It’s weather Monday again. Sunrise this morning was at 6:09 am and sunset will be at 9:34 pm, with civil twilight extending nearly an hour before and after the sunrise and sunset. The day is now 15 hours 25 minutes long, and we’re gaining 6 minutes 53 seconds a day. Driving light is actually almost 17 1/2 hours.

The snow is still melting pretty slowly, at least where it’s pristine enough to reflect the solar radiation back to space. It’s evaporating and melting internally, but the rate of disappearance is very dependent on the surface and the surroundings. The snow stake, in the middle of my south yard, shows 14″ of snow. The area just next to the south wall of my house is clear of snow. Snow on the north side of the house appears untouched in the shadow of the house, but is gone where sunshine can reach and the birch seeds and rose bushes have darkened it. Official snow depth at the airport is 17″. As I said last Friday, vegetation and exposure have an enormous impact on snow melt. It’s interesting also to note that low spots, where windborne seeds and dirt collect, melt faster. And I’m hoping my black compost barrel will get warm enough in the sun to get the composing process started even with snow still on the ground.

It’s slightly cool for this time of year, and the forecast for the next few days is basically more of the same. Highs around 40, lows in the low 20’s, and no precipitation. April is our driest — and muddiest — month, with precipitation slowly increasing until we reach a peak in August. This April so far we’ve had 1.7 inches of dry, fluffy snow — .07″ of water equivalent. It’s still too early to tell what the effects of the rain last November will be, but at least most of the ice is gone from the roads. Mud, however, is starting to appear wherever the snow is gone.

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