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Daryl Ritchison, WDAY, Published February 14 2012

Weather Talk: Widespread snow cover seen in southern Europe and Asia

It would likely surprise no one to learn that the percentage of the Lower 48 states with snow on the ground is well below average.

The North American continent is running roughly 1 million square kilometers below the long-term mean, with most of that anomaly occurring in the United States. Yet, overall, the Northern Hemisphere has an above-average snowpack.

If the Western Hemisphere is running well below average, that means that Europe and Asia must be reporting snow in places that usually would be snow-free, and that has definitely been the case in recent weeks. Many areas in southern Europe are reporting widespread snow cover this month. Parts of northern Africa as well as the Middle East also have snow on the ground.

Whereas North America is running well below average, Europe and Asia combined have a snow cover of approximately 1.5 million square kilometers above average for this time of year.

Have a weather question you’d like answered? Email weather@wday.com,

or write to WDAY Stormtracker, WDAY-TV, Box 2466, Fargo, ND 58108

Read the blog at http://stormtrack.areavoices.com/.