Columns, Weather Watch

Sunshine And Mild For 4th Of July; Rain Returns For Start Of Weekend

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HARDWICK – Conditions are reasonably comfortable this morning as an area of high pressure is hovering over the region, bringing us sunny skies and mild temperatures. We saw several rounds of rain over the weekend in association with a frontal system that was slow to depart from the northeast. As the warm front crossed the region on Saturday we had areas of steady rain, followed by scattered showers that developed Sunday afternoon along with some thunderstorms in association with the passage of a prefrontal trough and cold front. This combined with rain we saw earlier in the work week led to weekly rainfall totals of 1.5 inches to just under three inches in areas that experienced the heavier thunderstorms. The precipitation was spaced out just enough for the area to avoid a second instance of flash flooding.

photo by Raymonda Parchment
A rainbow appears over Hardwick, along Route 15, across from the Lamoille River, June 24, following a heavy rainstorm.

June closed out with temperatures averaging at least three degrees above normal for both the St. Johnsbury and Burlington weather observing stations, which have kept track of climate data over a longer period than most local observing stations. One interesting local feature of note is that these reporting stations also came in with above normal precipitation for the month of June. This is very clearly reflected in rainfall totals from Greensboro and Craftsbury, which both exceeded nine inches for the month.

Moving further South in our coverage area, rainfall totals were closer to six or seven inches. Outside of our coverage area toward the Montpelier region, totals averaged around four to five inches. Parts of Vermont immediately to our south have been classified as abnormally dry. This just goes to show the high variability of precipitation totals with summertime thunderstorms. July is typically one of our months that experiences peak activity from thunderstorms.

In the short-term outlook, we expect sunny skies to give way to mid and high-level clouds this afternoon as a low pressure system approaches our region from the Ohio Valley. That will bring a period of light showers overnight, producing a negligible amount of rainfall. That system very quickly departs tomorrow, with skies clearing by afternoon. Temperatures will be in the low to mid 80s for highs. This weather is maintained through Saturday morning with gently moderating temperatures.

A warm front lifts north through Vermont Saturday morning with a period of steady rain, followed by some brief clearing midday. We expect showers and thunderstorms to develop later Saturday afternoon, some of which may be strong with gusty winds. We will have a good stretch without accumulating rain, so although some brief heavy downpours are possible, the flash flood risk appears to be low. A cold front crosses the region Saturday night with more clearing expected on Sunday. Skies will be partly sunny with a return to seasonable temperatures. The details of the forecast follow:

Wednesday: Mostly sunny in the morning. Increasing clouds in the afternoon with scattered showers developing overnight. High: 81. Low: 57.

Thursday: Partly sunny. High: 84. Low: 58.

Friday: Mostly sunny. High: 85. Low: 62.

Saturday: Mostly cloudy. Breaks of sunshine in the early afternoon. Rain in the morning, with scattered showers and thunderstorms in the late afternoon and evening. Some of these thunderstorms could be strong with gusty winds and brief heavy downpours. High: 85. Low: 61.

Sunday: Partly sunny. Brief isolated shower over the mountains. High: 81. Low: 55.

Tyler is our weather reporter and a community journalist. He works as a nurse and EMT, volunteers with Hardwick Rescue and helps to train new EMTs.

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