Sunday, February 12, 2017

All Set For Today's Sunday Snow

The Weather Channel's forecast snow map is as good as any
Notice the relatively lighter predicted amounts in
Vermont's Champlain Valley (five to eight inches) and
heavier totals in eastern New Hampshire and Maine
As expected, snow was moving out through New York State and into Vermont as of mid-morning Sunday.  

This will give Vermont its biggest snowstorm of the winter so far, although by historic standards, this will be a fairly run of the mill storm for us.

You should still take it seriously, though.

Road conditions will deteriorate pretty damn quickly through the late morning and afternoon.  The heaviest snow in Vermont will come down between about 2 p.m. this afternoon and 2 a.m. Monday.

Winter storm warnings remain solidly in place across Vermont and most of the rest of New England and New York.

It looks like the snow will come down hardest this afternoon and evening, though parts of the Champlain Valley will miss out on the very heaviest snow.  It'll certainly snow in places like Burlington and Middlebury, but not quite as hard as in other parts of the state.

During the first half of the storm southeast winds will create a "shadow." The Green Mountains will block some of the moisture with those southeast winds, so snow won't be quite as heavy on the west side -the shadow - of those mountains.

The National Weather Service in South Burlington is thinking five to eight inch storm totals in the Champlain Valley. Respectable, but not record breaking.

Those southeast winds riding up and over the mountains will wring out extra moisture on the east slopes of the Green Mountains, so the heaviest snow totals will be there. Look for up to 18 inches in those spots.

Most of Vermont can expect somewhere between eight and inches of new snow.

The bulk of Vermont's storm is really just one main piece of several disturbances and moisture and wind patterns that will crank up another explosive nor'easter.

That nor'easter will really crank up tonight and especially Monday. That big nor'easter will be too far east of us to give Vermont a huge amount of additional snow Monday. It'll snow lightly off and on, mostly on, during Monday.  

However, the nor'easter WILL be close enought to make very strong winds develop. Gusts will reach 40 mph Monday across most of Vermont. That means the powdery snow will be picked up by the winds to cause some really nasty blowing and drifting snow.

Expect whiteouts at time on the roads, and troublesome snowdrifts on the highways that will make things treacherous all day. The Monday morning commute will be worse than the afternoon one, but you'll need to be careful both trips.

The northwest winds will create the steadiest snow along the western slopes of the Green Mountains, making up for the relative lack of snow today, at least compared to other parts of the state. However, places closer to Lake Champlain won't get much new snow Monday.

Since the ultimate nor'easter will get going off the New England coast, Maine, coastal New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island are most under the gun for a blizzard or near blizzard Monday.

Today, places along the south coast of New England will probably have more ice and rain than snow before things go over to all snow tonight.  However, everything north of the Connecticut and Rhode Island borders should be snow today.

It's still unclear whether the most powerful part of the storm will linger over much of eastern Massachusetts, like Boston, but Cape Cop and the islands have a good shot of having another pretty nasty blizzard Monday.

Downeast Maine still looks like it's going to be pounded Monday by a wild blizzard, with up to two feet of snow and wind gusts in the 40 to 60 mph range. Yikes!

New Hampshire will at the very least share in the heavy snow, with up to two feet in some eastern parts of that state and in parts of the White Mountains. The heavy snow, the already fairly deep snow cover and expected strong winds have all prompted an avalanche watch in the White Mountains. 

In Canada, Nova Scotia and the southern half of New Brunswick are also in for a terrible blizzard too. They've had a rough winter in that neck of the woods to begin with, including several big snowstorms and a very destructive New Brunswick ice storm in January.

In this storm, parts of Atlantic Canada, including much of Nova Scotia, can expect a blizzard with one to two feet of snow propelled by gusts between 50 and 70 mph, says Environment Canada.

Also, storm surges will be a problem in New England, and more so in places like Nova Scotia

Weather in New England will have calmed down by Tuesday, though a new storm will sweep through Wednesday. At this point, it doesn't look too extreme, but the overall weather pattern is volatile, so a new nor'easter could spring up later Wednesday or Thursday.

If that does happen - and that's a big if - it would most likely hit eastern New England again.

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