Following a frigid weekend, with wind chill temperatures dipping into double-digits below zero across the region, weather officials issued a winter storm warning starting at 10 p.m. on Sunday as a snowstorm that slammed southeastern states earlier in the day was expected to roar into Vermont. The warning was issued through 10 p.m. on Monday, with heavy snowfall amounts expected to hit between 6 to 14 inches, and ice accumulations of up to one tenth of an inch.
Winds gusts could reach 45 to 55 miles per hour in parts of southern Vermont. The National Weather Service warned that travel during the storm could be “very difficult to impossible,” and snowfall rates on Monday of 1 to 3 inches per hour are expected between 1 and 9 a.m. The snow may change to a wintry mix by mid-morning Monday.
Anyone who must travel on Monday should keep an extra flashlight, food and water in their vehicle in case of an emergency, the NSW advised.
Green Mountain Power (GMP) on Sunday urged Vermonters to prepare for a strong regional storm that could possibly take down trees and powerlines.
GMP’s field forces were preparing to respond to outages and GMP had secured outside help to assist customers alongside GMP crews if needed, the company said in a release. The storm will make travel difficult for anyone on the road from approximately Sunday at midnight through Monday evening, so to be ready, GMP was positioning some teams throughout the state on Sunday evening.
“Making sure we can respond for customers is why we track multiple forecasts for days in advance. Safety is the top priority for everyone, and we want customers to be alert to the changing weather conditions and always stay far away from any downed lines or trees as they may still be energized. Call us to help,” said Mike Burke, GMP’s Vice President of Field Operations. “Forecasters say this storm will bring strong winds and changing precipitation through Monday and will affect all of the northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.”
GMP recommends customers have some basics on hand in case of any storm, including a charged cellphone, flashlights with fresh batteries, and bottled water. For medical emergencies, call 911.
The storm started in the southeast U.S., with high winds and ice knocking out power, felling trees and fences and coating roads with a treacherous, frigid glaze. Tens of thousands of customers were without power in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida. Highway patrols were reporting hundreds of vehicle accidents, and a tornado ripped through a trailer park in Florida. More than 1,200 Sunday flights at Charlotte Douglas International were cancelled – more than 90 percent of the airport’s Sunday schedule, according to the flight tracking service flightaware.com.
By noon Sunday, between 8 and 12 inches of snow had fallen in some counties of North Carolina, while significant icing was causing problems in the central part of the state. More than 260,000 customers were without power by midafternoon Sunday, according to poweroutage.us. Especially hard hit was North Carolina, with 90,000 outages. The remaining outages were in Georgia, South Carolina and Florida.
Frigid temperatures lingered across New England on Sunday, with wind chills in northern Vermont reported at -27 Fahrenheit. In Boston, where a cold emergency was declared on Saturday, wind chills remained below zero even as the region started the thaw.