Energy & Environment

‘Quite unusual:’ Tropical storm to pass through Vermont late Friday

This map shown on the Weather Channel displays the projected path of Tropical Storm Fay.

In the face of what meteorologists say is typically a “one in 30 years” type of weather event, Vermont is poised to see a tropical storm pass through the state Friday night into Saturday morning.

Tropical Storm Fay soaked much of the mid-Atlantic Friday, before striking land in New Jersey around midday. Now, the storm is heading north, expected to strike Vermont and Upstate New York Friday night.

Seth Kutikoff, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Burlington, said in the last 100 or so years, Vermont has only seen three tropical storm systems, most recently in 2011, when Tropical Storm Irene devastated much of the state.

“Thankfully, in this case, it’s a relatively weak tropical system, we haven’t seen much rain lately, and the impacts will be relatively low,” Kutikoff said. “But it is quite unusual.”

Kutikoff said that in the spring and summer leading up to Irene, Vermont saw a great deal of rain, worsening the impacts of the storm. In contrast, he said, the past few weeks have been relatively dry, making this storm’s impact much less worrisome. 

Additionally, Kutikoff said, Tropical Storm Fay is a much smaller system, and will likely move through the state fairly quickly.

Kutikoff said it is also important to note that Vermont is unlikely to bear the brunt of the storm. He said as the system moves north, it’s been trending westward, meaning the Adirondack region might be hit harder than Vermont.

The area around the Green Mountains will likely see the most rainfall, Kutikoff said, though he noted that anywhere susceptible to runoff — in addition to any urban areas with drainage issues — could also face the potential for flash flooding.

Vermont is expected to see aless than an inch of  rain from the tropical storm, experts report, but a frontal system is also set to move in from the west that will bring more stormy weather late Saturday, lasting through Sunday and Monday, and potentially lingering into Tuesday. Wednesday’s forecast is clear, but by Thursday, another frontal system from the west is expected to bring more rain.

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An upside, Kutikoff said, is that winds this weekend are expected to “not be anything substantial,” likely not worse than that of a normal thunderstorm, likely in the 10- to 15-mph range.

“You always want to be aware when you’re out and about,” Kutikoff said,” “But we’re thinking impacts will be minor at this point.”

Citing the storm, President Trump announced early Friday he was postponing a rally that had been scheduled for Saturday in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

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Ellie French

About Ellie

Ellie French is a general assignment reporter and news assistant for VTDigger. She is a recent graduate of Boston University, where she interned for the Boston Business Journal and served as the editor-in-chief of The Daily Free Press, BU’s student newspaper. She is originally from Duluth, Minnesota.

Email: [email protected]

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