Saturday, April 9, 2016

Frigid Now, But Coming Soon: Back To Our Normally Scheduled Spring In Vermont

As evening fell on St. Albans, Vermont Friday, snow began
accumulating again, to replace the 1.5 inches of snow
that fell, the melted during the day Friday. 
Yep, it's cold again in Vermont.

On Friday, we were treated to frequent snow showers, which piled up to a few inches in the higher elevations.

And yes, today and Sunday are going to be cold.

But, as hinted at in previous blog posts, there's hope. Spring will return to Vermont soon as schedule.

It'll be a process, but it'll get here.

Let's start with the gloomy short-term forecast.


It snowed for the fourth day in a row at my house in St. Albans, Vermont this morning. In April. A bit of lake effect snow, normally a product of early and mid-winter, was falling in Burlington early Saturday morning.

All this after that warm winter we had. Even the National Weather Service in South Burlington, Vermont is marveling. Here's what they had to say in their forecast discussion this morning:

"Funny how most of the winter we could not buy a snow shower. Now every little piece of energy or surface trough if producig mainly light accumulating snowfall lately."

Burlington had 0.4 inches of snow Friday, which puts the season's snowfall to 32 inches. Because of this, we will no longer have the least snowy season on record. That record of 31.8 inches will now keep standing

We're not quite done with snow in Vermont, either. More on that in a minute.

Most places in Vermont won't get out of the 30s today. Same is true on Sunday. Such high temperatures are a good 15 degrees colder than normal for this time of year. That's bad,  but we've been there before.

On the bright side, at least that's slightly warmer than the recent cold spell Sunday and Monday, when temperatures in most places didn't get above freezing during the day, and a few places got below zero at night.

Nobody in Vermont (except maybe those hanging out on the tallest mountain peaks) is going to go below zero during this weekend's cold snap. Teens at night, yes. Maybe a couple of the coldest mountain hollows in the upper single numbers above zero, yes, but not as bad as the last one.

Still, Sunday morning's record low of 16 in Burlington is threatened. The record low of 17 in Montpelier Sunday is almost certainly going to be challenged.

Also, a new storm that's threatening southern New England with a little more snow Saturday and Saturday night is going to miss Vermont. We might get a couple snow showers, but that's it. Some of the northern Vermont mountains could pick up another dusting or an inch of snow.

Speaking of other areas, it's not just Vermont enduring a late season wave of winter weather. It was 10 below early this morning in the northeaster tip of Minnesota.  Freeze warnings covered an enormous part of the country this morning from Nebraska to North Carolina.

Winter weather advisories are in effect today for snow in parts of Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and New Jersey -- pretty far south for this time of year.

Even so, we in Vermont, and the rest of the eastern United States, will begin a slow, arduous climb back to spring starting Monday.

A warm front is going to approach Vermont Monday morning, bringing a slug of precipitation with it.

Unfortunately for us lovers of spring,  chances are it'll start off as snow. I'm hoping there won't be any surprises like the 4 to 8 inches of snow in far northern Vermont that hit Wednesday night.  But there is that potential. For now, forecasters are generally going with a dusting to three inches of new snow across northern Vermont Monday morning.

During the day Monday, snow will switch to rain pretty quickly. I'm not expecting a major storm, just a raw, cold rain.


Then we get into next week as a whole. It won't exactly be warm sunshine and beach weather, but it will be an improvement.

During most of the week, high temperatures will be in the 40s, with lows in the 20s to low 30s.

That's chillier than normal for April in Vermont,  but not by much. And it's a far cry from below zero, so thank your lucky stars for that. Deal with it.

Although I generally don't trust long range forecasts, I've been touting the idea that it will warm up further after the next few days. Those long range forecasts have been pretty damn consistent with the idea of warming us up, starting, maybe Friday.

Initial hints bring us up to the low to mid 50s Friday afternoon, normal and pretty decent for April.

Beyond that, I'm going to be vague, but it looks like we're going to get into a typical April pattern.

That means sluggish changes in the overall weather pattern. This means maybe risks of severe weather that comes this time of year out in the Great Plains, and boring weather for Vermont.

This time of year, though, boring is good! Especially after the winter in early April  we've been through.

Boring for Vermont in this case means, for the last half of April, highs generally in the 50s and 60s most days (at or a little above normal) and no big storms. Don't expect crystal clear skies all the time. But do expect some sun and some April showers now and then.

We can handle that, right?

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