Last minute travel to grandmas for Thanksgiving should be easy going around the northeast. High pressure is firmly in control keeping any precipitation well away from us. Wednesday night into Thursday skies will stay mainly clear; lows will fall into the low to mid 30s by Thanksgiving morning. We would be a lot colder but wind will start to crank up as we go deeper into the night. South winds will stay rather strong through the afternoon with gusts near 30mph in valleys, closer to 55mph in the mountains. Highs all around will be quite warm for Thanksgiving, we'll top out in the upper 40s & low 50s under partly to mostly sunny skies; average is near 40°. For snow haters, it'll be a much more enjoyable day than last year when we were getting 8-12" of snow on November 26th. Snow lovers, I'm sorry, I don't have good short term news. It'll stay warm Friday as well with highs in the low to mid 50s. South winds stay strong ahead of an approaching cold front; daytime gusts will be around 25-30mph. Shopping early? You should be dry. Rain will arrive from northwest to southeast starting around late morning. The front will take the afternoon and a few hours of Saturday to move through. As it crosses the area Friday night, a switchover to a wintry mix and some light snow will be possible. The front will be moving pretty quick and moisture will be limited, that means any snow accumulation will be light. However, this cold front will live up to its name. Saturday afternoon, Sunday and Monday will be partly to mostly sunny and dry. Highs will be around average or slightly below in the upper 30s; overnight lows will be in the low to mid 20s. It'll be cold enough to blow mountain snow and keep it there. Starting Tuesday, our next wind and rain maker will approach. Timing is getting difficult, but at this moment it looks like showers will start late Tuesday with widespread rain by Wednesday. I know there had been chatter about potential midweek snow but if this storm keeps a more inland track, then it'll be mainly rain for us.
The New York State Department of Health and the New York State Task Force on Life and the Law released updated guidelines for allocating ventilators during an influenza pandemic in the state.
According to Department of Health, the guidelines provide direction for the distribution of ventilators in the event of a sever pandemic, when there are insufficient ventilators to treat everyone who needs them.
"Pandemic influenza is a foreseeable threat, and New York has a responsibility to plan now," said Commissioner of Health Dr. Howard Zucker. "These guidelines provide an ethical, clinical, and legal framework to help health care providers and the general public make difficult decisions in the event of an influenza pandemic."
The guidelines consist of four parts: Adult Guidelines, Pediatric Guidelines, Neonatal Guidelines, and Legal Consideration when Implementing the Guidelines.
U.S. Representative Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21) returned from a Congressional Delegation visit to Afghanistan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.
According to Stefanik's office, she went with her colleagues on the House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee.
"This trip was an important opportunity to visit with our brave men and women of the 10th Mountain Division and thank them for their brave service this holiday season," said Congresswoman Stefanik. "These soldiers put their lives on the line for us each day, and as the Vice-Chair for the Subcommittee on Readiness, this was a chance to hear firsthand from our troops. We live in an increasingly dangerous world and I am proud that we have these brave men and women defending our national security."
The committee met with troops in Afghanistan, key officials to receive updates on issues including the conflict in Syria, Iran's Nuclear Program, ISIL, and Libya.
Police say they recovered approximately more than $40,000 in stolen property in thefts.
An investigation began around November 2 after a series of burglaries and thefts occurred in Chester, Springfield, Weathersfield, Ludlow, Rockingham, and Andover.
Police arrested and charged 26-year-old Michael Farnsworth, 59-year-old David Farnsworth, 23-year-old Zachary McNeill, Paige Hillock, 24, all of Springfield, Vt., with burglary, grand larceny, possession of stolen property, unlawful mischief, and aiding in the commission of a felony.
Anyone with information about recent thefts or has their property stolen in Chester or the surrounding area is urged to contact their local police department.
After a chilly and snowy start to the week, it will feel a bit more like Fall for the Thanksgiving holiday! High pressure builds back in today across the region, sliding from west to east. That ridge brings drier air, helping to erode that stubborn cloud cover; and on the backside of the high, southerly flow returns kicking off a warming trend. Highs today will reach the upper 30s to low 40s, seasonable for late November. By Thanksgiving, it's ten degrees above average, near 50. And on Black Friday, mid 50s!
Not only is the forecast for Turkey Day comfortable, it's breezy and sunny, too. South winds will pick up as that high pressure continues to scoot east and a cold front approaches from the northwest. Sustained winds of 10-20 mph can be expected, with an occasional higher gust. Clouds will increase late in the day as that front inches a little closer; but the rain holds off until Friday.
Heads up Black Friday deal seekers, grab the rain jacket or the umbrella. Scattered rain showers are likely, especially by Friday afternoon and evening. The front is a quick-mover, so most of the moisture is out of town in time for the weekend. The only exception will be some light mountain snow. After a couple of warm days, that front does its due diligence and drops highs back into the upper 30s.
Traveling today or early tomorrow morning? It should be smooth sailing across the eastern teir of the U.S. including New England and the mid Atlantic. Folks in the southeastern corner of the country and the Gulf Coast will be dodging just a few scattered showers. That same cold front gunning for us on Friday will bring decent rainfall from Chicago through Dallas. And in the Rockies, heavy snow on the way!
The Ronald McDonald House in Burlington is heading into the holidays... on a train! The Jingle Bell Express leaves the station this weekend. If you are a ticket holder, you could be considered lucky, they sold out again this year! But there are still other ways to help the "House that Love Built."
They have a wish list online which is consistently updated to let you know how you can donate items. But RMH is also in need of volunteers. More information can be found on the website, here.
The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Burlington, Vermont provides emotional support, comfort and temporary lodging to families with children receiving medical treatment at The University of Vermont Medical Center.
It's a sight any mother would cherish, her kids, reading a book.
But it's something Tonyiel Begnoche, wouldn't know was possible about two years ago.
"The technician looked at me and said, I need to go get the doctor," Begnoche said.
At 23 weeks pregnant, she learned her baby had a kidney problem called posterior urethral valves.
It was serious.
"My sister and my step-mom didn't even want to plan a baby shower, because they didn't want me to get too emotional if he didn't come home," Begnoche said.
Little Kayde was born two years ago, this month.
His parents were told he would eventually need a kidney transplant.
"I don't think anyone can prepare you for those emotions," Begnoche said.
Kayde spent 11 weeks in the NICU.
Pictures revealed just how sick, he looked and felt.
"When people would ask me how are you handling this, I just would say every day is a gift and I can't take any moment for granted," Begnoche said.
Tonyiel and her fiancee would start making monthly trips to Boston Children's Hospital in May of 20-14.
There came a time doctors had few answers for these desperate parents.
"They said he doesn't have much time, he's going to be on dialysis by the end of this month," Begnoche said.
They would need to find a living donor.
"It was weird because you have these people that are contacting you that want to do it, but do they really know?" she said.
Tonyiel exhausted family and friends and put out a call on Facebook.
"That's when Ann messaged me and said she heard the story, what could she do, I didn't know who she was," Tonyiel said.
A simple post on social media would bring these two together.
The 42-year old mother of two, says she couldn't sit back, and wait for someone else to step up.
So Ann Delaney volunteered and would soon begin a barrage of bloodwork and urine tests.
"I'm nervous, I'm scared of needles," Delaney said.
Doctors even had their doubts.
"Well ya know, these friends and family stick to it but people you don't know usually back out - and that's when I kind of said you don't know me - because I don't go into something to back out," Delaney said.
"Who's going to do this for a child, for anybody to sort of put yourself behind to save somebody - and not once did she ever have, she never hesitated," Begnoche said.
The transplant happened August 6 th .
"After surgery, I remember coming to and I kept saying Kayde, Kayde, Kayde," Delaney said.
It was a success.
"When I got the news that the kidney was already functioning in the doctor's hand - they were hooking it up and it was producing urine, I just started balling," Delaney said.
Sure, he's got the scars to show for it and a feeding tube for the short term, but this little boy, his mom once described as tired and gray, became healthy enough to attend baseball games, while in Boston.
"It's like it wasn't just a kidney - it's his whole life - he has flourished into the little boy I keep saying was this the boy he's supposed to be," Begnoche said.
"If you can help somebody you help them, and I think the main thing was saving a life," Delaney said.
Now these two moms are forever linked.
"How to you thank somebody that saved your son, that saved your child," Begnoche said.
Ann tells me the answer to that question will give her the most joy, being part of a new family.
"I get to watch Kayde grow - the parents get to watch him grow, he gets to live," Delaney said.
If you're going home for the holidays, be prepared for the rush at the airport. TSA is recommending passengers show up at least two hours early for the anticipated biggest travel days of the year.
Typically TSA screens two million passengers nationwide in a day, but they expect that number to increase 40% for the days leading up to Thanksgiving.
When hitting the security line, be prepared. You know the usual: no metal objects, weapons or liquids above 3.4 fluid ounces, but Burlington International's Federal Security Director, Bruce McDonals, says people can be forgetful.
"Machetes, farmer's mallets, sledge hammers," McDonald said. "You name it, we've pretty much found it all."
McDonald says he's seen a lot come in and out of BTV in the ten years working security there, but one item takes the cake for the strangest.
"We had to take away a bottle full of wine which had an actual cobra snake inside of it," McDonald said.
He says bring liquids, gels and even maple syrup in a plastic bag, making sure the container is small enough to meet requirements.
"If you have a Christmas gift or a gift you're bringing to a holiday relatives, leave it unwrapped until you get to your actual destination," McDonald said.
For families traveling like the Anderssons, security is on their mind.
"I think it's a different world we live in today, it pays to be vigilant," said Alfred Andersson.
With recent terror attacks across the world, some travelers have seen a bigger emphasis on travel safety.
"I did notice increased security at South Station in Boston," said Lindsay Daily, whose coming back home to Swanton after attending college in Massachusetts. "There's just more presence of I think of authorities."
But McDonald says while passengers may not see any visible changes, it's the top priority at BTV.
"We're using every resource we have, passengers coming through Burlington are in very good shape," McDonald said.
As temperatures continue to drop throughout the night, State Police say drive with caution.
At its warmest, Burlington hit only 33 degrees today, so black ice is a possibility tonight. Remember that over-passes, bridges, and any other raised roadways are the first to freeze over.
"Plan ahead, there's going to be other travelers out there. Make sure you're leaving a good distance between you and the vehicle in front of you, so you have that reactionary gap. Have a designated driver if you're going to be out having a good time with people, make sure you're wearing your seat belt. Most importantly we just want people to be safe on the roadways. we did have a little bit of weather last night, temperatures have dropped, so roads can ice up pretty quickly," said Lieutenant Gary Scott, with the Vermont State Police.
There have been 48 traffic deaths so far this year in Vermont, to help keep that number down, State Police will be ramping up enforcement.
Montpelier may be one step closer to having a skating rink.
The rink, which would sit on the State House lawn during the winter months, would cost around $15,000.
Put a Rink on It, the committee spearheading the project, submitted a proposal to the Vermont Department of Buildings and General Services.
The committee says it need's to raise an additional $10,000, and should the proposal pass, the rink would bring in more business to the area.
"People will come skating, they will buy hot cocoa, and it will drive folks downtown, so we think it will be good for Montpelier in those ways too and very much in keeping with the traditions of the state," says Put a Rink On It member, Nate Hausman.
The committee is set to present their proposal to the Capitol Complex Commission December 2nd.
It hopes to have a test run of the rink by late winter.
For most, Thanksgiving is a time to spend with family and friends, celebrating tradition. And for many, it includes a turkey dinner. For area farmers it's one of their busiest times. Turkey sales are coming at the perfect time.
"We started out with some cows, added some pigs, added some chickens," said Beth Whiting. But this time of year, turkeys are at the top of the food chain for Whiting and Maple Wind Farm.
She and her husband started their Huntington farm in 1999. Over the years they've seen the need to diversify their crops and livestock. "It's a great state to be raising really good, organic, pasture raised foods," added Whiting.
John Smith is Maple Wind's Poultry Manager, he oversees their processing plant in Richmond. He says the farm raised close to 600 turkey this year. All have been processed and sold. "Our plan was to freeze a bunch of birds to process over the course of the winter, but turns out we haven't been able to do that. People keep calling, and 3 or 4 people have already stopped in today," said Smith.
Heading into the winter months, things can slow down for farms. It's why seasonal livestock sales are all the more important. "We don't have a ton of other things besides root vegetables to sell right now so it's nice to get that income boost," said Smith.
Whiting estimates turkey sales this year will bring in about $45 thousand in gross profits this Holiday Season; from farmers markets, whole-sales to distributors in Boston, and direct sales to customers in Vermont. "It's really nice to see the faces of the people who are taking home a precious, delicious bird for their holiday," said Whiting.
It long days and hard work for the maple wind crew, but for them, they say impacting your Holiday Season is well worth it. "People are laughing around a table, enjoying, knowing that the bird was raised the best way possible. It's a good feeling," added Whiting.
While Maple Wind Farm's 600 turkeys may not sound like much, with Americans estimated to eat 49 million turkeys this Thanksgiving, Beth whiting says every bird counts.
We've had a solid preview of winter over the last couple days. The coldest afternoon since April was Monday, wind chills were in the teens & low 20s and it was topped off by snow showers Tuesday. As you read, this snow showers will be ending, if they haven't already. There may still be some icy spots, especially in the northern Champlain Valley, be careful. Snow should be wrapped up by midnight but skies will stay partly to mostly cloudy; lows will be near 23°. High pressure is building in Wednesday leading to a mostly sunny, quiet day. Highs will be a lot closer to normal in the low to mid 40s. If you're traveling anywhere in the northeast, you should be good to go. The messy weather is in the middle of the country. Wednesday night into Thursday, wind will start to pick up a bit, but the night is dry and cool; lows will be in the low to mid 30s. Thanksgiving will be a mostly sunny day but it'll also be plenty windy. Wind from the south will be sustained at 10-15mph with gusts near 25mph. Couple the wind with a decent hit of sun, highs will be dancing around 50°. Happy Thanksgiving! It'll be a much nicer day than what we had last year when we were buried under 8-16" of heavy snow.
Friday, we'll have a cold front knocking on our northwestern door. It'll bring widespread rain by late Friday morning and it'll last much of the afternoon. South winds ahead of it will stay breezy, gusting to near 20mph. The front and rain will quickly push south as the sun goes down but lingering moisture will turn to rain and snow showers through early Saturday morning. Due to limited moisture and the quick speed of the front, we're not expecting much in the way of accumulation but roads may get a bit slick; highs Friday before the front goes by will be warm again in the low 50s. High pressure builds in Saturday leading to clearing by afternoon but it'll be significantly cooler; highs won't get out of the 30s. Sunday and Monday will be partly sunny and quiet with highs around 40°. Another wind and rain maker moves in from our south/southwest on Tuesday. As of now, it looks to be mainly rain, but a slight shift to the east and we may be dealing with some snow. We'll be keeping a close eye, stay tuned!