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All-time Snow Records Tumbling Again for the Second Straight Year

By Joe D'Aleo
Monday, April 13, 2009


Last year Colorado, Wyoming, Wisconsin, Michigan and northern New England into southern Canada were areas where the all-time snow records fell. This year they were further north and west in Washington, North Dakota, and Minnesota with North Dakota ground zero.
       
FARGO,  NORTH DAKOTA BREAKS SNOW AND PRECIPITATION RECORDS AND SEES ALL TIME RECORD FLOODING

Record monthly snowfall and precipitation was recorded at Fargo, North Dakota for the month of March. A monthly record snowfall of 28.1 inches was set at Hector International airport in Fargo for the month of March. This breaks the old record of 26.2 inches for March set in 1997.

TOP 10 FARGO MARCH SNOWFALL TOTALS

RANK

TOTAL

YEAR

1

28.1

2009

2

26.2

1997

3

19.0

1995

4

18.7

1975

5

17.5

1927

6

15.7

2002

7

15.5

1894

8

15.4

1966

9

15.3

1908

10

15.0

1996

 
A monthly record precipitation of 4.62 inches was set at Hector International airport in Fargo for the month of March. This breaks the old record of 2.83 inches for march set in 1882.
TOP 10 FARGO MARCH PRECIPITATION TOTALS

RANK

TOTAL

YEAR

1

4.62

2009

2

2.83

1882

3

2.62

1995

4

2.56

1901

5

2.27

1983

6

2.26

1902

7

2.21

1950

8

2.18

2007

9

2.00

1979

10

1.92

1966

 
79.7 inches of snow fell for the season as of April 1, with more to come.
 
The meteorological winter season of December 2008 through February 2009 set a top 10 record for snowfall. The 48.9 inches recorded during the winter was 0.1 inch above the previous 4th place record of 48.8 set in the winter of 1995/1996. That makes the 2008/2009 winter the new 4th snowiest meteorological winter season on record. The snowiest winter season was the 1996/1997 winter season when 57.0 inches fell in the December through February period.
 
The meteorological winter season of December 2008 through February 2009 set a top 10 record for liquid precipitation. There was 3.64 inches of liquid equivalent which is the 3rd wettest winter season. The wettest meteorological season is 3.81 in the 1897/1898 winter season. This helped propel the Red River into a record flood stage.
 
With consistently cold weather the past 3 months, the average of 6.4 degrees was well below the long term average.
BISMARCK MOVES TOWARDS ALL-TIME SEASONAL RECORD DURING MARCH
Bismarck, ND tied for second snowiest March. Combined with snowiest ever December and month in December 2008, the seasonal totals moved to within 1.4 inches of all-time record in March. This is certain to be exceeded in April. Note this was the first year with two months in top 10 snowiest months ever.

 

Seasonal Snowfall for Bismarck (Update 4-1-09 @ 6 AM CDT)

Rank

Season

Snowfall Amount

1

1996-1997

101.6

2

2008-2009

100.2

3

1993-1994

91.8

4

1949-1950

86.8

5

1978-1979

83.0

6

1981-1982

80.3

7

1995-1996

80.1

8

1986-1987

67.9

9

1994-1995

67.1

10

1983-1984

66.5

 

Monthly Snowfall Records for Bismarck:

Rank

Month and Year

Snowfall Amount

1

December, 2008

33.3

2

March, 1975

31.1

3

November, 1896

31.0

4

November, 1993

29.9

5T

March, 1950

29.7

5T

March, 2009

29.7

7

November, 1986

28.5

8

March, 1916

25.6

9

February, 1979

25.6

10

November, 1996

25.2

 

INTERNATIONAL FALLS, MN ALSO HAS SNOWIEST EVER SEASON

The National Weather Service says the border city has recorded 124.2 inches of snow this winter. That tops the old record of 116 inches set in 1995-1996. The nearly 9-inch dump from this week's snowstorm pushed International Falls over the edge. The Minnesota-Ontario border area has been pummeled with snowstorms this winter.

SPOKANE WASHINGTON – SECOND INCREDIBLE SNOW YEAR IN A ROW

And from KOMO News Weary Spokane residents who are sick of snow can at least now be consoled by the fact that they were a part of history.

A snow storm on Sunday has made this the snowiest winter on record in Spokane. The National Weather Service said 93.6 inches of snow has been recorded at Spokane International Airport this winter, breaking the record set in 1949-50 by a tenth of an inch.

It took snowfall of 3.9 inches of Sunday, a record for the date, to break the all-time record. This is the second-consecutive heavy winter in Spokane. Last year, more than 92 inches of snow fell on the Lilac City, third most since records started in 1893.

Here is the Top 5 now:

RANK WINTER SNOW TOTAL
1          2008-2009       93.6
2          1949-1950       93.5
3          2007-2008       92.6
4          1974-1975       89.0
5          1992-1993       87.3

Spokane is also mired in unseasonable cold. Normal high temperatures at the of March are in the low 50s, but this month has seen highs in the 30s and 40s.

See here how an amazing 358 lowest temperature records and 409 snowfall records were broken for the week ending Apr 2, 2009. 

WINTER 2008/09 FORECAST VERIFICATION

 Before the winter the sun, ENSO, and the QBO was used to identify analog years. We picked 1961/62, 1964/64 as the best analogs with 1985/86 also within window of expected solar and ENSO conditions.

They suggested another cold north central winter.

The actual temperatures generally were in line with those analogs, especially across the North Central. It was warmer in the southern Rockies and plains where it was dry. Cold in the northeast was concentrated in January.

Compare that to the CPC forecast from last October which in the absence of a clear ENSO state used trends as their tool.

They are at it again for next winter.

Trends can be a useful tool during the times when you are in particular mode but can lead to bad forecasts when a new regime develops (like selling at the lows of a bear market or buying at the peak of a bull market). The trend they used was the trend during the warm PDO, warm AMO, active solar decades of the 1980s and 1990s.  Now with the PDO in its cold mode, the AMO turned negative and the sun in a superlong slumber, the trends should be and have been reversing both globally and regionally. Good luck CPC. You will need it.

 

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