It’s been a snowy winter in Wisconsin, but not here

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Sunset after light snow 2/19/13 (credit: Phil Koch)

MILWAUKEE (WITI) — For the second time in a row our winter hasn’t looked so white in around Milwaukee. While we’ve seen more snow than last year to this point (22” vs. 18”) we’re well behind our normal amount of about 35”. But we are the exception. Most of the state has seen their fair share of snow and in some cases have already reached a normal winter’s amount with a few weeks left to go.

Here are the numbers from around the state through February 20th. Milwaukee is 12.7” behind our normal pace to so far. The following cities are ahead: Madison +6.3”, Green Bay +13.2”, La Crosse +0.8”, and Wausau +8.1”. That doesn’t mean we’ve missed out on the snow producing systems, just the snow producing part of those systems. In two cases winter storms brought record breaking rainfall to Milwaukee while other parts of the state were buried in snow. By the time temps cooled enough to change the rain to snow, there was little moisture left to make it. On December 19th-20th Milwaukee saw 2.35” of precipitation but only 2.8” of snow. Just a few miles away Dodge, Washington, and Fond du Lac counties were digging out from 12-20” of snow! More recently from January 28th-30th Milwaukee saw another 2.05” of precipitation but only 1.1” of snow. On the other hand Green Bay got 8” of snow and Madison 6” after the rain changed over.

Some folks no doubt have enjoyed a little less shoveling, slipping, and sliding this winter (and last winter). For the snow supporters it’s been frustrating, especially for those depending on the snow for a healthy bottom line. But let me end this with a little good news for all. The above normal precipitation (Milwaukee +3.84”, Madison +3.28”, Green Bay +3.23”, La Crosse +0.77”, and Wausau +1.39”) has taken a huge bite out of the drought were in at the end of fall. Even though a wet winter doesn’t help quite as much since crops can’t take advantage and frozen ground doesn’t absorb water as well, it still puts us in better shape once all the snow melts this spring.