While Severe Weather Takes Spring Break, A Look Back at our Snowless Winter

Severe weather is on Spring Break. Medium and long range models show no severe weather through at least the rest of March into early April. These models aren’t always right but this is what we want them to say.

Chilly Mornings, Pleasant Afternoons This Week

Winter lasts about three more days, really four, depending how you want to count them. It’ll go out with a whimper, with lows at or near freezing each morning.

Sun and warm each afternoon.

Little chilly Monday afternoon because of a dry cold front with north winds knocking down temps a bit.

It Has Been An Almost Snowless Winter

Winter 2018-19 included the wettest February on record and the 7th wettest month all time. Took only 23 February days to do it.  All of it rain.

Where was snow? Winter will end this week with 0.5″ total snow. We got 0.2″ on December 5, 2018 then 0.3″ on January 30, 2019.

Normal is 6.0″.

Total snow from Dec 1 to March 20, since 1885, is below. Note the red regression line, moving down.

Same graph, with a green LOESS curve:

In 2016 I attended a National Weather Association talk about the accuracy of climate records – specifically snowfall totals – from before the 1960s. There were *cough* more than a few examples of “Weather Bureau” error in recording snow totals. Almost all errors were on the high side. Measurement methods were comical.

Errors continue today. Real Measurement Controversy returned in 2016. Excerpts from this Washington Post article:

The report released by the National Weather Service Thursday about measurement and snow total reporting protocols during the January blizzard is an indictment of the current system.  It found one airport, Newark Liberty International, failed to follow the correct measurement procedures and may have been reporting snowfall incorrectly for the last two decades.  And, as we reported, it side-stepped some of the thornier issues of how snow was measured at Reagan National Airport during the storm, which may have impacted the total.

Another example:

[There was] a case from Philadelphia from the winter of 1993-1994 when “observers poured antifreeze into a rain gauge and estimated snow totals from the liquid total because there was a lack of safe places to measure snow.”

(There’s green in this GIF, don’t pinch me).

So next time you toss criticism rocks at Gramps’ ability to stick a ruler on a snowboard and read a number, remember, you’re doing it from a glass house.

Spring Starts 4:58 PM Wednesday

Wednesday is the only day it may rain, in the evening, or maybe probably actually Thursday. But, light rain only.

After Thursday, we dry out again.

The Cumberland and Stones Rivers remain in that pre-flood “action” stage, but will continue to drop this week.

That was a LOT of water last month you guys. Takes a while to work it through the system.

Next Rain Event

Monday, March 25 the Euro and GFS models predict an actual rain event. Looks kinda meh, not a big deal.

Ok. So, LOL Winter Snow. Spring Snow?

There’s no model support for Spring snow right now but it is I suppose possible.

But unlikely.

Total snow March 20 to April 30, from 1885 to 2018:

That tall line was 1968, 8.5″! (If it can be believed, which, frankly, I can).

Past 30 years, the most snow we’ve seen after March 20 is 1.1″ total.

Finally, some “latest” records:

  • Latest measurable snowfall: 1.5″, April 25, 1910
  • Latest snowfall, 4″ or more: 4.5″, March 24, 1940