Sunday, May 1, 2016

Spring's March Forward Stalled in Vermont, New England During April

Snow covered daffodils in Burlington, Vermont show
the wear and tear of an unspringlike April. Photo was taken
during an April 26 snowfall.  
I'm about to say something that most Vermonters, and most New Englanders knew, and felt it in their bones and in their gardens.

April was definitely chillier than average.   

The numbers are in here in Vermont. At the National Weather Service office in South Burlington, Vermont, April was 3.2 degrees cooler than average.

It was the first chillier than normal month since October, 2015, and the chilliest, relative to normal, since March, 2015, which was 4.6 degrees colder than normal.

In March this year, it was toasty warm for the season and spring seemed like it would come roaring in big time and quickly. By April 1, some of the early green plants were emerging from the ground.

But all that was some kind of big April fool.  

Many of us remember the extreme chill in the early part of the month, when temperatures didn't get above freezing for a few days and some of the coldest mountain hollows got below zero.

The cold was so stunning that as of this writing, the many daffodils I have around my house in St. Albans, Vermont aren't putting on their usual stunning show. There's plenty of blooms, yes, but not as many as I usuallu see. Some got hopelessly nipped in early April.

First time I've seen daffodils suffer in the weather. They're normally really tough.

We also thought back in March that the trees would be greening up by now. They are only barely starting.

April was dry, too, with lots of days of sunny skies and very, very low humidity. Brush fires seeed a constant threat in Vermont and the rest of New England all month. I noticed brush and grass fires around St. Albans both Friday and Saturday.

Despite the relative dryness, Burlington, Vermont, April managed to be snowier than March, which is unusual. The city got 3.5 inches of snow during April, compared to 1.8 inches in March.

May is some ways is starting where April left off, with the difference that we are going to get some needed, soaking rain.

As I wrote this Sunday morning, rain was moving into Vermont, and at least some showers are due almost every day for the next week at least.

Like in April, May is off to a chilly start, with high temperatures in the clouds and rain not getting out of the upper 40s today and Monday in many parts of northern  Vermont.

It'll sort of warm up midweek, but a big cut off area of low pressure in the upper atmosphere is expected to park itself somewhere along the East Coast later in the week. That will likely continue the cool, showery weather across all of the Northeast.

Here in Vermont, we could get as much as three inches of rain over the next six to 10 days. 

At least it's not snow. At least I don't think it will snow. 

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