Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Odd Snow On Ground To Contribute To Tonight's Record Chill

Here in northern Vermont this afternoon's temperature barely made it to the freezing mark, despite bright sunshine.
By late afternoon Wednesday, despite abundant sunshine
little of the 3.5 inches of snow that fell on St. Albans
Tuesday evening had melted.  

That's at least 20 degrees below normal, and it was so cold that the snow that fell last night didn't really melt.

The air that's cold to start with, the clear skies, plus the unusual April snow cover, is setting Vermont and other parts of the Northeast up for a record cold night.

Since it was so cold, the temperature does not have that far to fall to achieve record lows. That the sky is clear means what little heat is out there can radiate out to space.

And snow cover, common in January but not so much in April, helps prevent meager warmth coming out of the ground from influcing nighttime temperatures.

So, it's going to be in the teens tonight in northern New England. Some towns will get into the winter like single numbers.

Actually, in Burlington, Vermont, tomorrow's record low is 13 degrees, the coldest for so late in the season. So the Queen City might not achieve a record low, but then again, it might. I'm sure we'll hear of other record lows in the Northeast tomorrow morning.

Luckily, spring isn't that far advanced. The few green shoots that have emerged from the ground already are pretty tough, and can withstand temperatures in the low teens. They'll survive. More tenxer plants haven't come up out of the ground yet, so they'll be fine

The good news is this cold snap won't last. A southwesterly breeze will bring temperatures into the 40s and low 50s tomorrow. That's still a little below normal, but not bad, and it will melt the snow.

Between the southwesterly winds, the warmer daytime temperatures and the fact the snow will have disappeared, tomorrow night won't be so cold.

And spring will resume and continue into next week. The past day or two was an unpleasant review visit to winter, but it was blessedly brief.

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