From December to February, Vermont was hit with a series of warming periods that had ski resorts frantically producing snow and maple syrup makers starting production weeks before the typical mapling season.
But the past few weeks have come close to reversing the state’s backlog of snow accumulation — thanks, in part, to one large snowstorm that broke records in Burlington and wallopped southern Vermont.
As of March 23, a few days into spring, Burlington had received 71.7 inches of snow over the course of the winter. That’s compared to the 80 inches it has received for the same time period on average in the past 30 years, according to the National Weather Service.
“Most areas in the Champlain Valley, and particularly Burlington, are near normal, whereas actually a portion of central (and) … eastern Vermont has now gone well above normal,” said Seth Kutikoff, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Burlington.
Burlington’s 9.5 inches of snow on March 14 set a new record for one-day snowfall, and the next day, March 15, it hit a record for the amount of snow on the ground — 15 inches, according to the service’s data.
But that pales in comparison to southern Vermont’s snowfall total. Peru in Bennington County received 20 inches of snow on March 15, raising its total for the season to nearly 136 inches, one of the highest it’s ever reported. (The highest season, 1970-71, had a reported 163 inches.)
Kutikoff said a last-second storm that hits hard is not unusual for Vermont. “The middle of March does tend to result in a parade of stormy weather, and with temperatures just cold enough, we do tend to get heavy snow storms in the late winter,” he said, citing the March storms of 2017 and 1993 as standouts.
Vermont’s once unseasonably high temperatures have cooled down in recent weeks, too. Kutikoff said that trend was expected to continue through the end of the month.
But the long-term predictions for April through June were leaning toward above-normal temperatures, he said.
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