ROCKFORD (WREX) – If this winter feels much worse that the last several winters, it may be due to the last 4 weeks. Much of this winter’s harsh conditions have been crammed into the last 30 days.
Since January 12, 26.6″ of snow fell, which is 97% of this winter’s total. This doesn’t count snowfall for Feb. 11th through today, so this number may even go up further. That’s nearly 1″ of snow a day, and a lot of snow falling in a short amount of time!
In addition to the frequent snow storms, a couple days of record-breaking cold and several days of freezing rain and sleet in a row adds to the winter weariness.
For reference, Rockford averages 29.2″ of snow during a typical winter. This means we’ve seen a whole winter’s worth of snow in just 30 days.
Here’s the breakdown so far this winter:
February: 1.7″ (not counting snowfall from Feb. 11th onward)
Last month was the 4th snowiest January on record, and over one foot above average. January’s impressive amount made up for a meager December, snow-wise.
We are 2.6″ above average for the winter season, so far. Again, that number will likely rise once the snow stops on February 12th.
For the snow year (July 1 to June 30), we are close to 17″ above average for the 2018-2019 snow year. Snow year’s start and end in the summer to look at a year’s worth of snow. Using this method helps keep the fall and winter amounts together, rather than splitting them when the calendar changes on January 1.
Our current snow year includes the late November blizzard, which dropped nearly 1 foot of snow.
Looking long term, the Climate Prediction Center shows above average precipitation in the forecast through the middle of February. Our active weather pattern does include further chances for rain and snow later this week. Beyond that, drier weather with below average precipitation is possible going into early March and the spring season in general. However, take this with a grain of salt. While the overall climate patterns look good for below average precipitation, short term weather patterns and climate patterns may change or adjust this forecast the closer we get to March and the spring season.