Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Late Winter in the Heartland

Things were looking pretty dismal for snow lovers in the central U.S. through the end of January. With the exception of North Dakota and the Ohio Valley most of the region had received than 75 percent of normal snowfall by the end of January.

Two major storms rolled through the central U.S. in the past ten days producing copious amounts of snow. This last storm closely followed the path of the previous storm, laying down snow from Texas to New England.

72-hour snowfall ending the morning of February 28, 2013.           

As of this morning, snow covers close to 50 percent of the lower 48 states.

Compared to the snowfall percent of mean map through January 31, the seasonal snowfall map as of this morning shows that much of the region has from 75 to 100 percent of normal snowfall or higher. However, there are some notable "holes" in the pattern east of the Rockies, in north central Iowa, and eastern Illinois through northern Indiana. 

However, the snow season is not yet over. March can often bring significant snowstorms. The outlook for the first half of March is for a high probability for colder than normal weather across the central U.S. according to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center.  It appears winter will hang on for a while longer.

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