Monday, March 21, 2011

Winter's Temper Tantrum; Water Moves Again

Something about early spring in Vermont makes me think of Winter throwing a temper tantrum.

The weather has been fluctuating wildly.  First, we were blasted by the front I mentioned a few weeks ago, which brought two feet of snow.


Then, as temperatures wandered around near freezing, lots of ice formed.


A week after the heavy snow, the temperature rose to near 50.  The snow melted fast, steaming in the warm air in the same way the freezer does when you open it.  This was near Hinesburg.


The creeks rose and raged with ice shards and snowmelt.  My favorite little urban seep on the UVM green didn't even look like a seep anymore, and was more like an actual stream.


Ag ditches ran full, and the typical low-lying fields flooded.


Plants popped up!


Warm nights and cold days led to flowing water freezing up...



...and also to sweet flowing maple sap.


Otter creek is raging through Middlebury...


...and just when it seemed like Spring was really building in, it started snowing again.


We've had an inch or two today and may have an inch or two more.  The short-term forecast is fairly cold.

I'm ready for spring!

The good news is through a combination of relatively gradual melting (not too much heavy rain on the snowpack) and Vermont riparian forests and wetlands doing their job of slowing down floodwaters, flood problems have been minimal so far.  Instead of being buried in water and having our lives and homes at risk, instead we can luxuriate in the exuberance of flowing water, that was mostly absent over the winter, and await the 'real' arrival of spring soon.

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