The last of the snow in the yard melted today, so I can finish off that portion of my seasonal snowfall numbers. The data for the last of the snow melting out in the yard (as of this season the mean date is April 15th ± 10 days) is actually something I’ve recorded all the way back since our first winter here (2006-2007) and April 24th is one day later than the previous record I had down (April 23rd, 2007). This puts the continuous snowpack season in the yard at 141 days, which is exactly the same number recorded for ’06-’07. Both of those seasons had slow starts with poor November snowfall, and snowpack that did not become established until early December, so they are well behind the highest value of 152 days recorded for the 2007-2008 season. The next benchmark I’ll monitor will be when the last of the snow melts out in our neighborhood, which tends to be about a week beyond when the snow melts out at the house.
As I was skiing at Bolton yesterday I was reminded of some outings in April ’07, and realized that while the snowpack is in excellent shape this spring, the skiing this month has really paled in comparison to the equivalent period back in ’07. Even down at this elevation we had almost two feet of snowfall in April ’07, and this season we’ve had just 4.4 inches. I’m not sure what the mountains have had this April, but in ’07 it was measured in feet; I skied one day mid month on the mountain where I found up to 19 inches of new snow, and that was for just one of the storms. The reading from the Mansfield stake on Friday was certainly respectable at 82 inches, but for the same date in ’07 it was actually at 84 inches. It’s really been just an issue of the storm track this April; the moisture has been there, but the track has been too far to the north/west to get into the appropriate combination of precipitation and temperature. With a good track over the past few weeks we probably would have had another April 2007 on our hands. I think that the past couple of springs have been so poor in the snowfall department that some perspective has been lost on April’s potential, this one is good in terms of base/snowpack, but I’d say subpar for snowfall (we’re still below average by a few inches at the house).