Saturday, February 16, 2013

A Month Of Winter

The last two weeks of February will wrap up meteorological winter and it brings me two thoughts.  First is that it flew by incredibly quickly -- must be the advance of age doing that to me!  Second, the revelation that we have had a month of winter around these parts.  Given the relative lack of snow overall, I know that's tough to believe but temperatures over the past 30 days have averaged out almost exactly to where they should...and snowfall over the past 30 days hasn't been terribly far off of normal either.

The unfortunate reality for snow lovers is that the first six weeks of winter sucked for them.  The average temperature between December 1st and January 15th was the warmest locally since 2006-2007.  While we haven't had the level of cold in response like the 06-07 winter had, with February 2007 our coldest February in three decades, our shift from autumnal spring to actual winter was still pretty significant, with our region's temperatures dropping rather dramatically after January 21st.  In terms of snowfall, the region's snowfall total of 5.9" is a bit more than three inches below the average over the 30 day window from January 16-February 15 (9.0") but it's still within the realm of reasonable within a Philadelphia winter.  It didn't help that Philadelphia only picked up 1.1" of snow in the first six weeks of winter, putting us five inches behind the eight ball before winter's snowiest stretch began.

All this said, we have picked up more snow than last winter (four inches all winter) with our seven inch total this winter.  Snow lovers aren't rejoicing but for the snow loather, it's certainly not a reversal of fortune and return to 2009-2011 winter duo that brought 120" of snow to the region.