April 5, 2009 in Idaho Voices

CdA snowfall remains short of last year’s record

Michelle Boss
 

At the beginning of this past winter season, I said with some confidence that we would not see as much snow as last year.

I am once again humbled by Mother Nature. You have probably already heard or read about how this year’s snow amounts in Spokane have broken the 1949-’50 record for the snowiest winter season ever. As of April 1, Spokane had received 93.9 inches of snow (Coeur d’Alene, about 140 inches). The 1949-’50 record was 93.5 inches. The winter season of 2007-’08 fell just short of the record with 92.6 inches.

Though technically, the calendar says we’re into spring, any snow that falls through June of this year will be added to the total for the 2008-’09 “winter” season.

There are a couple of interesting things to point out. First, though Spokane has surpassed last year’s snowfall, Coeur d’Alene (though receiving much above normal snow again this year) has so far seen about 35 inches less than last year’s record breaking total of 172.9 inches.

Secondly, though we have had back to back snowiest winters, this season and last were not particularly alike. Last season, Spokane saw the bulk of its snowfall both in January (with 40 inches) and in March (16 inches). December of 2007 saw 20 inches of snow, but that is typical for December.

This season, the area received the overwhelming share of its snowfall during the last half of December with more than over 61 inches for Spokane. This past January and February were less than half as snowy as in 2008.

It is amazing to see that Spokane has more than half a foot of snow ahead of where it was this time last year. The first week of April is already off to a snowy start. Mid-range computer models are showing an unsettled weather pattern through all of next week. Temperatures won’t be frigid, but we won’t be seeing a decent mild spell either. It does look like it will be warm enough, however, that much of the precipitation in the upcoming week will be in the form of rain for the valley locations.

Obviously, not everyone is languishing in this never ending “winter” weather. Despite seeing anywhere from half a foot, to as much as two feet of snow just one week ago, folks in western Kansas and Oklahoma are now enjoying afternoon highs in the 60s and 70s. The real warmth, at least this weekend, is confined to the far southern U.S., where places like San Antonio, and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., will see highs in the mid-80s.

In our part of the country, all I can think to do for now is to peek at my tulips trying to come up, and then make myself some hot cocoa and warm up by the fireplace!

Michelle Boss can be reached at weatherboss@comcast.net.


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