Saturday, May 2, 2009

April Monthly Weather Summary - One Day at a Time

Here is the entire month of April, 2009, in a day by day summary. This posting was generated by modifying my original blog posting at Wunderground so that the images are resized somewhat for posting here. The current month is posted Day by Day in NW Montana.

April 30, 2009 : High clouds allowed a filtered to partly sunny day around the ranch today. Since the grass is beginning to grow, we decided to let the horses graze freely for a couple of hours this morning. I guess it will be a good way to save a lawn mowing or two this year!

Filtered Sun over the Horses this Morning
Sun through high clouds early today

Horses Grazing the Main Yard
Horses grazing the yard today

April 29, 2009 : Mostly cloudy through the day today. Not quite as windy as yesterday. No precipitation. Overall, just a gray day but used to cleanup the tree that fell yesterday.

Morning Clouds and Filtered Sun
Mostly cloudy with filtered sunlight

Cutting Up the Fallen Tree
Daniel cutting up the tree that fell yesterday

April 28, 2009 : It was a mostly cloudy and blustery kind of day today. During the early afternoon, the wind gusted strongly a couple of times, and managed to blow over another tree (that's two big ones down for this spring). It sort of landed over a fence and crushed some cattle panels. Bummer!

Morning Clouds at around Sunrise Time (Sun was mostly missing, today)
Clouds before sunrise ... and no sunrise

Tree Over the Fence and Crushing Cattle Panels (Slide show)

April 27, 2009 : Well, those clouds did manage to keep it together overnight. And then it rained a little; and then it snowed a little. The morning measurement showed 0.8" of snow as of about 8:00 AM. That gave us 99.7" for the season. Light snow continued throughout the morning with the accumulator undecided between calling it a trace or another few tenths of an inch. I'll do a mid day measurement soon, just to see if I can give us another bit of snow so that we go over the 100 inch mark! So, as I enter this, the temperature is holding at about 32 to 33 degrees, with light, almost "bright sky" snow, continuing to fall.

... Just back in after 'pushing a stick in it', and I give the snow amount another 0.4" since this morning, so, it's official: 100.1" is the new season total! (I don't know whether to break out the champagne, or find a crying towel!)

Morning Walk across a Snowy Field
Snow returns to the ranch today

April 26, 2009 : A few clouds overnight. A little dusting of snow overnight. I just called it 0.1" and this gives us a total of 98.9" for the 2008-2009 season. Still holding at just under the 100 inch mark! The morning was mostly clear with a fiery sort of sunrise through some lingering ground fog. It was clear, for a short while, and then the mid day through around mid afternoon, it was mostly cloudy, breezy, and feeling rather cool again. The clouds did a break-up dance during the later afternoon to give some of the nicest weather of the day during the late afternoon and early evening. A drawback of the clearing conditions at this time of day is that it will give the temperature an opportunity to return to something below freezing again overnight ... Well, a short time later some long low cumulus are moving through the area. If they "a-cumulu-late" overnight, the cold may stay away. Guess we'll see!

Sunrise through Clouds and Morning Fog
Colorful sunrise through the morning fog and clouds

Nice Late Afternoon Sun and Cloud Mix
Sun and clouds during the afternoon

April 25, 2009 : It was another day of variable weather today. It was cold overnight with clear sky for much of the time period. The morning was mostly cloudy, again a bit windy, some rain, and even some snow flakes blew around for parts of the day. During the early evening the sun was trying to appear, while at the same time, a rain/snow storm cell was moving through the southeast.

Evening Sky to the East
Sun at ranch with clouds to the east

Rain and Snow moving through the Southeast Hills
Rain and snow storm moving over the southeast mountains

April 24, 2009 : There was a full mix of weather conditions around the ranch today. For part of the overnight period, it was clear enough to allow the temperature to fall a bit. Then, clouds and that dropped mostly snow pellets drifted around and about for the early morning and through the middle of the day. The afternoon gave us improving conditions with sun and clouds blown about with a strong wind until late in the evening.

Morning Clouds and Snow Pellets in the Air
Clouds with snow pellets and wind (not visible

Afternoon Clearing with a Sun and Cloud Mix
Afternoon breakup of overcast with clouds and sun

Evening Clouds Drifting over the East Tree Line
Sunny evening sky with floating clouds

April 23, 2009 : As it turned out, yesterday's wind was stronger than I thought. A large tree became uprooted and is hanging in other trees in a non-vertical position. All kinds of pre-sunrise clouds were around today, and actually prevented a visible sunrise from being seen. Today was also a return to wintry conditions with the mid-day temperature dropping to the low 30's and snow squalls falling from the sky. It was one of those days when the high temperature for the day took place at midnight. Lows in the teens are expected tonight.

Uprooted Tree from Yesterday's Wind
Tree that blew over yesterday

Evening Snow Squall in View South
Snow during the early evening

April 22, 2009 : Some of those pre-sunrise clouds were around again this morning. After a quiet and sunny morning, the wind started to whip about a bit and blew in some clouds above along with the dust swirls at the surface. As the day continued, even the late day clouds were impressive.

Sky Today with a Mix of Clouds (Slide show)

Evening Cloud Mix (Slide show)

April 21, 2009 : It was a clear golden start to the day in NW Montana. Almost summer-time temperatures were reached with a high of 77 today!

Golden Sky before the Sunrise
Clear sky and golden sky this morning

April 20, 2009 : A cloud bank to the east over the mountains this morning just kind of stayed in place as the sun rose over it (a little later than usual). This is allowing for a sunny day again at the ranch and spring is fully here with temperatures in the low 70 range today. The sky and clouds were great once more and even the horses managed to laugh it up a bit today!

Jonah Laughing it up in the Afternoon Sun
Jonah laughing about the nice weather today

April 19, 2009 : There were streams of clouds early in the morning mixed with jet streaks and sunshine. These clouds formed some airships of their own later in the day as various waves of them were scattered across the sky.

Clouds Streaks, Jet Streams and Space Ships (Slide show)

April 18, 2009 : A mostly sunny day in NW Montana. The mild temperatures continues to melt the remaining snow and is keeping the creek full of water. Green up is definitely in progress around the ranch.

Sun Reflections on the Water
Sun shimmers off of the paddock pond

Horses Grazing in Greening Grass
Wanita and Corrie grazing along the paddock fence line

April 17, 2009 : A full clear sky overnight and for the morning. Clouds formed during the middle of the day. By the evening, it was mostly cloudy.

Sun Behind the Horses before Morning Feeding
Sunrise over the horsees

April 16, 2009 : Mostly sunny conditions today. The snow at the ranch level has almost gone, except for the banks along the buildings. I did a run today up to the 4200' level and there is still snow at that elevation, but, not for long there either.

Horses Grazing in Afternoon Sunshine
Horses enjoy afternoon grazing on the hillside

Last of Remaining Snow Along the Workshop
Snow remaining along the workshop ... that's about it

April 15, 2009 : It was not a very taxing day around the ranch today. Just an increasing mix of clouds drifted about during the day. No rain, no snow, the only thing of note was a fairly strong breeze that gave an almost winter cold to the air.

View from the North Hill
View from the gopher hunt location on the north hill

April 14, 2009 : A mixed day of sun and clouds around the ranch today. South of here, a major winter storm is churning across Montana. Although it was a bit cool, the day was mostly pleasant as the last of the snow melts away and green-up begins for this year.

Sun and Clouds at Sunrise
Sun and clouds at the beginning of the day

Horses Grazing in Greening Paddock
Horses enjoy the spring grass

April 13, 2009 : Well, the rain was close. The automatic gauge showed just a bit fell shortly after midnight. There was another light sprinkle, just at the time of sunrise. Most of the day was a mixture of clouds and sunshine with even a very light snow flurry around six in the evening. It looks like the sky is again partly cloudy as I enter this, since I can see the sunshine on the trees.

Just Traces of Snow on the Walking Trail
Only traces of snow on the trail this morning

Partly Cloudy Late Afternoon Sky
Floating clouds in the afternoon sky

April 12, 2009 : A day of increasing clouds today at the ranch. The morning conditions of a partly cloudy sky continued to fill with more cloud cover throughout the day. By the evening, it seemed that showers might be close to happening.

Last of the Pasture Snow Pack
Just a little snow left in the outer pasture

April 11, 2009 : Partly cloudy to partly sunny and back and forth throughout the day. The spring conditions continue nicely as almost all of the snow is disappearing from the hills, even those facing north. So, finally, after having snow cover since mid December, I'd list it as a trace to zero at the ranch today.

A Shuffle of Sky and Clouds Today

April 10, 2009 : Conditions were mostly clear overnight. That allowed the temperature to go below freezing again. The morning walk across the outer pasture is showing the impact of the warmer spring conditions with the snow pack working up the hill and grass showing through most of the way up to the trail fence line.

The Sky Just before Sunrise Today
Color in the morning sky this morning

Walking the Last of the Snow Pack
Cool overnight and still able to walk the little remaining snow pack

April 9, 2009 : A very light rain was falling early today. Not enough to make a difference in the water flow, though. Later in the afternoon, even without any additional rain, the creek was flowing a full strength and the ponds in the paddocks are filled to over capacity. There is still a strong overland flood going on where the new pond outlet is crossing a paddock and the summer pasture.

Light Morning Rain Over Southeast Hills
Light morning rain to the southeast

Rock Bridge Filling in Pond Bank Breach
Full pond with rock water dam

April 8, 2009 : Clouds glided in overnight and hung on for most of the day. There was some filtered sunlight and the temperature warmed quite nicely. The upstream meadow is almost snow free and as a result, the creek flow will probably decrease in the next day or so.

Neighbor Farm with snow almost Gone
Neighbor farm with field almost snow free

Snow Field is still Walkable on these Cool Mornings
Morning walk on the snow field ... North facing fields almost snow free

April 7, 2009 : Clear overnight as well as all day today. Spring is finally showing some strength in NW Montana! There is still a lot of snow that needs to melt, but, the water is flowing strongly through the reservoir and creek here at the ranch.

Snow Along Barn and Arena
Still snow banks 3-4' deep along the barn and the arena complex

Water and Ice Floe in Reservoir
Full reservoir and ice almost melted

April 5, 2009 : A warm sunny day for the ranch and animals. The overnight low was again cold enough to freeze the snow pack and allow walking across the still snow covered pastures. As a result of the rapid snow melt, the creek has risen quickly and filled the pond to overcapacity. This has caused three new "outflow" channels to develop, one of them through a downstream bank and directly into one of the paddocks and causing overland flow through the summer pasture. In addition, the rapid thawing has created some hazards around the ranch. This evening, the two of the horses became trapped in mud up to their bellies. Fortunately, it just required my wife and I using lead ropes and a little encouragement (swinging ropes, but not whips) to get the horses lose. The retired horse here at the ranch (22 year old) struggled a little longer and was almost exhausted before we were able to get him out. (Note to myself: Do not leave a gate unchained if you have horses!)

Taffy, Cautious about Crossing Snow Bridge
Taffy not in a hurry to cross the snow bridge

Overland Flooding in the Summer Pasture
Water flowing through the summer pasture

Dog Walk Shadows on the Snow Pack
Shadows of Patti and Cinnamon on the snow

Mud and Water Hole that Trapped Two Horses for Awhile
Water and mud hole in the paddock

April 5, 2009 : Clear conditions for the second day in a row. This again allowed cool overnight temperatures with the middle teens again. There was a good rebound of that low with a high in the middle 50's. The sky stayed clear through the day with less cloud formation caused by snow melt than took place yesterday.

A River Runs Through It
Creek viewed from outer pasture two

Ginger Casts an Unusual Shadow this Morning
Ginger on the morning walk ... my shadow, actually

Clear Sky afternoon View to the Swan Range
View to Swan Mountains from top of the running route

April 4, 2009 : Full clear sky and no obstacles for the sun to shine out today. With a little higher temperature increase, it might even reduce the outer pasture snow pack a bit. This morning, with overnight lows in the low 20's, walking on top of the remaining 6-12" was part of the morning outing with the dogs. There was a bit of a mix of clouds during the afternoon. This did pretty much disappear during the evening hours and I expect another overnight cool down shall take place overnight!

Snow Pack Supports the Morning Walk with the Dogs
Walking the snow pack

Clear Sky for Sunrise and the Entire Day?!
Clear sky to allow the sunrise to appear

Horses Play with a Large Ball this Afternoon
Horses play ball during the afternoon

April 3, 2009 : Today might be the transitional day between this winter-like week and a break into spring conditions. There was an overnight snowfall again today with about another inch of snow. The mid morning was overcast with low clouds and fog over the south treeline. The clouds started breaking up during mid day and by early afternoon a mix of blue sky and clouds allowed the sunlight to melt away the light layer of snow along with some more of the remaining snow pack.

Transitional Day: Snow, Low Clouds to Blue Sky and Sunshine (Slide Show)

April 2, 2009 : As the second day of the month begins, light snow is falling in NW Montana. The pasture that is north facing still has about 6-10" in the snow pack. South facing slopes have been reduced to the ground or just trace amounts with the new snowfall. The temperature is hovering just around the freezing point of water and that will keep the snow accumulation light to just a trace in those areas that have previously melted to the ground.

Patti with Romping Dogs in the Winter Pasture
Snow good for walking yet in winter pasture ... and the dogs love it

And the Winter Continues (Slide Show)

April 1, 2009 : Clouds covered the sky in assorted amounts for the day today. This kept temperatures cool again. However, the combination of the wind, a bit of a drier day, and the changing cloud groups, removed most of the snow that had fallen yesterday, even higher up the road from the ranch.

Reflections on the Water
Sun reflections on the paddock pond

Shadows from the Horse Shelter
Shadows from the paddock shelter

Sun Cloud Mix Today (Slide Show)

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