Nov
16
2005

Now that there's snow on the ground, you might be wondering how much more will fall this winter. Although meteorologists can't accurately forecast the weather a full season in advance, statistics from the National Weather Service and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources give us some idea what to expect this winter.

On average, the first full inch of snow hits the Twin Cities on November 22, and the last full inch usually arrives around April 2. Snowfall in the Twin Cities has gone up and down over the past few years, with 66 inches of snow during the winter of 2001-02; 35 inches in 2002-03; 66 inches in 2003-04; and just under 32 inches in 2004-05.

What was the snowiest winter on record? Almost 99 inches of snow fell in the Twin Cities during the winter of 1983-84. The runner up was 1981-82, with 95 inches! The two winters with the least snow were 1930-31 (with just over 14 inches in the Twin Cities) and 1894-95 (with about 16 inches of snow).

Annual snowfall varies considerably across Minnesota, with an average of 36 inches each year in southwestern Minnesota and approximately 70 inches along Lake Superior. About 20 percent of the state's annual precipitation comes in the form of snow.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

About 20 percent of the state's annual precipitation comes in the form of snow.

That's strange. Five of the twelve months are "cold," so one would intuitively expect 42% of precipitation to come in the form of snow. Is there some reason it precipitates less in the winter?

posted on Thu, 11/17/2005 - 12:24pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

Cold air holds less moisture than warm air. Also, snow and rain aren't the same in terms of the water they drop on us: on average, 10 inches of snow equals an inch of rain.

posted on Thu, 11/17/2005 - 2:12pm

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