Temperatures continue to warm in early March, an indication of thinning ice and melting snow. While we haven't had any huge temperature swings or thaws as of late, it hasn't exactly been frigid either.
On the left you'll see a temperature tracker in the past five days (February 27 - March 3) for Newport, VT where on Lake Memphremagog there was an accident as a man fell into the ice as he pulled his ice shanty off the lake. The average low temperature for Newport this time of year is closer to 10 degrees but the actual has been around 25 degrees. The average high is in the lower 30s but has trended into the middle 30s during the day, along with a couple of 40s as of late.
This is the month where we see a lot of change. Temperatures rise about 13 degrees during the night and day from March 1 - 31 in the Burlington area, as the sun angle rises the most this month than any on the calendar year. The seven day forecast for March 4-10 shows several days above freezing during the day and not too, too cold at night. These numbers are indicative of the Champlain Valley expectations, which show about a five to ten degree surplus for temperatures when combining the forecast lows and highs.
The best advice I can give is to be very careful, check temperature forecasts and daily highs and lows, while talking with friends about how thick the ice is area by area. Unfortunately I don't have a nice web site link to give you for ice thickness across the area, but rather I'd say word of mouth may work best for your location.
Note the Friday to Saturday timeframe, which looks promising for maple sugarers! Mid 20s to mid 40s are the best conditions for maple sugaring. Monday (March 4) will not be an ideal day, warming only into the lower 30s, however mid 40s by the end of the week should have things really going! In fact Tuesday - Thursday still look decent too.
-Meteorologist Steve Glazier