Thursday, April 11, 2013

April Snow Plays With Us - How Many Aprils Had More Snow?

Normally - at least as my memory reconstructs normal - April snow is fat and wet and the air is close to 30˚.  

I'd finished a downtown meeting and decided to take advantage of the April sun and walk home. 

The depth and texture of the snow screamed January or February. 

But the light said April.  Look at that tree's shadow.  In January the sun is just a few fingers above the horizon and stretches the shadows way, way out. 

This sun actually felt warm, even though it was low 20s. 

I went straight down E and got on the Chester Creek trail at Valley of the Moon Park.   The Weather Service says it's colder than normal and we've had a lot more April snow than normal.  (This is for April 10.)

                VALUE   VALUE       VALUE  FROM      YEAR            
TEMPERATURE (F)                                                     
  MAXIMUM         25     55    1938  42    -17       42               
  MINIMUM         14      4    1949  27    -13       22               
  AVERAGE         20                 34    -14       32             
PRECIPITATION (IN)                                                   
  YESTERDAY        0.02   0.47 1963   0.02   0.00                    
  MONTH TO DATE    0.72               0.14   0.58                    
  SINCE MAR 1      2.09               0.74   1.35                    
  SINCE JAN 1      4.54               2.19   2.35                    
SNOWFALL (IN)                                                        
  YESTERDAY        0.8    7.8  1963   0.1    0.7                     
  MONTH TO DATE   13.2                1.7   11.5                     
  SINCE MAR 1     33.8               11.6   22.2                     
  SINCE JUL 1     89.9               71.9   18.0                     
  SNOW DEPTH      21                        

Mostly, I had the trail to myself. 

So we've had 13.2 inches of snow the first ten days this month (mostly in two days).  Last year when we had the all time snowiest year in Anchorage, only 5 inches fell in April according to Western Regional Climate Center.  Their records show 
  • 30 inches April 2008
  • 27 inches April 1963
  • 18.7 inches in 1955,
  • 16.1 inches in 1975
  • 14 inches 1977
  • 14.1 inches 2010
Most of the 1990's had no April snow.  

There were a few people just hanging out, a few more pedestrians and a guy on his fat tire bike. 

And, of course, this trail through the heart of Anchorage, follows along Chester Creek. 

And some cross-country skiers with their dog.  The snow had been packed down but it was like walking on a sandy beach - a lot of work.  It felt like I'd shed a 30 pound pack when I got off the trail and on to pavement again.  

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