Mount Mansfield in Vermont has great extensive weather coverage from local temperatures with height:
To the current snowfall, snow depth, and an archive of past winters:
We'll focus on the snow at the peak of Mansfield for the purpose of this blog.
Images courtesy Computing and Information Technology - University of Vermont
The first image on the left shows the annual average of snowfall at the peak of Mt. Mansfield based on climate data from the University of Vermont and weather spotters toward the peak. First, there are manual measurements taken at "The Stake" each afternoon located at roughly 3,900' (so technically not at its 4,393' peak but close enough!). Those are sent to the National Weather Service in Burlington daily.
As of Tuesday, March 4 the summit of Mansfield had 66" of snow, just slightly below average for this time of year. Again on the top image, the green shaded area shows the average snow depth with time advancing from left to right, while snow amounts rise from bottom to top. The maroon line shows this year's observations. It was a late start to the snow accumulations at Vermont's highest peak, mostly due to a warm December, however generally speaking it has been a pretty average year.
We're approaching a special time of the season though. According to the graph the summit snow depth peaks around March 15-20 with around 6 feet of snow depth. Last year there was a huge drop (noted in the second image) due to unprecedented record heat toward the middle/end of the month. However the year prior, more and more snow added up through the month of March, heading in an opposite direction. The second image shows the past three years; this year, last, and the one prior.
Last year the meteorological winter was six degrees warmer than average in Burlington compared to this year's between three and four degrees warmer than average. This year has been cooler than last year, and the track of low pressure systems have been further south and east than last year. In 2011-2012 many low pressure systems tracked through the St. Lawrence Valley, bringing warmer air and mixed precipitation. However this year there have been more "south" tracking storms through southern New England or off the Northeast coast, conducive for more snow.
What will this year hold for the mountain? It appears as though a steady depth or slightly lowering through mid March with warmer temperatures forecast. This is the time of year though that we start preparing for flooding. So far the National Weather Service considers this year a "near normal" threat for winter/spring flooding. That is as of February 21 though, as that outlook is updated every two weeks. The next update will be March 7.
-Meteorologist Steve Glazier