The Season’s First Storm Bears Down

by | Nov 26, 2014

The good news: tomorrow’s snow won’t result in any snow days.  The bad news: if you’re planning to travel anywhere, you are about guaranteed some slow going.

The National Weather Service has upgraded the alert from a winter storm watch to a winter storm warning.  This warning is in effect from 7am on Wednesday, Nov. 26 to 7am Thanksgiving morning.  A warning is issued when an average of 6 or more inches of snow is expected in a 12 hour period, or for 8 or more inches in a 24 hour period. Travel will be slow at best on well treated surfaces and quite difficult on any unplowed or untreated surfaces, according the NWS warning.

Forecasts for our area vary from 4″ to over a foot, but most of the mainstream weather outlets have settled on the 5″-8″ accumulation forecast.  While this system is not delivering a blockbuster storm by any means, the first significant snow always brings some challenges.

Auburn DPW director Bill Coyle said the town crews and its 13 plowing contractors are ready to go. “We’re as ready as we can be” he said.  Coyle said the plows have been attached and tested, but it’s the unexpected things that can cause issues.  Sometimes things just break, and they have to adjust.

The biggest challenge, of course, is that today is historically one of the busiest travel days of the year, and the timing of this snowfall could not be more inconvenient.  Forecasters are calling for some early rain to switch to snow by about 10am.  The snow will become heavy at times, with visibility dropping to less than 1/4 mile at some points.  So, while snow totals will be modest, the snow will come down fast and hard.

The snow is expected to wind down by Wednesday evening, with just a few flurries lingering into Thanksgiving morning. At least the kids will be preoccupied while we prepare those Thanksgiving meals!