Light wind and sunshine for our May Day 2011 in New England stands out in the crowd of Violent & Extreme weather here in the United States of America. At lunch time today, May 1st, the wind at The Summit of Mount Washington New Hampshire was south at 1 mph. The visibility. 120 miles in the canter of this beautiful 1028 Polar High Pressure system. But all around us are seemingly endless storms. And now we have a complicated weather block developing.
THE TROUGH, that caused the worst tornado outbreak since March 18,
1925, has slowed to a crawl over The Atlantic Ocean just east and south
of New England, as 553 Decameter cut off upper level low (140 DM weaker than
when it spawned the tornadoes over Mississippi on Weds April 27). This
upper low is causing a traffic jam in the atmosphere. So the next deep
trough is now stalling over the lower Mississippi River Valley, where
another 6.5" of rain fell over Little rock Arkansas this weekend. This
next trough resulted in the 700th inch of snow in the Sierra Range and
into Utah, along with a spring blizzard in Montana and North Dakota.
Even Las Vegas New Mexico has been snowing all May Day, with a
temperature of 28°.
Though we are in a new month, this weather pattern is same old... Relentless winter cold from western Canada, teaming with a series of Pacific Storms, then riding into record warmth in Texas and the Iron Clad 'La Nina' type ridge over the southeastern United States. On Saturday April 30th we set a record low of 9° in Stanley Idaho, later the same day, 102° in Del Rio Texas tied the record high form April 30, 1951. This clash of extremes, along with a warmer than normal Gulf of Mexico is the cause of severe storm after sever storm. Though it may seem we are somewhat spared here in New England, that is only because it is so bad elsewhere.
Lake Champlain is experiencing a record flood, with the level at 102.84 feet, 2.84' above flood stage. April 2011 rainfall in Burlington broke the record of 6.85" in April 1983. This is the wettest month since 10.26" in September 1999. The rivers running into Lake Champlain are all in flood, and we have 80" of snow left at the Mount Mansfield snow stake, that runoff will keep the Lake in Flood through May.
The next storm has been a trouble maker for our forecast. Initially we though the storm would pass out slowly south of New England with heaviest rain near the shore. Now we are looking at a track that is not only delayed, but now forecast to pass over Burlington Vermont with potential 2" of rain for the Champlain valley Tuesday and Wednesday. The coastal region may not see much rain at all this week, but not much sunshine either.
May is traditionally the month of most extreme severe weather. With all this cold still in place we are far form out of the woods with floods and violent Thunder Storms. The greatest threat is along the Mississippi Valley, where rainfall and snow melt may make this month the worst for flooding since perhaps 1937, or 1927.
On a positive note Jay Peak & Sugarloaf plan to stay open for skiing next weekend, and we may see a small groundswell from the cut off low north of Bermuda.