Terry’s take: Snowfall averages are comprised of extremes
Averages are comprised of extremes, especially when it comes to annual snowfall. Remember back in mid-December, temperatures were mild and snow was non-existent. We were all wondering, where’s winter? Well, along came a storm and boom we had blizzard conditions and 5″ of snow December 20th. Winter had arrived, or so we thought. However, the next 5 weeks saw a return to snow free weather with a grand total of 2″ measured between December 20th and January 29th. Breaking it down further, the first 90 days of the snow season (roughly November 1-April 15th), the Quad Cities managed a meager 6.9″ of snow. That’s about 33 percent of normal!
Then came January 29th and like the flick of a switch, the winter changed. Regular bouts of cold air and an active storm track turned on the snow machine. In just 29 days we more than doubled our total with over 17″ of snow capped by the 9.3″ storm this week. The yearly total is now 24.3″ and we’re just 2″ short of normal. With another month of winter to go, chances are this year will go into the books as a typical winter for snow.What this points out, and this is often the case, is that averages are comprised of extremes. Rarely does each individual month add up to expectations, but when you smooth out the peaks and valleys of a winter, the numbers often end up looking pretty ordinary.