The 2010-2011 winter has been unusally cold and snowy across eastern Kentucky.
From December 2010 through January 2011 the temperature at Jackson averaged 29.4 degrees. This is the coldest December-January period at Jackson since the National Weather Service Office opened in 1981. The previous coldest December-January period was in 1983-1984 when the temperature averaged 30.7 degrees. Even though the cold has been persistent, we have escaped extreme bitter cold, with the coldest temperature so far this winter at the National Weather Service Office being 5 degrees above zero. This is well above some of the bitter cold readings experienced in the 1980s and 1990s.
At London, Kentucky the temperature from December 2010 to January 2011 averaged 29.7 degrees. This was the 4th coldest December-January period on record at London, stretching back to 1954. The coldest December-January period at London was in 1976-1977 when the temperature averaged 26.2 degrees. The coldest temperature recorded so far this winter in London has been zero degrees.
An even bigger story than the cold has been the frequent snows that have occurred across the region since early December. While eastern Kentucky has not had a major crippling snowstorm similar to the ones we experienced in the 1990s or that other parts of the country have had this winter, the frequent snows have resulted in many missed school days across the region. As of the end of January, 32.1 inches of snow had fallen at the National Weather Service Office, well above the seasonal average snowfall of 24.5 inches. The winter of 2010-2011 will be the third winter in a row with above average snowfall at the National Weather Service Office in Jackson.
The following graphs compare this winter with other winters over the past 30 years at the Weather Forecast Office (WFO) in Jackson. With plenty of winter weather still in store, there is no doubt that the winter snowfall total for 2010-2011 will continue to increase.