Report: Another warm winter for the U.S.

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Spring is less than two weeks away, but winter may still have a few surprises to pull. The latest data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows that this winter has been a true meteorological roller coaster, and while not as unseasonably warm as last year, the 2012-2013 winter season will likely end warmer-than-average.

NOAA’s February “State of the Climate”  found that especially for areas east of the Rockies, temperatures this winter have been above-normal.

The average temperature for the Lower 48 this winter was 34.3 degrees F, which is nearly 2 degrees F above the 20th century average.  To compare, the average U.S. temperature during the December 2011 to February 2012 period was 36.8 degrees, marking the warmest winter since 2000.

Precipitation on the Plains was another big story in the report. As most winter storms spent much of the season bypassing the parched Plains, back-to-back storm systems in late-February walloped the region with upwards of 20 inches of snow.

For many locations, February ended a cycle of dry months with a much-needed boost of moisture:

Location

Normal
(1981-2010)

Total
(Dec. 2013 – Jan. 2013)

Percent of Normal

 

 

--Inches--

 

Little Rock, Ark.

3.1

10.6

342

Amarillo, Texas

11.3

29.6

262

Aberdeen, S.D.

20.1

38.5

192

Dodge City, Kan.

12.9

23.4

181

Des Moines, Iowa

36.0

56.5

157

Madison, Wis.

37.0

55.0

149

Oklahoma City, Okla.

6.3

7.7

122

Grand Island, Neb.

17.9

21.1

118

See your location’s Winter Snowfall Anomalies.  

Some of these areas even reported more snow than some parts of Alaska.  Dubuque, Iowa, has seen 41.5 inches of snow so far this winter, which is 2 inches more than snow totals reported in Fairbanks, Alaska. Read the full report here.  



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