Thursday, February 9, 2012

SnowFail 2011-12 Update: Midwest Snow Running Nearly 40% Below Average

The Northeast and Mid Atlantic are not the only regions with significant snow deficits at the end of the third quarter of winter 2011-12. National Weather Service reports indicate that the Midwest is averaging 40% below the normal snowfall season-to-date. Of the 43 major reporting locations in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, and Kentucky, only Ft. Wayne, Indiana has had more snow than the climatological average, by a mere 2.2", or about 11%.

The largest deficit in absolute terms is at Sault Ste. Marie MI, where the current total of 55" is over 3 feet less than the normal amount to date of just over 91". The map of snow depth on the ground for central and northern Michigan as of February 4 shows deficits of 2 feet or more in the Upper Peninsula. Temperatures at Sault Ste. Marie have been well above normal for all 3 winter months (December +3.8°, January +6.0°, February to date +13.1°).

Percentage-wise, the less than 1" at Kansas City MO is 94% below average. The weighted average deficit across all reporting stations is 39%.

The stations shown in the charts are:
DLH Duluth MN
MSP Minneapolis MN
STC St. Cloud MN
RST Rochester MN
LSE La Crosse WI
EAU Eau Claire WI
MSN Madison WI
AUW Wausau WI
GRB Green Bay WI
ANJ Sault Ste. Marie MI
APN Alpena MI
HTL Houghton Lake MI
MQT Marquette MI
DTW Detroit MI
FNT Flint MI
GRR Grand Rapids MI
LAN Lansing MI
MKG Muskegon MI
ALO Waterloo IA
DSM Des Moines IA
MCW Mason City IA
SUX Sioux City IA
DBQ Dubuque IA
MLI Moline IL
ORD Chicago IL
RFD Rockford IL
PIA Peoria IL
IND Indianapolis IN
FWA Ft. Wayne IN
CMH Columbus OH
CAK Akron OH
MFD Mansfield OH
TOL Toledo OH
YNG Youngstown OH
DAY Dayton OH
CLE Cleveland OH
COU Columbia MO
STL St. Louis MO
MCI Kansas City MO
BWG Bowling Green KY
LEX Lexington KY
SDF Louisville KY
JKL Jackson KY
Images (click to enlarge): Total winter snowfall to date vs. average, snowfall deficit in inches, and snowfall percentage deficit; all data from December 1, 2011 through February 7, 2012 from National Weather Service, charts by CapitalClimate; Michigan snow depth on ground departure from average, February 4, 2012, from National Weather Service

No comments:

Seasonal Outlook

Latest seasonal forecast: Click here.

Latest 3-month temperature outlook from Climate Prediction Center/NWS/NOAA.