Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s highest summit, sees its first inch of snow this season
On Sunday the National Weather Service reported the first snowfall this winter season at Mount Mansfield in Underhill. This follows an abnormally warm year.
The flakes, recorded via webcam at the Mount Mansfield Snow Stake, were well within the normal range for first snowfalls on the mountain, which tend to occur around mid-October.
“Usually the first snowfalls that occur in the state are across the higher elevations,” said Brooke Taber, a meteorologist at NWS Burlington. “And then it’ll work its way down into the lower terrain as temperature profiles cool and things like that.”
The earliest annual snowfall recorded on Mount Mansfield was on Sept. 15, 1959, while the latest was Nov. 20, 1978.
While the Mansfield snowfall has begun at an average time, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts above-average temperatures in the state.
The Champlain Valley has seen its second warmest October to date, Taber said, with abnormally warm overnight lows and daytime highs. The valley has yet to see its first frost of the season.
Vermont is seeingmore frequent thaws and shorter winters. As a result, snowpack is forming later, and melting more quickly. Vermont’s most recent climate assessment predicts skiing should still be viable in Vermont through 2050, with less certainty for low-elevation ski hills.
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