Tuesday, May 9, 2017

May Snowflakes Are Certainly Annoying, But It Could Have Been Worse

Lilac buds this snowy morning, St. Albans, Vermont
It was a real slap in the face Monday morning as I prepared to depart my St. Albans, Vermont home Monday morning to go to work.

As I walked out to my truck, a couple of snowflakes hit me right in the kisser.

There I was, surrounded by a greening forest and happy yellow daffodils dancing in my breezy yard, and I had to deal with this.

It got even worse this morning when said green trees and daffodils were covered by a slushy layer of new snow that fell overnight.

I'm sure there were quite a few other people who shared my lack of enthusiasm for this May snowfall.

It's unusual but definitely not unprecedented for snow to accumulate on Vermont's valley floors like it did last night. And it almost always snows in the mountains this time of year.

I guess you can take heart that this could have been worse. There have definitely been bigger snowstorms in the North Country in May and even June.

One of the most epic May snowstorms hit New England on May 9-10, 1977, in what was otherwise a very warm spring month.

While many areas of Vermont got a few inches of snow out of that one, some higher elevations near the Capital District of New York and in western and central Massachusetts got nailed by one to as much as two feet of snow.

Slide Mountain, New York got 27 inches of snow and Norfolk, Connecticut got 20 inches. New York City got a trace of snow, the latest snowfall on record there.

The leaves were starting to blossom out by then, so the weight of the snow on leafing trees broke zillions of branches and almost as many power lines. Electricity was out for a week or more in a few spots.

In 2013 and even later and incredible snowstorm struck on May 24-26. I remember flying out of Burlington International Airport on May 27 of that year and looking out over a snowy landscape in the mountains of Vermont and New York that day.  That was super, duper late in the year to see snow.

Whiteface Mountain in New York got nearly three feet of snow in that very late season snow. Jay Peak, Vermont received 18 inches. At lower elevations, Walden, Vermont picked up six inches of snow and Greensboro collected 4.5 inches of snow.  
Unhappy snowy daffodils in my garden this morning, St. Albans

Not the type of weekend you'd want for the unofficial opening weekend of summer.

We could even theoretically collect snow in June. The famous Year Without A Summer in 1816 featured drifts to 20 inches deep in Danville, Vermont.

On June 11, 1842, up to a foot of snow fell on Irasburg and Barton, Vermont, and there was a dusting in Burlington.

With global warming in full effect, I doubt we'll ever see a snowstorm like that in June again.   Still, you understand my point: The May snow we've gotten this week could have been worse.

There continues to be some snow showers around this morning, but those will retreat to the mountain tops today. Still, it's going to be very chilly for this time of year, with readings only in the 40s when it should be in the 60s.

It'll sort of warm up as we go through the rest of the week, but stay a little cool for this time of year.  At least at this point, we can hope that we will have no more big snowstorms until late next fall.

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