Springtime Snow and Cold
By Russell Russ
April’s weather was statistically fairly normal. Following a warm February and very warm March one would have almost expected to be swimming in Tobey Pond by mid-April, but that was not the case. April’s temperatures began on a record warm note then quickly cooled off to near record cold in a span of just a few days. The near record cold on April 5 and 6 caused damage to some flowering trees and shrubs. The blooms on forsythia and azaleas were almost nonexistent around town this spring. The spring peepers came out in force on April 1, only to be shocked a couple of days later.
By April 4 we had as much snowfall as we had in December, January and March – combined. And that was less than eight inches. That is unusual for sure. April is usually our big transition into spring month, but this year it seemed to linger in near-spring mode for most of the month.
April’s low temperature of 12 degrees was observed on April 6. The high of 78 degrees was observed on April 22. The April 1 high temperature of 72 degrees was a record for that date, beating the high of 71 set back in 1986. Lows of 13 on April 5 and 12 on April 6 just missed being records by a degree or two. With an average monthly mean temperature of 43.6 degrees, it was just 0.5 degree warmer than average.
The total precipitation recorded for the month was 2.44 inches, 1.81 inches below normal. Through April, our total precipitation for the year was 12.86 inches, 3.47 inches below average. Like last spring we are once again starting to build a rainfall deficit.
April’s snowfall total was 7.8 inches. This was 1.9 inches above normal, but what made it interesting is that it was more snowfall than we recorded in several of our winter months. That explains how poor a winter it was for snowfall around here. For the 2016 calendar year, through April, the snowfall total of 34 inches was 56 inches below normal. The 2015-2016 winter season, October through April, snowfall total of just 35.5 inches was 54.1 inches below normal. It was the least amount of snowfall for a winter season over the last 85 years and possibly much long than that. The old record for least amount of winter snowfall was 40.9 inches from the 1994-1995 season.
If you were hoping for some warmer weather, you will have to wait just a while longer. Through mid-May it was colder than normal. A couple of days reached into the 70’s, but that was followed by light snow flurries on May 15 and 16. On the positive side, the cooler weather does keep the black flies at bay.