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    Comparing Snowfall This Winter to Last Winter

    March 13, 2009, 12:53:24 PM EDT

    Before I get started on the real topic of this entry, I wanted to give a quick storm report from the coastal storm today. Yesterday, I had mentioned that I was anticipating around 6-8 inches. Instead, we got a meager 3-4 inches. Why did this happen? Well, I think the biggest problem was that the dry slot moved in and ended snow. The heaviest snow ended right around midday because of this. Although I think that we will pick up another inch or two from snow showers this evening, I am still disappointed.

    So anyways, I got a call this afternoon from one of the local newspapers in the valley and it gave me a great idea for an entry. The call was asking for our snowfall totals through the end of February for this winter compared to snowfall through the same period for last winter. Anyone reading this that lives in New England surely remembers that last year was an extremely snowy winter. In fact, many locations in New England either broke, or came very close to breaking, their all time snowfall records. North Conway, NH (located about 25 miles southeast of the mountain) was one of those places. A total of 147.6 inches was measured making it the second snowiest winter in the roughly 60 years that records have been kept in the town. Thats a whopping 64.1 inches above average

    The summit of Mount Washington however did not fare so well last winter. We ended the year with 237.1 inches of snowfall which is actually 75.5 inches BELOW average. You can read about why I think the valley saw such an over abundance while the summit did not in two entries I posted last year (part 1 and part 2).

    So, finally getting to the point:

    Statistics for Mount Washington Snowfall for winter 2007-2008 through the end of February 2008: 170.3 inches Departure from normal: - 31.9 inches

    Snowfall for winter 2008-209 through the end of February 2009: 179.7 inches Departure from normal: -22.5 inches

    Statistics for North Cownay: Snowfall for winter 2007-2008 through the end of February 2008: 121.6 inches Departure from normal: + 59.0 inches

    Snowfall for winter 2008-209 through the end of February 2009: 99.6 inches Departure from normal: + 37.0 inches

    So again, even though the valley is experiencing another abundant snow year (although not quite as abundant as last year) the summit is yet again below average. Very dry months of January both years are mostly responsible for this. January 2008 was 36.7 inches below average for the month while January 2009, although not that bad, was still a significant 14.0 inches below average.

    Something I want to make sure to point out: snowfall for both last winter and this winter were not below average because we got more rain than usual, it was simply because we saw less precipitation that normal. Hopefully that makes sense. I mention this because a lot of people out there see that snowfall is below normal and assume it is because of climate change. I'm not saying that there isn't possibly a connection between less total precipitation and climate change, it just bothers me when people automatically assume below average snowfall means it is connected to the warming of the climate.

    Ok, I'm getting off my soap box now, haha.

    So I know that was a lot of numbers being thrown at you, but I find it all very interesting. Hopefully you do too!

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