Saturday, April 2, 2016

The Winter Of 2015-16 To Finally Hit New England -- In April

Enjoy your crocuses today, as winter is going to arrive
in Vermont and the rest of New England tonight to
get rid of these in a hurry.  
We here in Vermont and the rest of New England are now bracing for the arrival of winter.

I know it should be spring, but cruel Ma Nature, as noted before, gets things backwards sometimes.

Yeah, winter usually hits in November, but this year, I guess it's starting in April, when it's really supposed to be warming up. Up until now, it has been pretty mild.

(If the Arctic forecast that I'll describe freezes you to the bone, I'll have some warm winter weather stats further down in this post to toast you right back up.)

First, winter.


There is a big blast of gusty Arctic air coming, prompting wind advisories from Iowa to Massachusetts, freeze warnings from Illinois to northern Georgia, and winter weather advisories from eastern Minnesota to western New York.

As the Arctic front comes in, a storm will begin to form along the front and move from about Pennsylvania to southern New England.

Which means things look like they'll get especially interesting around southern New England Sunday morning.

As the Arctic air blasts in, it'll rapidly power up that storm and develop  rapidly developing storm somewhere near the New England coast.  Atmospheric instability will be extreme with this, so much of southern New England can expect a few hours of damaging winds, gusting from 40 to as high as 70 mph, bursts of intense snowfall and thundersnow.

The storm will zip out to sea pretty quickly Sunday afternoon, but by then, the near record cold air will be entrenched in the Northeast.

Here in Vermont, we'll miss most of the Sunday drama I described above, but we'll still get some snow showers, especially in the morning and especially in the southern half of the state.

Across all of Vermont, temperatures will hover at or below freezing all day and screaming north winds will gust to 45 mph or so. Expect wind chills in the teens or worse. That'll shiver your crocuses!

The cold air will remain entrenched in Vermont and the rest of the Northeast through Tuesday. A little storm will scoot by Monday, dropping a couple inches of additional snow on central and southern New England as it passes.

Up in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, most areas will probably stay below freezing through Tuesday. Overnight lows each night will be in the teens, with single numbers in the colder spots.

That's pretty damn cold for April.

Toward the end of the week, it'll sort of warm up as another storm arrives, but it will still be a bit cooler than normal for April. With the vaguely warm air coming in Thursday, most of the precipitation will be rain as temperatures get into the 40s.

Not particularly nice, but oh well.

And yet... we're not done with winter yet, oh no!  You can't get off that easily.

The weather pattern looks like it's going to get incredibly complicated (but definitely still cold!) toward the end of next week and next weekend,.

There are signs in this complicated mess of cold air and weather disturbances that a new storm will want to get going on the New England coast and move only slowly. If that pans out, we could be looking at a snowstorm next Friday or Saturday, especially inland, away from the coast.

It's still very VERY  unclear how things will evolve in a week's time, so don't panic over a snowstorm yet. A lot can change with the forecast over six days.

Long range forecasts suggest it might finally warm up somewhat to near normal springtime temperatures around the middle of April. Let's hope so!


March in Vermont continued a very, very warm trend that started in November. The mean temperature for March in Burlington, Vermont was 36.7 degrees, which is a substantial 5.7 degrees above normal.

That places March as the 11th warmest on record.

More impressively, the entire period from Nov. 1, 2015 through March 31, 2016 was the warmest such stretch on record, the National Weather Service office in South Burlington, Vermont says.

Interestingly, the four warmest November-March periods on record in Burlington area all since 2001. Records in Burlington go back to the 1880s, so the fact that all the warmest ones are in this decade is pretty remarkable.

Burlington has had only 30.8 inches of snow for the entire winter. The least snowiest winter on record is 31.8 inches.

I'm guessing we'll get more than an inch of snow in the Burlington area over the course of the next week to 10 days, so this probably won't be the least snowy winter on record. But it will be close.

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