It's April. We've had our first 70 degree day in most towns. So we must be safe from snow, right? Think again.
The mountains of Northern New England woke up to a fresh 1-3" of snow Thursday morning, and more is on the way.
A cold pocket of air in the upper atmosphere is setting up right over the top of us for the next several days. That's a key ingredient for what's called "instability" in the weather world.
Essentially that cold air aloft makes it very easy for clouds and spot showers to form each afternoon as daytime heating gets underway. And of course in the mountains, where surface temperatures are cold enough, those showers fall as snow. Plus, our wind is from the west for the next few days. That adds a little extra upslope zest to the snow along the western slopes of our mountains.
The snow through Saturday will be highly elevation dependent. That means the most snow through Saturday, potentially up to 6", will fall in the highest peaks of the Greens and Whites.
Many ski resorts will be open for the weekend, so for those not ready to give up the winter sports just yet, April vacation may be looking more like February vacation!
Snow in April is not unheard of by any means, especially in the mountains, but it's still noteworthy. Take Mt. Mansfield, for example. Vermont's highest peak typically sees its last 6" snowfall on April 9. But the latest 6" total ever recorded, according to the National Weather Service in Burlington, came on May 31, 2001! The last 4" amount typically comes on April 20, with the latest being June 13, 1965.
And while the lower elevations will see hit or miss spot showers each afternoon for the next few days, there certainly won't be any washouts. Most of each day will be dry, especially in Southern New England. At times though, because the air is so cold above us, a few snowflakes or ice pellets (also known as graupel) might be spotted.