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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

We had to go to Danville this morning to do errands.  It has been snowing lightly for about the last 24 hours, more or less, and I measured 3.5 in. of fluffy new snow at 8 a.m.  The roads that were bare and showing some signs of spring are back to snow pack, but that won't last very long.  These photos taken this morning show the slushy Route 2 east of West Danville, then the beginning of West Shore Road when we came back - snow covered with sanding done early this morning by the Town of Cabot.  There is just a little dirt showing, but that will change quickly.  The sun is peeking through the snow showers and the forecast is for a warming trend through this afternoon into tomorrow (unless that's an April Fool joke!) and then Thursday some rain showers.  We've mostly had snow when rain was forecast, but that's the difference between Burlington and Joe's Pond - even St. Johnsbury and Joe's Pond - it has to do with the elevation and the fact we're in a "snow belt" along with Walden.

The pictures of West Shore Road are two spots that traditionally have been problem mud holes in some springs past - the flat by the Hamilton cottage and the flat by Mason's up to about Bertrand's.   There are other trouble spots, but these two are classic.  There has been a lot of gravel put in both areas, and actually by Hamilton's wasn't bad last year.  We'll know soon enough how bad it will get this year.  Yesterday I saw a report in the Caledonian that the frost went to about 7 feet deep on roads in Vermont this year.  On February 20, Winooski officials were warning that the frost was 6 feet deep, and we had a lot more cold after that.  Whatever the depth, it means there will be a lot of moisture as the earth begins to thaw, and if we get rain in addition, that could make for very soupy roads for a while. 



The temperature last night was in the single numbers again, but briefly.  Not much melting going on that we can see, at least.  I have been curious about how much ice is safe and found this article about a study done in Minnesota, so thought you might be interested.  All the ice shanties are off the ice now, and the only traffic is either skiers or snowmobiles, and the ice will be safe for them for a while, at least - except in the narrows, which always open first and should be avoided.  A few years ago a snow machine with a man and his young daughter went through the ice at the narrows between the second and third ponds.  They were ok, but they got a good scare and soaking, and the rented snow machine stayed in the water for a few days.

If you are interested in the overall 2014-15 winter records, check this article on Wikipedia.

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