2015-2016 snow season: Lackluster for most

- The 2015-2016 snow season has been pretty lackluster for most of us.  With storms few and far between, and the ones we have gotten produced more rain than snow, it has been a tough season for snow enthusiasts.  Well, for the most part.  While much of the state has seen sub average snowfall, a small part of the region has seen one of their snowiest seasons ever.  A small chunk of what locals call the Tristate area have been the lucky few who have picked up an abundant amount of snow…

Parts of Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota have seen some impressive snow totals for the year with many areas from Sioux Falls to Sioux City and Norfolk Nebraska over to Spencer and Okoboji Iowa have picked up more than 60 inches of snow.  Doesn’t sound all that impressive considering Duluth averages over 80 inches, but this part of the world averages about 3 feet of snow per winter… well we can agree that 5 feet or more blows that average out of the water. 

So why the big difference?  2 reasons; storm track and luck.  The setup of our jet stream over the winter had it consistently diving through that part of the country.  The jet stream controls the storm track.  With more storms, there are better chances for some snow.  And as lame as it sounds, there is a certain amount of luck involved when it comes to snowfall.  This part of the Midwest has had 3 major localized events.  What this means is that conditions have come together 3 separate times over the winter to produce VERY heavy snow in a localized area.  In any given year, these localized events don’t usually happen over the same areas… they are usually spread out with a few people getting one of these more unusual events.  Think of it like the last storm in the metro where the south metro got up to a foot of snow, but the north metro had nada.  The Tri-State area has had THREE of these this year.  In fact, the south metro can relate to this phenomenon as well because my house in Burnsville has seen far more snow than MSP Airport has this winter… and the airport is less than 10 miles away.

So where does everyone stand?  Well, here is the metro’s official total per month.  Oddly, our usually driest month of February ended up as our snowiest so far this season…

As for the region, that Tri-State area I have been talking about has fared the best by far.  Nearly everyone else is near average to significantly below average.  Parts of northern Minnesota and North Dakota have barely received half their typical snowfall…