Weather Blog: Brutal, but brief cold snap

SkyTracker Blog

The temp tumbles Wednesday night and hovers in the single digits or teens Thursday. But, a very intense warm-up follows for Friday and Saturday, with a messy, complex storm, on tap, too. Settle in; this is a lengthy blog!

Tonight, snow showers trail off by around 10 PM, but that doesn’t mean the driving concerns will have been completely alleviated. Untreated paved surfaces will turn to ice as puddles or slush freezes. Drivers should be wary of patchy black ice through the Thursday morning commute.

That colder air is unlocked on the backside of a departing Arctic cold front. The temp will bottom out early Thursday in the single digits above and below zero, with a northwest wind of 15-25 mph, gusting to 35 mph. That could push wind chill values into the teens below zero.

The wind weakens Thursday as the sky clears up, at least briefly. There will be a partly to mostly sunny sky overhead with the temp only rebounding into the teens north, to low and mid 20s in southern Vermont and New Hampshire. Thursday night, clouds roll back in again, but the temp holds relatively steady at first, before rising towards Friday morning.

Friday is where the real action gets started. Light showers move in slowly throughout the day. As the temp reaches into the 30s, and eventually nears 40 degrees by the evening, there may be some moments of light icing through higher terrain and throughout colder valleys and sheltered hollows of the Adirondacks and east of the Green Mountains. It’s a gusty day, too, with a south wind that could occasionally reach 35-40 mph.

The rain and warmth are amplified Saturday. Moisture from the Gulf of Mexico surges north, giving us heavier showers throughout the afternoon, as the temp takes aim at 50 degrees. Those two variables combine to produce rapid snowmelt that will likely lead to sharp rises on area waterways. Some rivers could hit minor flood stage Saturday evening.

Saturday night, cold air aggressively spills south out of Canada, changing rain to freezing rain, sleet and/or snow, especially over northern New York and northern and central Vermont. The extent of this is still not completely clear, but confidence is growing that icing to around 0.50″ may be on the table, as well as several inches of sleet and/or slushy, wet snow. Expect dangerous travel conditions and power outages through Sunday.

Keep checking back for updates!!! As always, the accuracy of our weather forecast models increases as events get closer. We’ll be able to analyze those models and give you a clearer, more detailed picture later this week.

-Skytracker Chief Meteorologist Amanda Thibault

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