's mired in two feet of snow, don't sit in it unless you are COMPLETLY sure there's a big clearing with no snow anywhere near the exhaust pipe.

Same problem as above here: A snow clogged car tailpipe will kill you with carbon monoxide.

Is there a fire hydrant buried in snow somewhere near your house? Give that priority too, and dig it out pronto. Shovel away a nice clearing away from the hydrant. That way, if there's an emergency, the fire department will be able to find and use the hydrant quickly.

Low on fuel and expecting a fuel delivery? Shovel a nice clear path to the intake valve. Fuel delivery people have to drag heavy hoses to fill the oil tank and it's just impossible if there's two feet of snow in the way.


As noted above, Burlington, Vermont had its largest March snowstorm on record with 25.9 inches, beating the record of 25.8 inches on March 6-7, 2011.

There was a blizzard warning up yesterday for parts of the North Country, especially the Champlain Valley. There might have been spots that qualified for a blizzard, but major reporting stations as far as I can tell fell short of a blizzard.

A blizzard is defined as at least three hours of visibility of a quarter mile or less in falling and/or blowing snow and frequest gusts to at least 35 mph.

Plattsburgh, New York came close. There was indeed a three hour period when winds gusted over 35 mph. Two of those hours had visibilities of a quarter of a mile, but in the third hour, visibility "improved" to a half mile.

Burlington did not come close. The city had several hours of visibility of under a quarter mile, but no prolonged periods with wind gusts over 35 mph.

But who cares if you didn't get an official blizzard. This was still a memorable storm, for sure.

Snow totals elsewhere in Vermont included 34 inches in Jay, 26 inches in Hyde Park and 29 inches in Jericho. Several places statewide are at or at least approaching two feet of new snow. I'm sure we'll get even bigger numbers later today

Elsewhere in the Northeast, Binghamton, New York had its biggest one day snowfall on record with 31.3 inches.

Numerous places in northeast Pennsylvania and areas of New York just across the border from Pennsylvania had 30 or more inches of snow. Same was true for many communities in New York's Hudson Valley.

Wind was the major factor in coastal New England. Winds gusted as high as 79 mph in Wellfleet and 77 mph at Plum Island, both in Massachusetts.

The wind, combined with wet snow and mixed precipitation, caused widespread tree and power line damage. Quite a few houses and cars were trashed by falling trees. A wind turbine toppled over in Rhode Island during the wind, and part of a church roof was blown off in Lowell, Massachusetts.

I'll have more updates later.

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