Cold and Snowy Winter at La Crosse, WI and Rochester, MN

Meteorological winter was cold and snowy in La Crosse, WI and Rochester, MN.  More details on this can be found below.

NOTE: seasonal snowfall is recorded from June-July, overlapping years. So, the total for the 2010-2011 season will be the amount recorded from July, 2010 though June, 2011. The snow fall totals listed here are, therefore, not the totals for the complete 2010-2011 winter season.  

La Crosse, WI...

During meteorological winter (December 1 through February 28), temperatures at the La Crosse Municipal Airport were colder than normal while both precipitation and snowfall were above normal.  This was the fourth consecutive winter that this has occurred. The information below provides more details on these statistics.

Temperatures -

From December 1st through February 28th, the average temperature at the La Crosse Municipal Airport was 16.9 degrees.  This was 3.1 degrees colder than the 1971-2000 average of 20.0 degrees.  The average maximum temperature was 25.0 degrees.  This was 4.2 degrees colder than the 1971-2000 average of 29.2 degrees. The average minimum temperature was 8.8 degrees.  This was 2.0 degrees colder than the 1971-2000 average of 10.8 degrees.

The table below contains the monthly temperatures and their departures from normal for the winter of 2010-11.

          Winter 2010-11 Temperatures
               in La Crosse, WI

                  Average            Departure
   Month        Temperature         from Normal
   -----        -----------         -----------
 December       16.7 degrees        -5.1 degrees
 January        14.1 degrees        -1.8 degrees
 February       20.2 degrees        -2.4 degrees
 
 Winter         16.9 degrees        -3.1 degrees

Precipitation - 

From December 1st through February 28th, the La Crosse Municipal Airport received 4.30 inches of precipitation.  This was 0.89 inches above the winter normal of 3.41 inches.  Over half (55.6 percent) of this precipitation fell in December.

The table below contains the monthly precipitation totals and their departures from normal for the winter of 2010-11.

          Winter 2010-11 Precipitation
               in La Crosse, WI

                Precipitation         Departure
   Month            Total            from Normal
   -----        ------------         -----------
 December        2.39 inches        +1.16 inches - 12th Wettest
 January         0.79 inches        -0.40 inches
 February        1.12 inches        +0.13 inches
 
 Winter          4.30 inches        +0.89 inches

Snowfall - 3rd Snowiest

From December 1st through February 28th, the snow observer near the La Crosse Municipal Airport received 54.4 inches of snow.  This was 23.9 inches above the normal of 30.5 inches. This was the third snowiest meteorological winter on record.  The only winters which were snowier were 1970-71 (60.4 inches) and 2007-08 (57.5 inches). It is also interesting to note that three of the last four winters were among the six snowiest meteorological winters.  The table below lists the ten snowiest winters in La Crosse, WI.

         Snowiest Meteorological Winters
                in La Crosse, WI
                   1885-2011

                 Snowfall
     Rank          Total            Winter
     ----        --------           ------
       1       60.4 inches         1970-71
       2       57.5 inches         2007-08
       3       54.4 inches         2010-11
       4       54.3 inches         1928-29
       5       54.1 inches         1885-86
       6       50.5 inches         2008-09
       7       49.0 inches         1978-79
               49.0 inches         1974-75
       9       46.7 inches         1916-17
      10       45.6 inches         1990-91

Nearly 60 percent (59.4 percent) of the snow fell during the second snowiest December on record.  The only December which was snowier was 2008 when 32.7 inches of snow fell.  December 2010 was also the fifth snowiest month.  The snowiest month was back in January 1929 when 39.6 inches of snow fell. 

The table below contains the monthly snowfall totals and their departures from normal for the winter of 2010-11.

           Winter 2010-11 Snowfall
               in La Crosse, WI

                  Snowfall            Departure
   Month            Total            from Normal
   -----        ------------         -----------
 December        32.3 inches        +22.7 inches - 2nd Snowiest
 January         11.3 inches        - 1.6 inches
 February        10.8 inches        + 2.8 inches
 
 Winter          54.4 inches        +23.9 inches

Snow Depth - Greatest Average Snow Depth since 1978-79

From December 1st through February 28th, the official snow observer near the La Crosse Municipal Airport had an average snow depth of 11.9 inches. This was 7.5 inches greater than the average of 4.4 inches.  This winter had the fifth greatest average snow depth for a meteorological winter and it was the greatest since the 1978-79 meteorological winter when the average snow depth was 15.0 inches.  The table below lists the top ten meteorological winters with the greatest average snow depth.

       Top Ten Greatest Average Snow Depth
         during a Meteorological Winter
                in La Crosse, WI

                    Average
        Rank       Snow Depth       Winter
        ----       ----------       ------
          1       15.2 inches      1928-29
          2       15.0 inches      1978-79
          3       12.5 inches      1942-43
          4       12.1 inches      1968-69
          5       11.9 inches      2010-11
          6       11.2 inches      1970-71
          7        9.3 inches      1950-51
          8        9.2 inches      2000-01
                   9.2 inches      1909-10
         10        8.9 inches      2009-10
                   8.9 inches      1919-20
                   8.9 inches      1904-05

The greatest snow depth was 21 inches on December 21st and December 24th.  These were the greatest snow depths in a meteorological winter since the winter of 1995-96.  During that winter, the greatest snow depth was 27 inches on January 27th.

Rochester, MN...

During meteorological winter (December 1 through February 28), temperatures at the Rochester International Airport averaged slightly colder than normal.  In addition, it was the second wettest and snowiest meteorological winter on record. This was the third winter in a row that it was colder and snowier than normal. The information below provides more details on these statistics.

Temperatures -

From December 1st through February 28th, the Rochester International Airport had an average temperature of 14.6 degrees.  This was 1.2 degrees colder than the 1971-2000 normal of 15.8 degrees. The average maximum temperature was 21.8 degrees.  This was 1.6 degrees colder than the 1971-2000 average of 23.4 degrees. The average minimum temperature was 7.5 degrees.  This was 0.6 degrees colder than the 1971-2000 average of 8.1 degrees.

The table below contains the monthly temperatures and their departures from normal for the winter of 2010-11.

          Winter 2010-11 Temperatures
               in Rochester, MN

                  Average            Departure
   Month        Temperature         from Normal
   -----        -----------         -----------
 December       14.7 degrees        -2.6 degrees
 January        11.4 degrees        -0.4 degrees
 February       18.1 degrees        -0.3 degrees
 
 Winter         14.6 degrees        -1.2 degrees

Precipitation - 2nd Wettest Winter

From December 1st through February 28th, the Rochester International Airport received 5.29 inches of precipitation.  This was 2.58 inches above the seasonal normal of 2.71 inches.  This was the second wettest winter on record.  Only the meteorological winter of 1887-88 was wetter with 5.47 inches of precipitation. The table below lists the ten wettest winters in Rochester, MN.

       Top Ten Wettest Meteorological Winters
                in Rochester MN
                   1886-2011

                Precipitation
     Rank           Total            Winter
     ----          --------           ------
       1         5.47 inches         1887-88
       2         5.29 inches         2010-11
       3         4.92 inches         1982-83
       4         4.69 inches         1950-51
       5         4.29 inches         1932-33
       6         4.25 inches         1966-67
       7         4.22 inches         2006-07
       8         4.22 inches         1948-49
       9         4.15 inches         1970-71
      10         4.13 inches         1940-41

Nearly 70 percent (69.6 percent) of the winter precipitation fell during the wettest December ever recorded in Rochester.  The previous record for December was 2.83 inches in 1982.

The table below contains the monthly precipitation totals and their departures from normal for the winter of 2010-11.

          Winter 2010-11 Precipitation
               in Rochester, MN

                Precipitation         Departure
   Month            Total            from Normal
   -----        ------------         -----------
 December        3.68 inches        +2.66 inches - Wettest
 January         0.84 inches        -0.10 inches
 February        0.77 inches        +0.02 inches
 
 Winter          5.29 inches        +2.58 inches

Snowfall - Snowiest Winter

From December 1st through February 28th, the snow observer near the Rochester International Airport received 60.4 inches of snow.  This was 29.1 inches above the normal of 31.3 inches.  This was the greatest total ever to fall during a meteorological winter.  The previous record was 50.0 inches during the winter of 2000-01.  The table below lists the ten snowiest winters in Rochester, MN.

         Snowiest Meteorological Winters
                in Rochester, MN
                   1893-2011

                 Snowfall
     Rank          Total            Winter
     ----        --------           ------
       1       60.4 inches         2010-11
       2       50.0 inches         2000-01
       3       48.1 inches         1969-70
       4       46.4 inches         2008-09
       5       45.8 inches         1996-97
       6       44.4 inches         2009-10
       7       43.9 inches         1995-96
       8       43.6 inches         1978-79
       9       43.1 inches         1993-94
      10       43.0 inches         1970-71

Nearly seventy percent (68.4 percent) of this winter's snow fell during December. This was the snowiest month ever recorded in Rochester.  The previous record was December 2000 when 35.3 inches of snow fell.

The table below contains the monthly snowfall totals and their departures from normal for the winter of 2010-11.

           Winter 2010-11 Snowfall
               in Rochester, MN

                  Snowfall            Departure
   Month            Total            from Normal
   -----        ------------         -----------
 December        41.3 inches        +29.7 inches - Snowiest Month
 January          9.8 inches        - 2.1 inches
 February         9.3 inches        + 1.5 inches
 
 Winter          60.4 inches        +29.1 inches

Snow Depth - Greatest Average Snow Depth


From December 1st through February 28th, the official snow observer near the Rochester International Airport had an average snow depth of 16.9 inches.  This was 11.5 inches greater than the average of 5.4 inches.  This was the greatest average snow depth during a meteorological winter.  The previous record was 14.0 inches in 1978-79.  The table below lists the top ten meteorological winters with greatest average snow depth.

       Top Ten Greatest Average Snow Depth
         during a Meteorological Winter
                in Rochester, MN

                    Average
        Rank       Snow Depth       Winter
        ----       ----------       ------
          1       16.9 inches      2010-11
          2       14.0 inches      1978-79
          3       13.7 inches      2009-10
          4       12.2 inches      1969-70
          5       11.8 inches      1985-86
          6       11.6 inches      1968-69
          7       10.6 inches      1970-71
          8       10.5 inches      1981-82
          9        9.7 inches      1996-97
         10        9.4 inches      1983-84

The greatest snow depth was 29 inches on December 21st, December 25th and December 26th.  These tied January 25, 1982 for the most snow ever on the ground.  Daily snow depth records date back to 1908.



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