Friday, February 14, 2014

Most Intense Part of Snowstorm In Vermont Friday Morning.

You know what?
Web cam grab from a CCTV camera along
Interstate 89 in Bolton, Vermont at around 6:30
a.m. Friday demonstrates the challenges for
commuters in Northern New England this morning. 

Just stay home. Don't go to work today. Especially if you're in northeastern New York, much of Vermont, New Hampshire and western Maine.

The most intense part of the snowstorm is going on from before dawn this Friday into midmorning at least.

As of 6 a.m., it was really snowing hard as I see out my window in St. Albans, Vermont.  The few cars on the road are crawling slowly past my house through drifts and awful visibility.

Heavy snow is falling in bands moving across Vermont and surrounding areas, as was forecast.

Some of the snow bands are so intense, there's a slight chance of a rumble of thunder. Lighting detection maps weren't showing any activity as of 6 a.m., but there is a very small shot of getting some thundersnow.

Winds are gusting to or a little above 30 mph. The snow is powdery so it's blowing around easily in the gusts.

The upshot: The morning commute hours in northwestern New England are going to be just awful and really not worth it. Are you listening Burlington? Montpelier? Plattsburgh? Conway? Lebanon? Berlin -both of them?  Take a snow day. Don't even get in your car. The world will go on without you. Trust me.

Between the bands of heavy snow and the gusty winds, near whiteout conditions are expected at times, according to the National Weather Service in South Burlington. The snow will be falling onto and blowing across the roads so fast that the plow trucks will have trouble keeping up.

So stay home.  Yes, that's wimpy for a New Englander, but so what? At least wait until this afternoon when things will be getting better.

Most of the schools are closed anyway so you don't have to send the kids off. Sharpen and/or wax your skis, make sure your snowboard is ready to go and be ready to enjoy a powder day later today or tomorrow.

As of shortly after 6 a.m., it was a little early to get updates on how much snow has fallen so far. Here in St. Albans, among the last places to get into the snowband, there was only about 4 inches new as of 6:15 a.m, but the heavy snow had only started an hour earlier, so we'll have much more than that by the time the storm is done.

I'm sure some places in central Vermont are closing in on a foot.

The thinking is the same as last night in terms of what the snow totals will be. Expect to finish up with 8 to 16 inches across the northeastern third of New York, pretty much all of Vermont,  and most of New Hampshire and Maine.

A few spots, especially in favored mountain locations in those areas, could end up with two feet of snow.

That 8-16 inches with isolated amounts to two feet is about the amount of snow that fell in the entire path of the snowstorm up until now from northeastern Georgia all the way into New York State. That's an amazingly large chunk of real estate to get that much snow.  Definitely a rare, but not unprecedented event.

Back here in northern New England, the snow will slowly start to taper off at midday and by mid afternoon, it'll just be flurries and blowing and drifting snow to contend with. The exception is the western slopes of the Green Mountains, where it looks like the snow will keep going pretty much all day.

For those of you who will be digging out, or better yet, enjoying the fresh powder on Saturday, the good news is it's going to be fairly mild, with highs in the 25 to 30 degree range. So enjoy!

Another, smaller storm will zip through Saturday afternoon and evening, dropping a bit more light snow on northern New England.

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