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The Commons

Substantial snow storm Thursday, plus more weekend winter weather

Dave Hayes operates a daily blog on Facebook (, where he produces hyper-local reports, answers questions, and keeps more than 20,000 followers informed and educated about the weather.

Originally published in The Commons issue #394 (Wednesday, February 8, 2017). This story appeared on page A3.

Good day to you, denizen of the windy hamlets of southeastern Vermont!

Winter continues to flex its muscles, as we will have several chances at accumulating snowfall. In addition, we could experience some wintry mixed precipitation by the end of the weekend with fairly seasonable temperatures on average, after we get through an especially mild Wednesday.

For Wednesday, we should be visited by a brief warm nose of air as the warm front responsible for bringing snow, sleet, freezing rain and even some plain rain showers passes briefly to our north.

High temperatures should make it into the 40s, but will be dropping through the afternoon behind a cold front that passes through in the morning. It will be pleasant earlier in the day with partly sunny skies, but west and then northwest winds should kick up and gust over 30 mph at times as fresh Canadian cold air spills into the region.

Lows on Wednesday night should bottom out in the high teens to low 20s with increasing clouds.

Meanwhile, the main winter weather story begins on Thursday morning. Low pressure will push into the southern Plains, and should accelerate out ahead and slightly to the southeast of a trough of lower pressures associated with cold Canadian air that will dive southeast out of central Canada and into the Ohio Valley on Wednesday night.

As the storm system reaches the Mid-Atlantic coastline, its directional orientation to the upper trough will be southeast to northwest. This is called a “negatively-tilted trough.” What that means to you on the ground is that this setup tends to guide storms more northerly towards Cape Cod, bringing snow to our region.

Highs Thursday will only be in the mid 20s, and winds could gust over 20 mph from the north at times.

While southern Vermont may be a bit too far away from the storm track to get into the biggest snow amounts, I’d say anywhere from 3 inches on up to 8 inches looks possible for Windham County. Snow will wind down later in the afternoon and evening, and more cold air will rush in, dropping lows into the single digits for some.

High pressure builds in briefly on Friday, with a cold and partly sunny day with highs in the high teens and low 20s. Clouds will increase late in the day.

The period from Friday night through Monday night will be unsettled with periods of snow Friday night into Saturday, and mixed precipitation possible Sunday into Monday night thanks to several frontal passages. Additional snow accumulations are possible. Fair weather should start to return by next Tuesday.

Have a great week!

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