Weather Blog: Wet and icy weekend on the way

SkyTracker Blog

Hello and Happy Thursday to you!

Today’s chill may have you thinking warm thoughts! Well, what if I told you the 50s were in the cards, just two short days from now?! We actually almost get too warm, with plenty of wet, messy weather on the way.

After a morning near and below zero, max temps Thursday, as expected, stalled in the teens across northern and central Vermont and New York, and low to mid 20s in southern Vermont and southern New Hampshire. That number only slightly drops during the first half of tonight, but then starts to rise after 12 AM as a strong south wind kicks up, to between 15-25 mph. Top gusts Friday could hit 35 mph.

Tomorrow is a so-so day, meaning it’s not tranquil or bluebird, but it’s not extremely active either. It is a cloudy day, but only light spotty showers are around. It’s mainly rain, especially with a high in the upper 30s to low 40s, but during the morning, some spotty snow or a brief freezing drizzle may be possible in the Adirondacks and east of the Green Mountains where cold air pools and warms last through the Northeast Kingdom and Connecticut River Valley.

Friday night, the temp also likely holds steady, if not climbs, as we soar into the 40s Saturday, with 50s possible in central and southern Vermont and New Hampshire. Rain spreads in, generally from west to east, during the day Saturday. This air mass originated over the Gulf of Mexico and is chock-full of moisture. There will be heavier downpours and a grand total of 0.75-2.00″ of rain is possible during this event. That combined with the warm snow-eating south wind and prolonged stretch in the 40s or even 50s, leads us to a Flood Watch.

I’m sure you’re doing the math yourself by now, but all that water has to go somewhere. Our ground is fairly frozen, so it’s not going to absorb it all. That leaves low-lying depressions or poor-drainage spots, and of course waterways. There will be sharp rises on smaller streams and creeks, with even larger rivers possibly overflowing their banks as they crest Sunday.

All this moisture is being pumped directly into the North Country from the Gulf of Mexico along a front, or boundary. South of that boundary, warm air. North of the boundary, cold air. Cold air will begin aggresively spilling down out of Canada Saturday evening.

But, is it enough to change the rain over into snow? In short, it’s hard to say. However, models have been very consistent in bringing a stretch of freezing rain and sleet to northern New York and northern Vermont, while keeping the snow locked away to the north in central and southern Quebec. I know what your next question then is, could this change? Absolutely. Will it? Leaning towards no, unfortunately.

Freezing rain may lead to ice accretion of 0.25-0.50″ near the Canadian border. This is more than enough ice to create major travel headaches and cause scattered power outages. Farther south, from central Vermont and New Hampshire into southern counties, we should keep all plain rain with precip ending from west to east during the day Sunday, before it gets cold enough for wintry precip. At the very tail end of this Sunday, a coating to 1-2″ of slushy, wet snow isn’t out of the question over northern counties.

In summary, this weekend is a giant mess! Keep checking back for updates as it all unfolds and be prepared for power outages, slick roads and flooding.

-Skytracker Chief Meteorologist Amanda Thibault

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