Friday, November 7, 2014

Amazing How Elevation Can Affect Snow Accumulation

At an elevation of around 600 feet above sea level in St. Albans,
Vermont Friday afternoon, there was no snow on the ground.  
It snowed here in Vermont today.

Nothing extreme or unusual. We often get light snowfalls in early November.

Still, it's always fascinating how elevation can have a HUGE influence on how much snow accumulates in the early winter or towards spring.

Today was an excellent demonstration of how elevation affects snowfall.

Often around winter, especially toward late fall or early spring, the temperature is often near the freezing mark.

As you go up in elevation, the temperature decreases, so when the it's near freezing, the elevation can make a big difference on how much snow you get.

Such was the case today in St. Albans, Vermont.
At my house just up the hill from the previous photo, at an
elevation of about 700 feet, there was a slushy
 half inch of snow on the ground Friday afternoon.  

I consulted some topographical maps to get estimates on the elevation at the location of each of the three photos in this post.

The first photo in this post was taken on Fairfax Road, near the base of St. Albans hill. This is at an elevation of about 600 feet above sea level.

It had been snowing most of the day today, but as you can see, temperatures were just above freezing so the snow didn't really accumulate.

The second photo shows my yard along Fairfield Hill Road, at an elevation of around 700 feet.

As you can see, I had a slushy accumulation of about a half inch at my house. This is just 100 feet up the hill from where there was no snow on the ground.

The third photo was near the summit of St. Albans Hill. That's an elevation of about 900 feet. I measured 1.2 inches of snow on the ground there.

At an elevation of about 900 feet above sea level, just up the
hill from my St. Albans, Vermont home, the 1.2 inches
 of snow made the woods appear like mid-winter.  
It looks like the middle of winter.

In just an increase of 300 feet of elevation, no big deal at all, you went from autumn to winter today here in northwestern Vermont.

Let that be a lesson for those of you who were somehow not aware.

If they say it's been snowing, and the roads are slick, take heed even if there's not much snow, slush or ice at your house.

Just climb a small hill, and you could find yourself slipping and sliding.

Today, the road was wet by my house, and down the hill from my house. Up the hill from my house,  about a quarter mile away, the road became slushy and a bit slick today.

Ah, the joys of winter!

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