Another Transition Completed
By Russell Russ
As is usually the case in April, winter finally released its firm hold and spring’s warmth slowly came into the picture. Very similar to last year, April began winter-like and then gradually warmed up. We started the month with nine inches of snow on the ground and all ponds still fully ice covered. Most local ponds and lakes lost their ice between April 10 and April 12. This was a few days later than last year, but still fairly typical.
The early April continuation of March-like weather helped salvage the 2014 maple syrup season at the Great Mountain Forest Sugarhouse and no doubt other local syrup producers as well. Continuously cold temperatures delayed the start of the syrup season by more than two weeks this year and the unfavorable conditions continued until the very end of March. Two to three weeks of halted production means a great deal when a typical season lasts just six weeks.
April’s low temperature of 21 degrees was observed on April 16. The high of 74 degrees was observed on April 14. With an average temperature of 44 degrees, it was just about one degree warmer than average. The only temperature record this month was on April 17 when the low temperature of 22 degrees tied the 1946 record low for that date.
The total precipitation recorded for the month was 3.27 inches. This was 1.06 inches below normal. Through April, our total precipitation for the year was 15.63 inches. This was 0.94 inch below normal for precipitation, but still five inches higher than last year.
April’s snowfall total was just 2.6 inches, 3.6 inches below normal. The monthly snowfall total came from just one brief storm during the early morning hours of April 16 and was completely gone within a couple of days. The nine inches of snow cover we began the month with was gone by around April 10. We are most likely done with snow for the season, but light snow or flurries can occur during May here in Norfolk.
For the 2014 calendar year the snowfall total is currently 65 inches, 1.1 inches below normal. January and February were above normal and March and April were below normal. Our 2013-2014 winter season snowfall total was 82.5 inches. This was 8.4 inches below normal, but not record setting in any way.