So, should we go?

We planned to leave this afternoon to go skiing in Vermont tomorrow. Here’s the current Winter Storm Watch for Smugglers Notch:

  ..WINTER STORM WARNING NOW IN EFFECT FROM 9 AM THIS MORNING TO 5 AM EST SATURDAY…

  THE WINTER STORM WARNING IS NOW IN EFFECT FROM 9 AM THIS MORNING TO 5 AM EST SATURDAY FOR CENTRAL AND NORTHERN VERMONT…AND NORTHERN NEW YORK.

  SNOW WILL DEVELOP ACROSS NORTHERN NEW YORK BY MID MORNING AND ACROSS CENTRAL AND NORTHERN VERMONT LATE THIS MORNING INTO EARLY THIS AFTERNOON. SNOW WILL RAPIDLY CHANGE TO A MIX OF SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN FROM SOUTH TO NORTH THIS AFTERNOON RESULTING IN WIDESPREAD ICY CONDITIONS AND TREACHEROUS TRAVEL CONDITIONS THIS AFTERNOON AND TONIGHT. PRECIPITATION WILL END AS SNOW SHOWERS VERY LATE TONIGHT.

  TOTAL SNOW AND SLEET ACCUMULATIONS WILL GENERALLY RANGE FROM 2 TO 5 INCHES…AND SHOULD BE HIGHEST ALONG THE INTERNATIONAL BORDER. HOWEVER… ICE ACCUMULATIONS WILL ALSO BE SIGNIFICANT ACROSS CENTRAL AND NORTHERN VERMONT AS WELL AS NORTHERN NEW YORK. ICE ACCUMULATION OF A QUARTER TO HALF INCH IS EXPECTED BY MIDNIGHT TONIGHT.

  THE WEIGHT OF THE ICE WILL BE SUFFICIENT TO BRING DOWN SOME WIRES AND TREE LIMBS…RESULTING IN ISOLATED TO SCATTERED POWER OUTAGES BEGINNING THIS EVENING. UNTREATED ROADS WILL BE EXTREMELY HAZARDOUS ACROSS THE NORTH COUNTRY FOR THE EVENING COMMUTE AND THROUGHOUT TONIGHT. SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN WILL END AS SNOW SHOWERS LATE TONIGHT INTO EARLY SATURDAY MORNING.

  IF THE POWER FAILS AND YOU MUST USE AN ALTERNATE MEANS TO STAY WARM…USE APPROPRIATE FIRE SAFEGUARDS. BE SURE THERE IS ADEQUATE VENTILATION SINCE CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING IS A REAL DANGER.

  THIS IS AN EXTREMELY HAZARDOUS WINTER STORM! WITH VERY COLD GROUND TEMPERATURES…ICE ACCUMULATION ON ROADWAYS WILL BE RAPID AND SIGNIFICANT THIS AFTERNOON RESULTING IN LITTLE OR NO TIRE TRACTION ON ANY UNTREATED ROAD SURFACES. TRAVEL IS NOT RECOMMENDED THIS AFTERNOON AND TONIGHT.

We really wanna go. And I’ll bet the skiing tomorrow will be good. But… durn. Guess I’m leaning against it. :-(

12 comments

  1. Shawn Powers’s avatar

    Yeah, we just had a storm that was intense enough that the State Police were ticketing folks for driving on the roads…

    Your forecast looks worse yet! I often wonder how much the weather forecasters sensationalize the storms — but yours looks pretty serious. :)

  2. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Shawn, which state are you in?

  3. Tim Jarrett’s avatar

    Wow, that stinks. I just checked Okemo (south central Vermont) and Bretton Woods (New Hampshire), and all the resorts are under the same watch. Even Wachusett looks problematic.

    Sorry, Doc.

  4. sims’s avatar

    Stay home & stay safe.

  5. Dan York’s avatar

    Doc,
    I don’t know what to tell you. Here in Burlington, Vermont, the snow is coming down rather hard as of noon. It hasn’t changed over to ice/sleet yet, but as the advisory notes, that change is expected to happen this afternoon. If you *can* get here, the skiing on the weekend should probably be *outstanding*! (In fact, I’m thinking I may try to hit the slopes myself at some point.) However, there’s this minor little detail that you have to cross over some mountains to get up here… :-(

    It’s definitely looking like it is NOT going to be a good day to travel.

    Good luck on your decision,
    Dan

  6. Greg Cannon’s avatar

    Lots o’ freezing rain here in the Hudson Valley. But, hey, it’s true eastern skiiing without a fresh sheet of ice on the slopes, right? Good luck.

  7. Shawn Powers’s avatar

    Michigan. The northern tip of the lower peninsula.

  8. christopher carfi’s avatar

    discretion, valor, etc.

  9. christopher carfi’s avatar

    edited to add:

    that said…just remember…if you DO go and things go all Donner Party, make sure you know before you leave who’s bringin’ the main course, if ya know what i mean…

    around our household, it’s always me.

  10. docduke’s avatar

    “A MIX OF SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN.” That alone says “NO” to me. I spent 2 years at Dartmouth, where I learned that such forecasts are to be respected. Even if you know how to drive in such stuff, the driver in front of you (and the one behind you with faulty brakes and/or bald tires) may not.

    It could be worse. Some people are addicted to both private flying and skiing … Now THERE’S a dangerous combination!

  11. Andrew Leyden’s avatar

    It does sound like a bad storm…but…

    it also sounds like a great learning experience for your son on how to deal with adverse weather / blizzards, etc. I think back to many a Californian who comes out East and goes out in a blizzard wearing a windbreaker. Might be a good chance for him to see some really awful weather.

  12. Russell Nelson’s avatar

    We went up to La Petite Rouge, just north of the Ottawa River, about halfway between Montreal and Ottawa. It was mostly sleet with a tiny bit of freezing rain but the worst was the blowing snow … with a good foot worth of drifts in places, forcing us over into the oncoming lane (on rural roads).

    Basically it was “more than usual of the usual northeast weather”. The skiing was excellent.

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