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We’re only about half way through February but I thought it would be neat to look at how this winter stacks up to previous winters in central Kentucky. So for perspective, here are a few stats:
We’re at a little over 16 inches of snow for the season so far. We need 27 inches by the end of the month to break into the top 10 winters in history. (Meteorological winter is Dec. 1 through Feb. 28 or 29). The winter of 1977-1978 is No. 5 on that list with 32 inches. The winter of 1917-1918 had 41.2 inches! Can we get 11 inches of snow in the next couple of weeks to crack the top 10? Sure, it’s possible, but with the models predicting a more zonal flow setting up across the country with warmer temperatures coming I don’t think it’s looking likely.
The greatest amount of time spent with snow cover on the ground is 57 consecutive days ending on March 10, 1978! We are on the 8th day as of today so this winter has no hope of coming remotely close to that record.
As far as temperatures go ... we’re not even in the top 20 coldest winters.
The bottom line is that this winter is only slightly worse than average.
I will leave with this thought, however; most winters that do feature quite a bit of cold and snow like this current one are usually followed by at least one more if not two more in consecutive years. We saw harsh winters most recently in the 1950s, ‘70s and ‘90s, so we are due for more in the 2010s if history repeats itself. I think it would be wise for city planners to stock up on salt when October rolls around because this very well may be an indicator that the next couple of winters are going to be worse.
Shawn Crowe is a 1997 graduate of Anderson County High School and a resident of Lawrenceburg. He received a degree in meteorology/climatology from Western Kentucky University in 2001.