Our Ever-Changing Weather
ecause weather in the Okemo Valley is unpredictable, we want you to have up-to-the-minute information. Here you'll find two respected sources: the current weather report from The Weather Channel, below, and a link to the daily Eye on the Sky recreational forecast from the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium in St. Johnsbury, Vermont (listen to their live report on Vermont Public Radio every weekday at 12:15 p.m.).
From The Weather Channel:
"The Weather 'Round Here"
A general overview of local weather patterns, from the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium's website:
Situated at the eastern edge of North America, the region comprised of Vermont, New Hampshire, northern Massachusetts, eastern New York north of Albany, and southern Quebec, enjoys an invigorating climate with four well-marked seasons.
The Appalachian Mountains cross the region; most of the major summits vary between 3,500 and 4,200 feet, though the Presidential Range in New Hampshire contains several peaks exceeding 5,000 feet, and Mt. Washington, at 6,288 feet is the highest peak in the northeast United States. The Adirondack Mountains in northeast New York rise to between 4,000 and 5,000 feet. Major valleys include the St. Lawrence, Champlain, and Connecticut.
The region lies at the confluence of many major storm tracks. Daily variability in weather is great, but the annual variance in temperature and precipitation is slight. Annual temperature extremes range from 90 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer, to between -20 and -40 degrees in winter. The length of the growing season ranges from less than 100 days above the 2,000 foot elevation, and in some deeper cold hollows of northern Vermont and New Hampshire, to more than 150 days in southernmost New Hampshire, northern Massachusetts, the upper Hudson Valley of New York, and a small portion of the northern Champlain Valley.
The interaction between the rugged topography and prevailing westerly flow across it gives rise to a complex but orderly distribution of precipitation. Annual totals range from between 32 and 38 inches on the floors of the major valleys, to more than 60 inches along ridgelines in southern Vermont, and at high elevations of the White Mountains in northern New Hampshire. A fair amount of this falls as snow. Winter snowfall ranges from less than 60 inches on the floor of the Connecticut River Valley in far southeastern Vermont and northern Massachusetts; southern New Hampshire; extreme southwest Vermont; and the upper Hudson Valley of New York; to more than 200 inches above the 2000 foot elevation regionwide. Most locations receive between 80 and 130 inches each winter.
Most storms approach from the west, but the heaviest episodes of rain or snow are often associated with the relatively infrequent, but intense "nor'easters"—storms that originate in the northern Gulf of Mexico or along the southeast United States coast, and track northeastward along or just off the New England coast. The flow around these systems pulls inland vast amounts of moist air from the Atlantic Ocean. Heavy precipitation is the result. The full brunt of these storms is felt most often in southern Vermont, northern Massachusetts, and New Hampshire from the Presidential Range southward. The high peaks of that range blunt the fury of such disturbances for locations further north and west, but substantial precipitation may fall over northern Vermont and the Eastern Townships of Quebec. Further to the north and west, increasing distance from the storm centers corresponds to a reduction in storm total precipitation and severity.