Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Snow Blankets More than Half of U.S.

As of today snow covers about 66 percent of the lower 48 states according to analyses from NOAA's National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center.  A year ago approximately only 19 percent of the U.S. had snow cover. Snowfall has been plentiful in the Cascade  and Sierra Nevada mountain ranges because of the Pacific storms that have rolled through the last few weeks. Winter snowpack is crucial to water supplies in the western U.S.

Thanks to the storms just prior to and after Christmas, snow cover extends from the Ozarks to south of the Ohio river. However, there is an area from Oklahoma, Missouri and through central and northern Illinois into southwestern Michigan that has little snow on the ground. The recent storms have followed a southerly track and there was a sharp cutoff on the northern end of the snowfall area with the storms.

Snow depth reported by U.S. Cooperative weather stations for January 2, 2013.
Chicago has has only received 0.9 inch of snow so far this season. This is the fourth latest that Chicago has made it into the season without having even picked up an inch total of snowfall.In contrast, December 2012 was the seventh snowiest on record in Indianapolis with a total of 14.8 inches of snow.  The Christmas Day storm dumped 17.5 inches on Perry, Arkansas, and 10.3 inches on Little Rock (9.0 inches on December 25, a new record for Christmas Day). As of this morning, though, there is no snow on the ground in Little Rock and only a trace in Perry. 

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