2011-05-03 18:18:30.000 – Ryan Knapp, Staff Meteorologist
Blues, grays and gold from sunset yesterday.
I just finished the monthly weather summary for April (which is posted here and here) and if I had to think of three words to summarize last month’s weather, it would be warm, wet and windy. Temperatures averaged 24F for the month which was 1.1 degrees warmer than normal for April. Precipitation totaled 9.95 inches which was 1.52 inches above normal for April. And winds averaged 42.2 mph which was 7.4 mph above normal for April with a peak of 115mph. And while none of these three were record breaking by any means, with all of them finishing above average, I would consider last month warm, wet and windy.
But not everything was above normal as the warm weather allowed the snowfall to fall short by a nearly a foot over the month. And the warm and wet weather worked together to whittle down the snowpack that was already up here leaving a lot more bare ground than I remember at the start of the month before my vacation. And this lack of snow added to our seasonal snowfall debt making us 63.8 inches below normal from July 1, 2010 to April 30, 2011. And while we still have two more months to chip away at this debt, May and June don’t tend to bring a lot of snow with them. But stranger things have happened on the summit. But what was a bit surprising was that the current seasons 63.8 inches below normal is only an inch different from where we were last year at the same time. It’s just a shame that more of the rain that fell in April wasn’t snow or else we would have been well above where we were last year. Oh well, next year…
And while the warm, wet weather brought plenty of rain with it, it also brought plenty of clouds and fog. We only received 34 percent of our possible sunshine for the month. And we only had 2 completely sunny days while the other 28 saw fog and clouds. And while that’s not that unusual for a place that remains in the fog over 60 percent of the year, it’s still a whole lot of gray skies. And while this warm, wet fog slowly ate away our snowpack in addition to all the rain, I didn’t get gloomy, I looked at it all in a positive note. If April showers bring May flowers, this year is shaping up to be a possibly stellar year in the Alpine Garden and other blooming areas in the Alpine Zone. So while the ski season is slowly being nibbled up by the melting fields, in no time, fields of flowers will be springing up in their place leaving a freckled summit of color in the coming months. So with camera in hand, I eagerly await to see what’s in store in the coming months.
Ryan Knapp, Staff Meteorologist