In winter’s deepest dark, we carry on the traditions of our ancient ancestors, kindling the hopes of longer days with the festive lights of the season. Their belief that the sun needed some help seems fitting in December, on average the cloudiest month of the year. The re-establishment of a storm track along the Atlantic coast is a big contributor, but primary is the open waters of the Great Lakes. Though Vermont is hundreds of miles from them, the fresh arctic incursions draw the steamy moisture skyward, engineering not only clouds, but snowy bursts near the lakes themselves. Here, the moisture is forced to ride up and over the Green Mountains, regenerating the clouds and wringing out what moisture is left in the form of mountain snows that dwindle to a dusting in the valleys. Thus even when a storm passes by, the return of cold air behind the storm continues to make clouds, giving rise to the saying, “it will be clearing up cloudy.”
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December Records and Averages
Warmest: 35.8°F in 2015 Coldest: 4.6°F in 1989
Wettest: 7.91 inches in 1973 Snowiest: 53.7 inches in 2007