Friday, March 28, 2014

Snowiest Month

Not only is snow still common this time of year, in some places the snowiest month of the year lays ahead. The first map below, Figure 1, shows the month of the year with the highest normal (1981-2010) snow total. The second map, Figure 2, shows the stations where April is the snowiest month of the year. Many stations in the central Rocky Mountains and the Upper Great Plains see their peak annual snowfall in March and April. There are several reasons for this - including a change in mean wind direction and the greater likelihood of a leeside troughs forming in Colorado producing upslope, moist flow.

Figure 1. Month with the greatest normal snowfall according to the 1981-2010 NCDC climate normals. Stations must receive an annual total of 2" or more to be included in the analysis. Stations with ties for different maximum months were not included. These are generally stations with very low snow totals.

Figure 2. Stations whose greatest normal snowfall, according to the 1981-2010 NCDC climate normals, occurs in the month of April. 

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