This has been the winter that will not end. The following is the daily blog summary as enter at my other blog at Wunderground. As it shows, the 2008-2009 winter season will not be referred to a a wimpy winter! Welcome to global warming!
March 31, 2009: As it was in the beginning, so it is at the ending (March, that is). Today is cloudy with light snow continuing throughout the day. The temperature is such that the snow is melting on contact here at the ranch. Not so at 3.2 miles and 1000' up the running route. There, it was snow that is accumulating. When I was there about 1:00 in the afternoon, the depth was just over ankle deep, and increasing flake by flake. The late afternoon temperatures rose into the 40's and resulted in a melting of all of the new snow (about 1.7") that had fallen at the ranch today. A monthly summary showed 21.6" for March. Adding this together with the rest of this snow season give a total of 96.5". That's 8 feet of snow for the season! Note: Snow is in the forecast for Thursday (April 2nd) ... stay tuned for revised seasonal totals.
Morning Walk in the Snow ... Again!
Horses Continue to Endure Winter Conditions
Trees in Full Snow up along the Running Route
March 30, 2009: A mostly clear sky overnight was becoming cloud streaked at sunrise. The increasing clouds continued and snow fell during the middle of the day and the early afternoon. This was an non-accumulating snowfall (at least not staying for very long). The remainder of the afternoon and evening was mostly cloudy with just quick glances at the sun. Meanwhile, the kittens were snug as bugs on the rug (or pillow, in this case).
Morning Sunrise over the Swan Range
Reflections on the Pond in the Snow
Light Snowfall during the Middle of the Day
Kittens Resting on the Pillow
March 29, 2009: There was another bit of snow overnight (about 2.5" again). With temperatures rising to almost 40, the new accumulation was soon gone. Clouds stayed around all day along with blustery winds. However, these were disappearing late in the day, making way for another overnight cool-down.
Another Snowy Trail Walk this Morning
March 28, 2009: Clouds dominated the day today. Just some short periods of sun through the clouds during the late afternoon. Even though the clouds persisted, the temperatures rose enough to continue a slow snow melt and the snow line continues to work, foot by foot down the pasture toward the creek.
Snow Line Continues March Down the Pasture
March 27, 2009: Overcast sky for most of the day today. The overnight low temperature was in the mid teens and the temperature was able to rise into the mid 40's even without full sunlight. Late in the afternoon, there was some breakup of the overcast, but it was too late for any major heating from the late day sunshine.
Mostly Cloudy View East during Mid Afternoon
Dogs Resting in Filtered Late Afternoon Sunlight
Clouds Breaking Up during the Early Evening
March 26, 2009: Clear night and a fine 'after the storm' cool-down. The PWS was not working to show it, but another recording weather station showed a low into the single digits (one of my systems showed 4.5 degrees this morning). The sun is shining, and the temperature is expected to rise into the 30's today. That means the snow will settle, melt, and disappear again. (Probably in time for another round of snow in a couple of days).
Just before Sunrise View across the Fences
Shadows from the Morning Sun
A Horse with a View to Blacktail Mountain
March 25, 2009: Just when I was starting to break out the Spring clothes, we get another 2.4" of fresh snow overnight. But, that was okay, because by about noon or so, everything was melted back so that it looked like it did late yesterday. Just in time for a run! At the three mile turn-around (1000' higher than the ranch), nice billowy clouds were visible looking back down into the valley. As I started my return run, snow pellets fell. By the time I got back to the ranch, a full snow storm was in progress. By the time it stopped, 2-hours later, another 3.1" of snow had fallen! Welcome to Spring in NW Montana! At the early evening animal check and feeding (and sledding) the sun was shining and the snow was melting a bit. However, the temperature is falling, so the snow will stay overnight.
A Day at the Ranch - Spring Snow (Cool Change)
A Day at the Ranch - Spring Snow, Afternoon Session (Tuesday (actually Wednesday) Afternoon)
March 24, 2009: Mostly cloudy again early in the day. There were even some snow flurries around again from time to time. Rising daytime temperatures continue to slowly melt the snow pack. Each day, more of the up-slope grass appears and the remaining depth decreases a little.
Snowline Working Its Way Down the Workshop Slope
March 23, 2009: A light snow coating returned overnight, just to prove that even though it is Spring, it does not mean snow cannot reappear. With temperatures rising into the 40's the snow soon disappeared. However, an icy fog hovered around until a bit into the afternoon (snow melt can do that). During the mid afternoon the sun broke through and warmed the rest of the day nicely.
Horses in Pasture One Following Light Overnight Snow
Winnie at the Morning Feeding
Horses Line Up in Morning Fog
Afternoon Sun View Northeast
Clear Sky Breaking to Southeast
March 22, 2009: A mild Spring day today and the horses were moved to the upper pasture. With a low temperature of 32.7 this morning, it actually stayed above freezing for the first day all month!
Horses in the Spring Pasture
Horses Romp in Outer Spring Pasture
March 21, 2009: Even with Spring here, the low temperature still fell below freezing. That's okay though, it firms up the walking surface nicely for the morning walk. Light showers fell during the early morning but the sun managed to break through often enough to melt some more snow. Today, the creek was flowing freely and making small lakes out of a couple of the pastures.
Sun Peeking Over the Treeline
Checking Out the Pasture Snow Depth
March 20, 2009: The lingering winter finally left today. Spring is off to a good start with mild temperatures, and the resulting slush and mud is as deep as you'd like to see it. The day was a nice mix of sun and spring clouds. Evening showers followed the day but stars were visible at the final animal check for today.
Morning Sun along the Fence Line
Snow Waiting for the Spring Melt
Afternoon Spring Clouds and Sunshine
March 19, 2009: A non-surprising sun cloud mix for this day at the ranch. It started with a nice bit of clouds for the sun to rise over, and for a good morning walk with the dogs. Later in the day, some light rain fell. Still looking for that above freezing minimum temperature here in NW Montana. As I am looking at the barometric pressure falling steadily through the day today, it appears some moisture may be in store, too.
Morning Sun at the Ranch
Doggone Fun during the Morning Walk (Slide Show)