Litchfield County Upslope Event; Strong Winds Elsewhere

An impressive comma head has developed from a mature and intense mid latitude cyclone off the coast of Maine. Buoys indicate the pressure has dropped to below 975 mb and on the backside of the storm strong northwest winds (gusting >30 mph) are common across the northeast. Models indicate a strong burst of winds continuing as the pressure gradient tightens. I think the strongest winds will be around daybreak as some boundary layer mixing takes place and we mix some strong winds to the surface. I think gusts in the 40-50 mph range will be common.

Up in Litchfield County, there’s the potential for some accumulating snow thanks to a relatively moist atmosphere, strong “upslope winds” blowing from the Hudson Valley in New York up and over the Litchfield Hills, and a deformation zone developing and pivoting south in the storm’s cold conveyor belt. You can see some of the cold cloud tops over western Massachusetts rotating south and I think this in conjunction with strong upslope will be enough for some minor accumulating snow tonight along the spine of the Litchfield Hills (Cornwall, Goshen, Litchfield, Norfolk, Colebrook, Canaan, North Canaan). Mesonet readings show temperatures already in the low/mid 30s in portions of Litchfield County and these should continue to drop. As of 9 p.m. I do have some reports of snow in Norfolk (though light) and it should get somewhat heavier later tonight. Not a big deal by any means but a coating to an inch of snow is possible. The 18z NAM shows this perfectly with a tongue of upslope snow coming down from the Berkshires into north central Litchfield County after midnight tonight (QPF of about 0.15″).

Big time upslope snows tonight/tomorrow morning in the Green Mountains where 1-2 feet is possible about 2500 feet to the north!!! Killington should pick up 6-12″+ and Mt Snow/Stratton should get 3-6″ at the summit. This is fun to watch develop tonight! If you want to enjoy the slopes tomorrow I think you’re going to have trouble with very strong winds which should significantly limit lift operations. Some places may open Sunday (Jay Peak???).

As far as precipitation totals this storm underperformed in a big way! The models closed the mid level low off way too fast and the result was disorganized rainfall that never materialized in part of the state.

Ryan

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