How unusual is our lack of snow cover?

While we are coming up to Christmas, many of us would like white on the ground.  But with our exceptionally warm December, barring anything unforeseen, it doesn’t look like that is going to happen.  So how unusual is it?  Well according to the MN Department of Natural Resources, the probability of having at least 1 inch of snow on the ground by the middle of December, we’ll pick December 17th, is roughly 65%.  So two thirds of the time, we have at least 1 inch of snow coating the earth.  But it’s interesting to note that even into the middle of December; deeper snow cover is still rather unusual with the metro having 6 inches or more of snow covering the ground less than a quarter of the time.  By the time Christmas passes and New Year’s rolls around, it becomes far more unusual to not have any snow cover.  By the first of the year, we have at least 1 inch of snow cover 85% of the time.  As you would guess, January and February are our peak months for snow cover with the first week of February having at least 1 inch of white nearly 90% of the time.  By then, half the time we have at least 6 inches of snow and at least 1 out of 8 years we have more than a foot.