Bracing for a storm: As much as 10 inches of snow expected today

BENNINGTON — A strong coastal storm forecast for the region today is expected to bring blowing snow and strong gusts, and will be trailed by the coldest air mass of the season, with dangerously cold windchills.

Six to eight inches of snow is forecast for Bennington, with the "high end" snowfall predicted to be 10 inches and the "low end" of just one inch, according to the National Weather Service in Albany, N.Y. Greater snowfall is forecast to the east, with the most expected near Boston, and the South Shore. A blizzard warning is in effect for that region for most of today.

In Bennington County, a winter storm warning will be in effect from 7 a.m. today to 7 a.m. Friday. Forecasters warn of heavy snowfall and

blowing snow, with 40 mph wind gusts, that will make travel difficult.

Dangerously cold wind chills of 20 below zero to 45 below zero are expected from late Thursday night through Saturday afternoon, with the lowest readings Friday night into Saturday morning.

Schools are being cautious in advance of the winter weather. Arlington Superintendent William Bazyk announced on Wednesday that the district's schools would be operating on an early-release schedule on Thursday, with students getting out of school at noon.

In the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union, Superintendent Jim Culkeen said that he will be watching road conditions closely before making any decisions.

"I'm going to try and hang in there as best I can, because the forecast doesn't look good for Monday and Tuesday (of next week) either," Culkeen said on Wednesday.

The SVSU had a two-hour delay on Tuesday. And Mount Anthony Union Middle School just re-opened on Wednesday after heating coils in five classrooms failed over the weekend, leading to frozen pipes and minor ceiling and floor damage that kept the school closed to students on Tuesday.

Arlington had trouble of their own over the weekend, when pipes burst in the middle and high school gymnasium, although their school was able to open on Tuesday while the gym remains closed.

To the west, a more moderate snowfall is expected, with the NWS forecast only predicting four inches in New York's Capital Region.

Still, officials with the Albany International Airport issued an advisory Wednesday evening, noting that the storm is expected to have a "significant impact on air travel along the east coast." As of 4:30 p.m., only a few scattered flights to and from major East Coast hubs were reported.

Derek Carson contributed reporting for this story.

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


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