Could This Be a Record Snow Year?


In 1954, scientists began recording the snow depths on a measurement stake near the ridgeline of Mt. Mansfield. Since then, there have been only ten years when the snow depth has reached 9 feet or higher and this year could set a record. In November, the stake recorded a record depth for that month, a feat that was repeated in January. As March came in like a lion, the snow was rapidly approaching the 9-foot mark.

The graph above shows typical snow depth over the course of the season (shades of gray represent the median snow depth, as well as that for 50% and 80% of seasons) with the five seasons that exceeded 10 feet in color. The current year is pink. We are right on the heels of the record season, 1968-69. That year, snow accumulated to 149 inches on April 2—that’s 12 feet, 5 inches, if you check your multiplication tables.

It’s already been a record-breaking winter for snow, when you look at individual months. Could the snow depth on Vermont’s highest peak break the maximum depth ever recorded? It sure looks possible. Kristian Omland

Snow sports enthusiasts should be aware that snow usually peaks at the stake in late March or early April. The inset shows date of maximum depth, which happens occasionally in February, occasionally after Tax Day, but 80 percent to the time falls between March 3 and April 17. Winter is far from over.

Kristian Omland.

Leave a comment