Where's the Snow?

Snow Depth January 6, 2012
National Snow Depth
(courtesy of National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center)

 

Snow Depth January 28, 2012
National Snow Depth Jan 28 2012
(courtesy of National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center)

The winter of 2011-2012 continues to be a dud for snow lovers living outside of the mountainous terrain and Great Lakes. However, in the past 3 weeks snow coverage across the plains states has become slightly more expansive, though snow depths remain largely below 5 inches. While this lack of snow presents an economic problem for those who make their living off snow and cold, it has allowed for much warmer than normal temperatures to prevail across much of the country, reducing heating bills and leading to less travel headaches. For those who welcome colder and snowier weather in Kansas and Missouri, winter still has about a month and a half to go; and the largest historical snowfall events have actually occurred in February and March. 

 

30 day Temperature departure from normal
(courtesy of High Plains Regional Climate Center)

 

Locally, Kansas City has only received 0.4 inches of snow officially at the airport. Locations across far northern and northeastern Missouri, as well as central Missouri have experienced several inches of snow accumulations so far this season. With the weather forecast for the remainder of January more typical for March or April and no snow on the horizon, this winter season will now stand tied as the least snowiest through the end of January. We will eventually get more snow, with the big question (outside of when) of how much for the rest of the season. Below are the top 10 lowest snowfall totals through Jan 31st, with only 1 of these winter seasons eventually producing totals above the climatological average. 

Rank

Snow
Through 1/31

Year

Eventual
Season Total

1

0.4

1988-89

6.9

1

0.4

2011-12

?

3

0.5

1930-31

14.6

4

0.6

1933-34

 7.2

4

0.6

1922-23

4.5

6

0.9

1900-01

30.0

7

1.6

1910-11

 14.1

8

2.5

1965-66

 9.7

9

3.5

1919-20

 13.1

10

3.7

1916-17

 9.7

With no larger winter storm systems on the near horizon for eastern Kansas and Missouri, and the prospects for accumulating snowfall extremely minimal, the questions arise: How long has it gone in a winter season without seeing an inch of accumulation, or how long without one day where an inch of snow has fallen?

Latest Date of First 1 inch Snowfall:

Rank

Year

Date

Eventual
Season Total

1

1930-31

March 6th 

14.6

2

1933-34

 Feb 24th

 7.2

3

1910-11

 Feb 18th

 14.1

4

1922-23

Feb 10th

4.5

5

1988-89

 Feb 5th

 6.9

6

 1900-01

 Feb 2nd

 30.0

Latest Date of one inch accumulation for the season:

Rank

Year

Date

Eventual
Season Total

1

1930-31

 March 1st

14.6

2

1933-34

 Feb 11th

 7.2

3

1922-23

 Feb 10th

 4.5

4

 1988-89

 Feb 4th

 6.9

5

 1900-01

 Feb 1st

 30.0

6

 2011-12

 At least
Feb 1st

 ?


USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.