Late-March Snow!

Snow this past Sunday: impossible? Not really. Not common, either.

On Sunday morning, we were given a reminder of Mother Nature and March's fickle ways in the form of a spring snowstorm that brought light accumulations to the region. Some numbers from the National Weather Service:

Crozet: 2.0"

Earlysville: 1.0"

Culpeper: trace

Haywood (Madison): 1.5"

Orange: 1.3"

Snow may be a little tougher to handle after having several days prior with highs in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, but it's not impossible to get a few flakes swirling during the later part of March. A trace of snow was measured on the 24th back in 2008; traces were also reported in the second half of March in both 2006, 2002, and 1997. The year 2003 saw three inches of accumulation in Charlottesville on March 30, marking a bigger snow event (in terms of accumulation) than what was achieved on Sunday.

March is always a tough - but interesting - month to forecast. The lingering chill of Winter begins its recession while making way for the warmth of Summer ahead. Dynamic swings in the daily highs are inevitable due to this tug-of-war and eventual secession of the cold air, and should the air be cold enough any precipitation has the chance to be turned into snow or some other frozen type. It's the combination of hot air and cold air that leads to weather itself; the clash of air masses often lead to strong and severe thunderstorms, some of which we've already experienced this month.

Speaking of this month, we've eclipsed the six-inch mark for monthly rainfall at the airport in Charlottesville. While we're still running a deficit just under two inches for the year, the last few weeks have helped ease the drought across central Virginia. With three rounds of rain possible in the next seven days, We may just find ourselves in a rainfall surplus before this time next week.

3, 2, 1, fade out...

Chief Meteorologist Travis Koshko

(This blog typed while listening to "Another Brick in the Wall" by Pink Floyd.)

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