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Dangerous late-week Arctic blast precedes Saturday snowfall

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

Good morning, afternoon, or evening to you! Winter has most certainly arrived, and we’ve got more active early winter weather on the way to southern Vermont, including a brutal blast of very cold Arctic air, a couple of periods of accumulating snow, and some ice and rain thrown in for good measure.

Let’s jump to the details!

For Wednesday, we’ll enjoy a sunny but cold day, as high pressure builds in for much of the day. Highs will reach the low to mid 20s, and some scattered snow showers are possible later in the night, as the first of two cold fronts moves through. Expect lows in the low teens, with wind chills at least in the single digits to near zero with a southwest wind gusting over 20 mph at times.

For Thursday, we’ve got dangerous cold on the way that will last through Saturday morning, so elderly folks and others who are especially affected by very cold weather need to take proper precautions.

With the first front through by Thursday, a west wind will kick up and lake effect snow showers should reach southern Vermont, possibly dropping a coating to a couple of inches of snow into Thursday night. Highs will remain in the teens on Thursday!

Thereafter, the second cold front moves through, unleashing super cold air into the region. Wind Advisories and Wind Chill Advisories and/or Warnings will likely need to be issued by the National Weather Service for Thursday night and Friday morning, as winds could gust out of the west over 40 mph at times, bringing wind chill readings down to 25 below zero! Air temps will also go into the single digits below zero!

This is dangerous cold, folks. Cars will be groaning on Friday morning!

For Friday, expect the coldest day of the new cold season, with highs only in the single digits with sunny skies, and breezy. By Friday night, a storm pushes east into the Great Lakes.

With super cold, dense air in place at the surface, excellent overrunning sets us up for a period of light to moderate snow all day Saturday, which could accumulate several inches by evening, before a change to freezing rain, and possibly plain rain showers by Sunday as the storm passes to our north, putting us on its warm side.

Another cold front slices through later Sunday with colder temperatures to start next week. Bundle up and get ready for more winter weather. Have a great week!

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Originally published in The Commons issue #387 (Wednesday, December 14, 2016). This story appeared on page A2.

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