Cold, snow makes travel difficult; Mount Anthony Union Middle School closed Tuesday


BENNINGTON — Bitterly cold temperatures and steady snowfall made for difficult travel conditions this weekend and impacted a local school.

The low temperature on Monday was a chilly -18 degrees observed at 8 a.m. at the Morse State Airport in Bennington observation station, according to data from the National Weather Service. A high of 5 degrees was observed just before 4 p.m., bringing Monday's average temperature to -6 degrees.

A high of 14 degrees is forecast for Tuesday, a brief respite from several days of temperatures hovering in the single digits.

Mount Anthony Union Middle School will be closed today, Tuesday, Jan. 2, due to an issue with the heating system, the administration announced Monday. The high school will still be in session.

"An update will be posted on Tuesday as school staff continue to address the issue," reads a post on the school's Facebook page.

Wind chills could range from 5 to 25 degrees below zero, according to NWS, according to the National Weather Service office in Albany, N.Y. Those wind chills will cause frostbite in as little as 30 minutes to exposed skin.

A wind chill advisory issued by the Albany office was to be in effect from 10 p.m. Monday and set to expire at 12 p.m. Tuesday.

A frigid air mass is forecast to impact the greater region later this week; wind chill warnings or advisories are likely from Thursday into Saturday.

The Albany office reported having six consecutive days of a minimum temperature under 0 degrees, an average under 10 degrees, and a maximum of less than 20 degrees. It's the longest stretch of prolonged cold since February 1979, with records going back to 1874.

A steady snowfall, combined with extremely cold temperatures, created unsafe driving conditions on Saturday, leading troopers to respond to numerous car crashes and stranded vehicles, according to Vermont State Police.

"State Police encountered numerous vehicles that had become stranded in the extreme cold and required assistance," Sgt. Robert Zink said Monday in a news release.

Troopers responded to three traffic hazards on Route 9 in Woodford and Searsburg at about 9 p.m. on Saturday night, according to VSP data. Other traffic incidents included crashes in Winhall, Pownal, and Stratton.

Troopers warn that becoming stranded or broken down can become extremely dangerous and potentially deadly.

"State Police have been and will continue to make patrols of highways during these cold temperatures in order to assist any motorists who may require assistance," Zink said.

Ed Damon can be reached at, at @edamon_banner on Twitter and 802-447-7567, ext. 111.


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