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The Commons
News

Arctic blast, snowstorm loom

Dangerous wind chill of 30 below is expected this weekend

Dave Hayes maintains a daily blog on Facebook at facebook.com/WesternMassWeather, where he produces hyper-local reports, answers questions, and keeps more than 26,000 followers informed and educated about the weather.

Originally published in The Commons issue #440 (Wednesday, January 3, 2018). This story appeared on page A3.


Good day, and a very Happy New Year to you! I hope that 2018, some how and some way, brings you happiness, peacefulness, success however you define it, and good health.

As far as our sensible weather is concerned, we are about to go through at least one more powerful Arctic blast this weekend which will be preceded by a snowstorm that will produce light to possibly moderate accumulations in southeastern Vermont.

The biggest impact, however, will not be the snow but the plummeting wind chill readings Friday through Sunday, which would reach down to 30 degrees below zero at times! Let’s jump into the dailies.

For Wednesday, we will be within a southwest flow regime that will feature a “warming” wind. To be sure, there isn’t much warm air to be had, but we should still rise up to near 20 degrees in some spots on Wednesday, with highs in the teens elsewhere. Lows will drop down to either side of 10 degrees as clouds increase at night.

An extremely powerful low pressure center will develop east of the southeast U.S. coastline on Thursday and be directed northward by an upper level system that will become “negatively-tilted” over the western Ohio Valley.

This means that the system’s orientation in the atmosphere will be from northwest to southeast. Given counterclockwise flow around northern hemispheric cyclones, this setup will help to direct the storm northward up the East Coast where it will pass east of Nantucket.

It’s too far east to bring much snow here, but 2 to 4 inches looks possible, with highs in the upper teens on Thursday. Snow quits by Thursday night, but the northwest winds will pick up behind the departing low.

Friday through Sunday will feature a fresh Arctic blast that will bring the coldest air of our nascent winter season into Windham County. Highs on Friday and Saturday won’t crest the 0 degree mark in some places, with lows 15 to 20 below zero degrees!

Wind-chill readings with gusty northwest winds to 40 mph on Friday and into Saturday will reach down to 30 below zero and maybe colder. In other words, dangerous cold can be expected through Saturday night, though it will be dry this weekend.

Sunday we moderate into the low teens for highs, and by Monday we REALLY warm up into the upper 20s to low 30s with more light accumulating snow possible as a storm passes to our north, bringing us warm advection (i.e., overrunning) snows.

We can look forward to next week being more reasonable and seasonable. Have a great week!

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