April showers bring May flowers? Not in Interior Alaska, where showers in April are as likely as not to be snow showers, and precipitation of any kind normally falls on top of the slowly melting winter snow pack.

Statistically, April is our driest month, with only .29″ of precipitation. Snow has the effect of brightening the snow pack and reflecting back more of the growing solar radiation to space, so we’d really just as soon do without it. Unfortunately, we don’t have much choice. Last night we got about an inch of fresh snow, and it’s warm enough (near freezing) that the roads will be very slippery. It should melt off of dark surfaces fairly fast, but where it’s fallen on the existing 18″ snow pack it may take a day or so.  I’ll need to brush off the dark compost tumbler again so the sun can get to it.

Taken from my front porch, about an hour and a half after the picture on the right side. There is actually a road among the trees just beyond the big spruce, though it's rather hard to see.

It looks attractive enough. Much of the snowfall was not accompanied by wind, so the snow it sitting prettily on top of individual branches. Since I took the photo out of my office window the sky has begun to clear, and weak sunlight is touching the trees. But at this time of year, all we really want is for the snow to go away!

Advertisements