What else can we say about the past winter?

What else can we say about the past winter?

As our remarkable winter winds down, (though it will remain cold through the end of March, according to most recent forecasts), a few of its additional characteristics are worthy of mention.

First, in Madison we just completed the fifth-longest streak of consecutive days with a snow depth of 1 inch or more — 99 days, from Dec. 9 to March 17. The all-time record streak is 118 days in 1978-79, although we came very close to tying that streak in our snowy winter of 2007-08, which had a 110-day streak.

For some perspective, the average number of days with 1 inch or more of snow cover in a Madison winter (not necessarily consecutive days!) is only 76. So, if you have had a nagging suspicion that we’ve seen snow for an unusually long time this winter, you were right.

This lingering snow is partly a function of this winter’s persistent cold, which we have mentioned a number of times in this column.

Perhaps less high profile, however, is that this winter had 45 days on which at least 0.1 inch of snow fell in Madison — the 13th-highest total of all time. The record for that category is 60 days during our snowy 2007-08 winter. There also was a recent third-place entry with 48 days in 2000-01, when 23 of those days occurred in December.

Finally, we endured 96 consecutive days between high temperatures at or above 50 degrees — from Dec. 4 (when the high was precisely 50) to March 10, when it finally soared to 57. In the past 43 winters, a streak that long has occurred only nine times. It appears that 1971-72 is the record holder with 113 consecutive days from November 18 to March 11.


Category: Uncategorized

Comments Off on What else can we say about the past winter?

Comments are closed.