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Next Storm Thursday: Mainly Rain, Icing Possible in Vermont

A cold front will cross New England tonight, bringing a brief burst of snow and rain. Because of this, a winter weather advisory has been posted for southern Vermont, southern New Hampshire and Massachusetts minus the south shore and Cape Cod. These areas will get a widespread dusting of snow with a little ice. This is a weak, quick hitting event that will have a rather low impact as it passes in the middle of the night.

A higher impact storm will come into the region Thursday afternoon. This will be a mild storm for most of New England. Southern and central New England will see mainly rain from beginning to end with this storm. There may be just enough cold air at the onset for a bit of mixing across southern New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts. Northern New England will likely see snow at the start of the storm with a changeover to a wintry mix Thursday night. This is unlikely to be a snow only event anywhere in New England.

A bit more of a concern for this storm comes from Vermont, where some icing is possible. This is highly unlikely to be a significant icing event, but it could be enough to create some travel issues in the state.

The freeing rain in Vermont is expected to occur away from the Champlain Valley, where this will be a plain rain event. Up to two tenths of an inch of ice is possible to the east of the Green Mountains. The National Weather Service of Burlington states:

" chance of a few hundredths to two tenths of an inch of freezing rain appears to be in the typically cold spots east of the spine of the Green Mountains. There are some indications that NEK could hold onto the cold air the longest and if that is the case, there could be localized quarter inch ice accretion. Forecast 925mb (roughly 2000- 2500 ft elevation) profiles suggests that elevations generally 2000 ft above sea level and above could stay cold enough at the surface to accrete ice."

There are hints that areas of the Green Mountains (and New York's Adirondacks) could see up to a half an inch of ice. New England Storm Center begins to call ice storms significant when a half an inch of ice accretion is expected. There are major questions about how well the freezing rain can accumulate ice given the setup that will be over the area.

Despite factors working against an ice storm, there is a potential for small, localized areas to see significant accumulation. Any significant accumulation will occur at or above 2,000 feet in elevation. Should an ice storm develop in this area, impacts will be very limited as there is little to no population in areas of Vermont above 2,000 feet.

A big factor working against significant icing, even at 2,000 plus feet is the fact that this storm will move through New England quickly. The storm will be pulling away from western New England by Thursday evening and will pull away from eastern Maine by Friday morning.

In the wake of this storm will be spring like temperatures for Friday. Highs could push 60 in southern New England and push into the 50s in central New England. Even the mountains will see highs into the low to mid 40s. Next week is looking very springlike as well.

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