With the first day of Spring just two days away, the North Country is bracing for a snow storm.
A Winter Storm Warning is in effect from midnight tonight to 8 am on Wednesday. The National Weather Service in Burlington, VT has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the Saint Lawrence Valley and the western Adirondacks in Northern New York.
A late season snowstorm is headed for the North Country" added Scott Whittier of the Burlington office of the NWS. "Timing issues and snowfall amounts are critically important with this forecast as different areas will see different impacts of the storm at different times."
If temperatures rise sufficiently, we may see sleet, rain and freezing rain accompanying this storm. This will make for slippery roads.
Traveling will become hazardous early Tuesday morning through the morning commute. Conditions should improve during much of Tuesday with deteriorating conditions possibly for the evening commute through Tuesday night with continued treacherous travel in Vermont on Wednesday morning.
The forecasters from the National Weather Service are just digesting new computer models with a trend of higher snowfall for Franklin and St. Lawrence counties in NY than what had been previously predicted. If this trend continues, then Winter weather Advisories for these counties may need to be upgraded to Winter Storm Warnings.
This storm coming in from the Great Lakes to the Mid-Atlantic coast this evening will merge into two distinct systems by Tuesday morning. The reason for much of the snowfall overnight and into early Tuesday will be from the Great Lakes system.
Snow should enter southwest St. Lawrence River Valley and southern VT between 9 pm and 11 pm tonight. Snow should reach much of Vermont and northern New York between midnight and 2 am and far NE VT by 3 am Tuesday morning.
Snow will fall at its steadiest rate and heaviest through tomorrow morning's commute then lessen tomorrow mid-afternoon. Following that, we will see a short break in precipitation and snowfall intensity should increase again into the evening commute and Tuesday night.
Snowfall amounts by Tuesday morning commute generally will be 2-5 inches. The east-southeast facing slopes of the eastern Adirondacks and southern Green Mountains will, as usual, see higher amounts of snowfall than the rest of the region. Snowfall amounts between 8 am and 2-3 pm Tuesday will be generally 2-4 inches with heavier snowfall returning by mid to late afternoon for much of northern New York and Vermont.
Maximum snowfall rates overnight-early Tuesday morning may be 1-2 inches per hour at times. Snowfall rates during mid-morning thru early afternoon generally 0.5 inch or less. Higher snowfall rates for Vermont and portions of northern NY during Tuesday evening/night may reach 1-2 inches per hour at times.
Snowfall initially should be on the "dry side" but will get wetter and heavier during Tuesday and into Tuesday night into Wednesday. This could pose some "snowload" issues on some tree branches. Isolated to scattered power outages are possible if this heavy snow breaks tree limbs that then fall onto power lines.
Winds are also a threat with this system. The strongest winds will be form midnight to 10 am on Tuesday, especially along the higher elevations and western slopes of Vermont Green Mountains. Southeast winds of 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 35-40 mph possible and they will diminish during Tuesday afternoon/evening. "At this moment, we not expecting any power outages due to wind" says Scott Whittier of the National Weather Service.