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Rain in January is Just Plain Ugly

January 27, 2010

We like the snow here in Vermont, especially in January.  Our economy depends on it and we need the snow cover to act as insulation against the frost going deep down, potentially ruining spring crops and freezing pipes.   Plus snow cover everywhere is simply the way Vermont should look in the winter.    Rain and 50 degrees…. not so much, especially if you know that the temperatures are gonna drop and when they do there will be black ice, icy driveways, and slip hazards everywhere. 

It started off the other night with heavy rains that had moved across the country and dumped buckets on us, melting and sloshing up all the roads, creating heavy fog and deadly road conditions.  More rain and really warm temperatures the next day and the fields grew bare.  By mid-day yesterday you would have thought it was April.  

Rivers rise fast with heavy rains during a thaw and ice jams can cause serious issues on farm land adjacent  to riverways.  Yesterday, heading out to the Northeast Kingdom, the Lamoille River was raging and the ice jam had broken the night before, with the tell-tale chunks of ice several feet about water level.    Ice chunks, dirty and out-of-place,  were littered on low-lying fields.  Not pretty at all.

By the time the afternoon had rolled around, the temperature had begun plummet and heading back over RT. 12 to Elmore, the roads were once again covered with snow.  Dangerous as all get out, as you don’t see the ice under the snow, making driving all the more dicey. 

The only thing to do really is listen to the advisories on the weather/news channels and drive according to the conditions of the road.  If the conditions have worsened, then perhaps staying home is the best bet.   This morning, everything is all white again and the forecast is for snow.  Beautiful white snow.

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