A Dream Of Spring
2015-03-08 17:02:10.000 – Tom Padham, Weather Observer/Meteorologist
With the bulk of a cold and snowy winter behind us, I find myself dreaming of the warmer and longer days of summer. This brought me to the question: when does Mount Washington typically see its last snowfall? It can snow at any point atop the Rockpile, with snow being recorded every month of the year. I’ve personally seen snow fall in the month of June. But on an average year we see a roughly 2-3 month period with snowfall not exceeding an inch.
Looking into the climatology, June averages only an inch of snowfall, with some years seeing no snowfall at all and others seeing a few inches. Complicating matters is the fact that hail, while not extremely common, does count towards snowfall if it accumulates on the ground during summer thunderstorms on the summit. Average temperatures on the summit climb above freezing in early May, with the daily average temperature reaching 33 degrees by the 8th.
Glancing over the digital monthly records going back to 2002, the earliest date we’ve seen our last one inch snowfall on the summit occurred on April 30th, 2007. The latest one inch or greater snowfall occurred June 4th, 2012. The average of all of the last on inch snowfall dates is May 18th, which seems to be a good estimate for our last significant snowfall of the season on the summit. Only about 71 days to go!
Spring Scenery from Lakes of the Clouds
Tom Padham, Weather Observer/Meteorologist