Tri-State vs. Winter: Round 2

Published 10:54 am Wednesday, February 4, 2009

“We’re actually having a winter this winter.”

That was what National Weather Service meteorologist Tom Mazza said when asked if this season’s snowfall was average or above average. Mazza said this winter’s 14.4 (thus far) inches of snow may seem large when compared with those years when we sailed through December, January and March without any snow, but is not record-setting.

Mazza said most of our snowfall this year has been in January (9.8 inches). But the record amount of snow for any single January is 30.3 inches set in 1978, followed by 23.7 inches in 1977. In fact this year didn’t even make the top 10 list of snowy Januarys.

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But when you compare this year’s nearly 10 inches with all those years we got little or no snow, Mazza said it may seem unusual.

“There have been 21 years in which we had an inch or less of snow in January,” Mazza said. “And five different winters, we had only a trace.”

December’s 4.7 inches is actually considered near normal for this area.

Normal or not, the roughly two inches collected overnight was enough to keep the doors to school buildings shut tight.

Every public and private school system in Lawrence County as well as most surrounding areas canceled classes today, giving kids a day off.

Local law enforcement reported no major accidents because of the snow.

If all this cold and snow makes you itch for spring, Mazza said the early indications from the national Climate Prediction Center point to near normal temperatures for March, April and May with normal or above average precipitation.