Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Burlington, VT

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000 FXUS61 KBTV 260503 AFDBTV Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Burlington VT 1203 AM EST Sun Feb 26 2017 .SYNOPSIS... A strong cold front will continue move eastward across the North Country this afternoon and early evening. The leading edge of the front will have strong gusty winds and heavy rain. Rain will continue behind the front continuing the potential for ice jams and river flooding through the weekend. Tonight, lingering snow showers concentrated over the higher terrain will taper off Sunday morning. More seasonable weather returns Sunday with some light snow in the higher elevations before a quieter period of weather to start the work week. && .NEAR TERM /UNTIL 6 PM SUNDAY EVENING/... As of 953 PM EST Saturday...Updates as of mid-evening include massaging pops/weather and hourly temperature/dewpoint trends per latest observations. Rain switched to snow a few hours earlier than anticipated this evening as mid-level front overtook the surface boundary and allowed wet-bulbing processes to dominate in heavier pcpn cores. As a result, moderate/heavy rainfall transitioned to a rain/snow mix or all snow in many locales this evening with a wet slushy coating to a few inches in spots. I`ve updated our estimated snow totals for this evening before precipitation tapers off overnight, which shows similar amounts to our prior forecast, though perhaps a tad higher in elevated locales and in the northern Champlain Valley. Mainly minor stuff, though quite the end to one of the strangest weather days you`ll see for awhile. Primary surface front has now cleared east of the forecast area so the threat of stronger, gusty winds in our area has ended. Still, there are several thousand without power across Vermont this evening from prior gusts in the 35 to 45 mph range. As temperatures continue to gradually cool overnight, some patchy black ice will be possible on area roads as prior rainfall freezes. This will occur mainly in areas outside the Champlain Valley so drive with caution. Temperatures by sunrise Sunday mainly in the mid 20s to lower 30s under modest west/northwesterly flow. On Sunday, some gusty winds of 30kts or less are possible in lingering PGF before subsiding in the afternoon. Drier air will move in with slight ridging at the surface. Max temperatures in decreasing cloud cover will generally be in the 30s with a few spot readings around 40 in southern VT counties. && .SHORT TERM /6 PM SUNDAY EVENING THROUGH MONDAY NIGHT/... As of 318 PM EST Saturday...Ridging at the surface continues Sunday night, but a mid level shortwave will near the international border Monday morning. Models disagree how far south the shortwave will reach, but with limited moisture available, have kept only slight chance POPs throughout the period, mainly for higher terrain near the international border. With increased cloud cover possible from the shortwave and generally moderating temperatures as low level flow becomes for SW, expect min temperatures Sunday night to be in the 20s. Increasing 500mb heights indicative of continued moderating temperatures in SW flow on the NW edge of surface ridge will have Monday and Monday night dry with max temperatures in the 40s and mins in the 20s. && .LONG TERM /TUESDAY THROUGH SATURDAY/... As of 318 PM EST Saturday...Tuesday the area will remain under slight ridging aloft, but moisture and weak vorticity attempt to move in from the south. NAM and GFS in agreement bringing precipitation into at least the southern half of the forecast area Tuesday afternoon, while ECMWF wait for developing low to bring precipitation Tuesday night-Wednesday. This system associated with deepening 500mb trough over the northern plains states. Details of track of developing surface low and strength continue to be under debate. Overall 12Z GFS and ECMWF show the surface low to track near the international border, which could start precip as rain through most of Thursday before the associated cold front moves through. Lingering snow showers possible late Thursday. Overall still time for models to focus around a solution. && .AVIATION /06Z Sunday THROUGH Thursday/... Through 06Z Monday...Composite radar loop showing precipitation over extreme northeast Vermont at this time will be east of the region by 06Z Monday. Expecting mainly MVFR/VFR ceilings overnight, with mainly VFR conditions expected after 14Z Sunday. Expecting west-northwest surface winds to begin to gust at or above 20 knots across the entire region by 14Z Sunday. Outlook 06Z Monday through Thursday... 06Z Monday - 12Z Tuesday...Mainly VFR under high pressure. 12Z Tuesday - 00Z Thursday...VFR with chance MVFR/IFR rain showers. 00Z Thursday - 00Z Friday...areas of MVFR in rain showers ahead of a cold front. && .HYDROLOGY... As of 400 PM EST Saturday...Rivers seeing rises with snowmelt and ice jams on northern rivers. Missisquoi River jams causing high water at a few spots along that river and have issued a flood warning for Franklin County along the river for the jams. Great Chazy showing some ice impacts with locals reporting a jam in place at Perry Mills but water finding a way through. East Branch Ausable at Ausable Forks NY jam has moved downstream and has come to rest near Chester NY with no effect according to Emergency Management. Passumpsic river also at risk for ice jams but no ice movement yet reported there. Ice jams possible anywhere there is a constriction in the river such as a bend or bridge abutment to stop ice movement. Thunderstorms and rain moving into area will combine with ongoing snowmelt produced by record setting temperatures to transition this to an open water minor flood event. Have already issued flood warnings for flooding for East Branch Ausable at Ausable Forks and Otter Creek at Center Rutland to exceed flood stage later tonight. Both gages only a couple feet below flood stage at issuance. Watching Winooski basin for rain/snowmelt flooding as well but holding off on warnings at the moment until we see the rainfall amounts. Missisquoi also at risk of open water flooding possibly at North Troy VT where ice is not present. Lamoille River less of a flood threat as it is starting at lower levels, and forecast to see mainly within-bank rises. Most river rises overnight with crests after midnight into mid day Sunday. && .CLIMATE... Daily high temperature records were broken or smashed once again across the area today, with all-time February monthly records being set at Burlington (72 F) and St. Johnsbury (64 F). Incidently the 72F at Burlington today, along with the same reading reached at Bennington, VT yesterday set new all-time Vermont state records for February, quite an achievement. Records for Burlington go back to 1884. For a full rundown on all the records set today, please visit our website at && .BTV WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... VT...Flood Watch through Sunday evening for VTZ001>012-016>019. NY...Flood Watch through Sunday evening for NYZ026>031-034-035-087. && $$ SYNOPSIS...Deal/KGM NEAR TERM...JMG/KGM SHORT TERM...KGM LONG TERM...Evenson/KGM AVIATION...Evenson/WGH HYDROLOGY...Hanson CLIMATE...JMG is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.