Monday, March 20, 2017

Spring Arrives In New England In Uncertain Fashion. Typical

Snow settling in the March sun last Friday in the woods
near my St. Albans, Vermont house created interesting
light and shadow patterns. Snow will continue to slowly
melt - with a couple frigid interruptions - over the next
few weeks.
Astronomical spring arrived this morning at around 6:30 here in New England, while the temperature at my St. Albans, Vermont house was 8 degrees, and there was still more than a foot of snow on the ground.

The old adage is true: The first day of spring and the first spring day are usually not the same thing here in New England.

On the bright side, just like yesterday, temperatures are getting up to 40 degrees or so this afternoon here in northern Vermont.

 The slow melting process will continue, and the maple sugarers will continue - -today and tomorrow at least - to enjoy a freeze/thaw cycle that they like to keep the sap running.

All this snow will be slowly disappearing over the next couple of weeks, in fits and starts, of course.

Spring is always tentative and uncertain in northern New England, and this year is no exception. The weather pattern that brought us some Arctic cold blasts and snow is changing again, which holds out the prospect that we will get a few spring like days in the coming couple of weeks.

But not always.

Before the weather pattern finishes its transition to a somewhat more spring-like one, another HUGE Arctic blast is heading toward the North Country.

A sharp Arctic front will come through Tuesday night, and the bottom will drop out of the temperatures.

Just as we have twice already this month, daytime highs Wednesday will be near record low levels. Highs just in the teens, when it should be at least in the low 40s this time of year.  Record lows are possible Wednesday night as temperatures bottom out near or below zero.

Cold waves like this don't last long this time of year, and it'll start to warm up Thursday afternoon. It'll still be frigid for this time of year in Vermont, with highs in the 20s, but it will be better.

The warmup will continue so that near seasonable temperatures (low 40s-ish) come in Friday and Saturday.

Beyond that, the weather will see-saw, with colder weather possible around Sunday then maybe warmer weather again a couple days after that. (Long-range forecasts like this are always iffy, especially in the spring.)

The overall weather pattern change starting this week and continuing into April will mean a greater risk of occasional tornadoes and severe weather in the Plains, Midwest and South starting Thursday and Friday.

The pattern change would also seem to increase the chances of storminess at times in Vermont and the rest of the Northeast. As we're heading into April, the chances of the storms being rain and not snow are definitely increasing.

However, even in April, you never know. Stay tuned.

Spring is stuttering, but it's getting here!

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