The National Weather Service issued a winter storm advisory for the North Country into Vermont this afternoon bringing high winds and up to 12 inches of snow. Freezing rain is also possible in some isolated places.
This is the remnants of the storm that has been battering the mid-west for the last several days. There, this weather system was responsible for four deaths and record breaking snowfall. The storm as dissipated and weakened as it has travelled eastward, but is still a significant weather event.
With these winter weather advisories regions in St. Lawrence County can expect at least 3 to 6 inches of wet and heavy snow starting tonight and possibly lasting into Thursday. The NWS advisories are from 1 am Wednesday to 7 am Thursday.
The areas in the storm’s path include eastern Clinton, Essex, Franklin, and St. Lawrence counties. In Vermont Orleans, Lamoille, Caledonia and Washington counties willl be hit.
In Vermont…Western Clinton and Western Essex Counties in New York and Orange, Windsor and Eastern Rutland counties in Vermont can see up to 10 inches of heavy, wet snow.
According to Scott Whitier, meteorologist with the NWS in Burlington, VT, “precipitation will arrive across late Tuesday night across southern Vermont and portions of northern New York eventually affecting all of the North Country by Wednesday morning.” Because of the warmer temperatures, this storm will bring a combination of wet snow and wet snow and rain mixed in the valleys will continue through Thursday. Snowfall will be heavier in higher elevations.
This type of weather event brintgs several particular hazards.
The greatest accumulations of a wet snow will be across the higher elevations greater than 1000ft of southeast slopes of the Northern Adirondacks in northern New York, as well as along the spine and eastern slopes of Vermont’s southern Green Mountains.
“At this time we have a moderate to high confidence (60 to 80 percent) of more than 6 inches with a low confidence (20-30 percent) of isolated 12 inch snowfall totals” Whitier continued. “These will largely confined to higher elevations (>1500 feet) of Essex County, NY and Vermont’s southern four counties.
There is also approximately 60% chance of sleet throughout the region. FREEZING RAIN: “Depending on how temperature profiles work out, there is a slight possibility of isolated pockets of freezing rain across our Adirondack Zones as well as central and eastern Vermont” says Mr. Whitier. The good news is there is little chance for any kind of accumulation of ice coming with this storm.
This storm will be powered by winds up to 40 mph, funnel or channel through the valleys and along river basins. These winds are most likely to hit the western slopes of the southern Green Mountains and to a lesser extent in the Adirondacks Tuesday night-Wednesday. It is possible to see winds up to or exceeding 50 mph.
Most everywhere else, winds may gust to 20 to 30 mph especially St. Lawrence River Valley.
With the current warm temperatures and this added precipitation, isolated minor flooding is possible, but not expected.
Isolated to scattered power outages are possible as this wet snow accumulates on power lines. possible, This is a real risk when heavy snow exceeding 4-6 inches along with strong winds in higher elevations.
This weather system will cause for a sloppy, potential hazardous commute is likely Wednesday morning and Wednesday evening. As always, it is the weather and can take a turn for the better or the worse without warning, so it is best to always remain prepared for the worst.