Below average snow doesn't necessarily spell drought

METEOROLOGIST STEVE FRAZIER @FRAZIERFOX9
METEOROLOGIST STEVE FRAZIER @FRAZIERFOX9

There is no doubt that snow lovers across the Upper Midwest are missing the flakes this winter season. The lack of a beefy snowpack doesn't mean that there will be a drought this spring. Yes, we are abnormally dry according to the latest drought monitor but don't worry as we not looking to plant anything just yet.

A below average snowpack can have more impact for the states out west. Less snow there means less melting, and therefore less water for the reservoirs, which trickles down to less water in the taps. Here in the Upper Midwest, it's all about what we can soak up. Pardon the pun, but we can absorb the impact of an anemic winter if the spring thaw is more patient. In other words, a quick turnover to spring can actually deprive the soil of a chance to soak up what little the 2014-2015 winter season has given us.

Whether we have three feet or three inches on the ground, its all about how much we soak up. If temperature soared to 50°, the quick melt does nothing more than swell our rivers and streams. Take a look at the chart below. You can see that last year, with an above average snowfall, we were actually drier that we are now.

Our near record snowfall of 86.6" for the 2010-2011 winter season did a lot to raise the flooding fears here in the Upper Midwest. However, in reality, fears is all it raised that year as we saw very little spring flooding. Also, keep in mind the wettest months are just ahead. Just think back to last June and the record rainfall that resulted in rising rivers all over Minnesota and Wisconsin.

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