White December

The winter of 2006-07 was a strange season in Vermont. December and January were snow-less and very balmy -- the ground wasn't even frozen -- and then there was a huge blizzard in February and then the rest of the season was quite cold and snowy.

This year has been a contrast: December has been consistently cold and quite snowy. Today there is a big storm rolling through, it is cold and snowy out, and the snow accumulation is forecast to exceed one foot.

There is a difference between 'weather' and climate and with all the changes that are currently happening, too much can't be read into changes year to year. The long term trend in the Northeast is towards shorter, relatively warmer winters with less snow and more mixed precipitation events. Long stretches of consistently cold weather are becoming more rare: An outdoor speed skating oval in Williston that depended on cold weather closed this year.

Photos are scenes outside my condo this morning.

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