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Extended January thaw relents, seasonable winter cold returns

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.

After several inches of snow and sleet earlier this week, we will see another descent into more seasonable winter temperatures which opens up the potential for more snow and ice in southeastern Vermont.

I have been intimating that cold will be returning by the end of January or beginning of February, and its arrival has manifested. Having said that, it probably lasts for a couple weeks. Beyond that, there are mixed signals as to whether it continues into March, or we have another mild period.

For Wednesday, our snowy, icy, and windy nor’easter will be pulling away to the northeast to go bother somebody else while we enjoy high pressure building in for a brief time.

We should see clouds early, which will depart and reveal a partly sunny day on average with highs near freezing in the mountains and in the middle 30s in the valley near the Connecticut River. Expect lows to only drop a bit into the upper 20s to low 30s, which is due to increasing cloud cover that will hold temps up.

For Thursday, a fairly weak storm system will have progressed out of the central Plains states, and will move through our region with morning showers of rain and snow.

It will be a mostly cloudy day, thanks to the aforementioned storm system combining with an approaching cold front from the north that will also help to squeeze some rain and snow showers out for Thursday afternoon. Expect highs in the mid to upper 30s, and lows in the mid 20s.

For Friday and into the weekend, colder air from northern Canada will be arriving and settle in for a while. With this new cold air will come high pressure initially, so we can expect generally fair weather through the weekend and into early next week with highs in the mid to upper 20s and lows in the teens. The only exception will be the potential for snow showers in west-facing slopes of western Windham County thanks to some upsloping winds.

It does appear that we will invoke the northern jet stream for a week or two in February, which could bring some Alberta Clipper systems through the area. These are smaller, colder waves of low pressure that tend to blanket southern Vermont with light snowfalls.

Have a great week!

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Originally published in The Commons issue #392 (Wednesday, January 25, 2017). This story appeared on page C4.

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