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SNOW MELT FAST

Tina Hartell

The snow is more-or-less gone. It seems odd to be saying this like, perhaps, it’s not, but there are still little pockets in dark hemlock stands, on the north sides of some buildings, and along roads where it was piled up high in banks. It also indicates how cold March and April were: March barely above freezing and even today, May 5, waking up to 37F and raining.

So while the leaves still haven’t flushed out and the spring ephemerals are slow to cover Bobo’s Mountain, there is an up-side. Mud season was once again a non issue, something Vermonters do not take for granted. We notice it. Because when it’s bad – like it was in 2012 – it is bad.

And then I think maybe (just a hopeful maybe) the cold will reduce the black-fly population that’s about to hatch.

In general, when the snow melts, it melts fast. There’s some tipping point in the snow structure, heat absorption, and sun strength that makes it go. I was able to monitor it this year thanks to a Sharpie and a pea trellis.

From March 27 to April 8 the snow melted 18” in 11 days, Of course this was a south-facing garden. On April 8, there was still 2 feet of snow in the woods. Here’s the breakdown:

Date                             Snow Melt in Inches                  % Melted

March 27-29                 3.5                                                  19.4%

March 29-30                 1.75                                                 9.7%

March 30-April 1          0.75                                                  4.1%

April 1-2                        1                                                      5.6%

April 2-3                       1.5                                                    8.3%

April 3-4                       1.75                                                  9.7%

April 4-6                       1.5                                                    8.3%

April 6-7                       1                                                       5.6%

April 7-8                       5.25                                                 29.2%

On average the snow melted 1.63” a day or 9% of its total.

I wonder how fast this little guy grows? Fast enough that we could tap it in 2024. Now that’s a growth rate.