Will This Winter Be The Least Snowy Ever?
BOSTON (CBS) – It is the last full week of February and many Massachusetts kids are off for school vacation.
Typically, this is a tough week for parents, if you didn’t plan a getaway vacation you usually are scrambling, looking for indoor activities or perhaps taking the kids to the nearest hillside to go sledding.
Got nothing planned this year?
Well you are in luck because this February vacation will feel a lot more like April vacation!
Highs will soar into the 40s on Tuesday and well over 50 degrees by Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
In fact, we have a legit shot at 60 late in the week.
Many April vacations aren’t even that nice.
Normally this would be big news, but this year it is just par for the course (a pun with multiple meanings this year as many golf courses have stayed open).
We are in the midst of an absolutely one of a kind, record setting winter that wasn’t.
You may never in your lifetime have another New England winter like this one, so let’s relish in some statistics.
February 2012 marks the 8th straight month we have had above normal temperatures, peaking over the winter months.
December was 5.3 degrees above normal, January 5.2 and February, so far, has been 5.6 degrees above the norm.
And with the current 7 day forecast, we should reach about 6.5 degrees above normal by the end of this week!
As of today, we are moving into the 4th spot in the record books for mildest February with an average temperature of 36.4 degrees.
By the end of this week we should be nearing number three on that list (37.3 degrees set back in 1976).
And if we stay mild right through the end of the month next week, we have an outside shot at the mildest February ever, which is currently 1925 with an average temperature of 38.1 degrees.
And there is no sign of this mild pattern leaving.
Take a look at the 8-14 day forecast that was put out Monday from the Climate Prediction Center. This has been consistent all winter long, mild in the eastern U.S. and cool in the West and Alaska.
Taking this whole forecast one step further we can look at the CPC’s prediction for the month of March, looking like a 9th straight above normal month.
Right now, the winter as a whole ranks as the second warmest on record (Dec-Feb), just 0.6 degrees behind the mildest winter ever set back in 2001-2002.
If you remember back in 01-02 we had just 15.1 inches of snow that season, but this year could be even leaner than that.
Right now Boston stands at 7.8 inches, and 1 inch of that came from the October Storm.
If somehow we manage to go the rest of winter without any measureable snow (certainly possible) than this season would go down as the least snowy season ever!
That record currently belongs to the season of 1936-1937 when only 9.0 inches fell.
So, if you are starting to wonder if this may be our new “normal”, that perhaps the harsh New England winter may be a thing of the past – think again.
All you have to do is look back to two of the leanest snow years in recent memory and then look at what happened one year later.
Winter of 1994-1995: 14.9 inches of snow
One Year Later:
Winter of 1995-1996: 107.6 inches of snow, the all-time record
Winter of 2001-2002: 15.1 inches of snow
One Year Later:
Winter of 2002-2003: 67.7 inches of snow, 2 feet over our average
So I wouldn’t look for that winter home in New England just yet.
You can follow Terry on Twitter at @TerryWBZ.