Snow cover dwindling as we enter the typical peak snow depth week

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February is actually the metro’s driest month of the year on average, but it’s a combination of the hefty snows from the previous months combined with cold temperatures that have February as our snowiest month… well, when it comes to what’s on the ground anyway.  Snow that has already fallen and decorates the grass, trees, rooftops, bushes, and everything else this time of year is called our snow cover.  Well, the first half of February is our typically peak for highest snow depth in that snow cover.  History tells us that on average, the first two weeks of February have the most snow on the ground above any other point in the year.

The graph above lists our probability of having certain depth thresholds on certain dates.  For example, in the first week of February, 90% of the time, the metro has had snow on the ground.  65% of the time, we have had at least 4 inches of snow on the ground.  At least half of the time we have had at least 6 inches.  Over 15% of the time, we have had more than a foot.  And 5% of the time, or roughly 1 out of every 20 years, we have at least 18” of snow on the ground.

This year though, it’s been tough.  Right now, only a trace of snow remains officially in the metro… although admittedly my neighborhood in Burnsville has at least 3 or 4 inches left so these stats can vary.  While we are below average in the snow department, we have still seen over 2 feet so far.  While December and January were warm once again, it’s been rain that has been the biggest cause of our snow cover demise.  Nearly an inch of rain fell on Christmas with several more bouts of light rain in both months.  If all of that had been snow, we could have easily had a foot of snow on the ground.  But unfortunately for you snow lovers, no dice this year.