Good Monday evening!
Light snow showers are on tap Tuesday, but our snowpack takes a major hit Christmas Eve with confidence increasing for a complex storm set to bring heavy rain and strong wind gusts. Flooding and power outages are possible, along with a flash freeze by Christmas morning. Let’s back it up, though, and talk about the days leading up to Santa’s big visit.
Tonight – Mostly cloudy with areas of fog before midnight, then scattered snow showers popping up through Tuesday morning. Mid to upper 20s.
Tuesday – Scattered, hit-or-miss snow showers continue, particularly tied to higher terrain. Accumulation of a dusting to 0.5″ through immediate broad valleys, and of 1-3″ through higher terrain may seem minimal, but roads could at times become quite slippery or slushy. Low to mid 30s. Northwest wind 10 mph. Tuesday night, dipping into the teens as snow showers taper to flurries.
Wednesday – Partly sunny to mostly cloudy. Upper 20s to low 30s. Wednesday night, partly cloudy. Teens.
Thursday (Christmas Eve) into Friday (Christmas Day) is where the week’s real weather challenges unfold. The timing of this couldn’t be worse. On Christmas Eve, a warm front lifts north, boosting temps into the 40s and 50s (and possibly even warmer than that – higher resolution models will provide more insight on this). The warm front also provides strong wind gusts nearing 50 mph that could lead to power outages. That, along with moderate to heavy rainfall of 1-2″ prompts a serious flooding concern, especially in southern and central Vermont and New Hampshire, where the snowpack (even after some compression thanks to the high fluff factor) stands at around 1-3 feet. As far as larger rivers are concerned, keep an eye out on the Mad River and the Otter Creek. Smaller streams and tributaries, though, are also at risk.
By Christmas morning, the cold front follows up the warm, swinging through with a flash freeze likely. This means wet, untreated surfaces may become icy and slick in a matter of minutes. A brief period of freezing rain with light ice accretion is possible, too. Behind the front, as temps slip away from the upper 30s Christmas Day (and into the teens by that night) scattered, terrain-driven snow showers are possible.
As is always the case, as the storm gets closer, we should have a better handle on how timing and impacts will play out – so check back right here for updates.
Have a terrific Tuesday!
-Skytracker Chief Meteorologist Amanda Thibault