- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 11, 2014

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - A winter storm that could drop 10 to 20 inches of snow on Vermont is expected to hit the region Wednesday accompanied by strong wind gusts and lower temperatures.

The storm is expected to dump snow at a rate of about 1 to 2 inches an hour in the northern Adirondack Mountains, the Champlain Valley and central and northern Vermont, including the Northeast Kingdom, said the National Weather Service in Burlington.

Meteorologists said light snow will develop Wednesday morning, increasing in intensity by the afternoon and becoming heavy at times into Thursday. Gusts will be up to 35 mph. Highs are expected to be in the low 20s and lows will range from 2 to 12 degrees.

Most of the accumulation will occur Wednesday night.

The storm could also bring rain and sleet to parts of Rutland and Windsor counties on Wednesday evening.

Difficult driving conditions are expected. At times, visibilities will be less than half a mile. Police are warning drivers to take their time and leave enough room between vehicles.

Vermont Department of Public Safety is advising residents to check on neighbors who might need assistance and make sure heating vents are cleared. Blocked vents can lead to a buildup of carbon monoxide, which can be fatal.

Green Mountain Power, a major utility in the state, is preparing for potential power outages from the storm. It says it will place workers in areas expected to be hit hardest.

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