National Weather Service Issues Winter Storm Watch for Much of Vermont Early Friday into Saturday
21 March 2019
COLCHESTER, Vt. – Green Mountain Power is alerting customers that the forecast calls for heavy, wet snow starting overnight tonight, and that outages and some damage is possible. The National Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Watch for parts of Northern, Western, and Central Vermont, and forecasters say snow totals could reach up to 12 inches in some higher elevations. They are calling for very wet snow, and mixed precipitation, which could weigh down trees and take down power lines. GMP will be prepared to respond, and external crews are available to help.
Roger Hill, a meteorologist who forecasts for utilities in Vermont, says that given the dramatic increase in severity and intensity of storms due to climate change, it makes the potential for devastation a much more real and present danger whenever a strong system moves into Vermont.
“In today’s changing climate, temperatures are warmer, leading to more moisture coming in from the Atlantic in these types of events, which leads to more precipitation. These warmer temps make it harder to forecast exact precipitation types even 24 hours before a storm, due to the temperatures hovering around freezing. 1 or 2 degrees could be the difference between a minor event and a major event in terms of damage to our Vermont infrastructure.”
“Currently the forecast shows our customers will only see scattered outages, that said, given the sudden change in severity that could occur based on a 1 or 2 degree difference, we felt it was important to share this information with customers. A storm event in December 2014 had similar amounts of total precipitation and that affected more than 147,000 customers and we worked tirelessly to restore power bringing the last customer on 5 days later. As our forecaster says, if temperatures drop a couple degrees below forecast, these storms could be similar,” said Mike Burke, Field Operations Chief.
Travel could be difficult Friday into Saturday. GMP is urging customers to follow the forecast, to be prepared, and to stay away from any downed lines or trees. Customers with emergency medical issues should always call 911. Tips for storm readiness are available on GMP’s website.
Customers can report outages and get restoration times using GMP’s online Outage Center. The interactive maps provide real time details about outages.
About Green Mountain Power
Green Mountain Power (GMP) serves approximately 265,000 residential and business customers in Vermont and is partnering with them to improve lives and transform communities. GMP is focused on a new way of doing business to meet the needs of customers with integrated energy services that help people use less energy and save money, while continuing to generate clean, cost-effective and reliable power in Vermont. GMP earned a spot on Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in the World list three years in a row (2017, 2018, 2019). GMP is the first utility in the world to get a B Corp certification, meeting rigorous social, environmental, accountability and transparency standards and committing to use business as a force for good. J.D. Power’s 2018 rankings also put GMP among top utilities for customer satisfaction.
Kristin Kelly, Green Mountain Power