Where is the Snow?
By Heidi Sonen and Roscoe Shaw
Through the end of January, just one inch of snow has fallen. We have recorded nine different days with snow this winter but the cumulative total is just one inch. We are constantly bombarded with the complaint that “It doesn’t snow like it used to.” Of course, last year had a whopping 37” of snow and 2010 was a record snow year with 53 inches, but memories are short. The 1960s were the snowiest decade here but otherwise, there appears to be no trend.
So, will it snow this year? We can’t forecast snow more than a couple of days in advance, but the odds are we will get some. February is the snowiest month of the year here with an average of 6 inches. Statistically, the rest of the year brings us 10 inches of snow.
Since 1950, there have been six years where we made it to Jan. 31 with an inch or less: 1950, 1986, 1992, 2009, 2012, and this year. The only year that was a complete skunk was 1992, when no snow had fallen and the season finished with just 2.3 inches. Only 1981 ended with less for a season.
The other years, however, had nearly normal snowfall after the slow start. 2012 and 1950 rallied to finish the season over 10 inches and 2009 and 1986 produced a couple of decent snows late season.
Overall, years off to a fast start do slightly better the rest of the year. But don’t despair, kids big and small, a sled-able snow will most likely come soon!
Despite the lack of snow, January was cold with temperatures running two degrees below normal. Only four days failed to get below freezing and the coldest was 4 degrees on the 8th. Precipitation was frequent but light, finishing below normal with 1.78 inches. The infamous Crozet wind howled on a regular basis.
- Mint Springs Farm 1.78”
- Charlottesville Airport 1.70”
- Univ. of Virginia 2.84”
- Greenwood 1.74”
- White Hall 2.10”
- Nellysford 1.76”
- Waynesboro 2.87”