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Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s highest summit, sees its first inch of snow this season

The Mount Mansfield Snow Stake, a large pole covered in inch markings, is pictured with snow about halfway up to the 1-inch mark.
National Weather Service
The Mount Mansfield Snow Stake, which the National Weather Service uses to measure the amount of snow on the mountain, recorded its first inch of snow this season on Sunday.

On Sunday the National Weather Service reported the first snowfall this winter season at Mount Mansfield in Underhill. This follows an abnormally warm year.

More from Vermont Public: Warm temperatures break records in Vermont, New York

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 seeing more 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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Corey Dockser is Vermont Public’s first data journalist, a role combining programming and journalism to produce stories that would otherwise go unheard. His work ranges from complex interactive visualizations to simple web scraping and data cleaning. Corey graduated from Northeastern University in 2022 with a BS in data science and journalism. He previously worked at The Buffalo News in Buffalo, New York as a Dow Jones News Fund Data Journalism intern, and at The Boston Globe.
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