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John Wheeler, WDAY, Published November 30 2012

Weather Talk: Snow cover is scant now, but winter just beginning

Snow cover is scant across the region. With the calendar now showing December, the skiers and snowmobilers have begun to clamor for better conditions for their favorite winter pastimes. This being the first day of December, this is akin to complaining that the lakes are too cold for swimming on the first day of June.

The average date in Fargo-Moorhead for continuous snow cover (defined as 30 days with at least one inch on the ground) is Dec. 4. During last winter, with its record warmth, we did not see continuous snow cover until Jan. 19.

There are a handful of winters on record in which continuous snow cover started in late October. This is one of those statistics with a very wide range. Prior to last winter, our region had gone through four consecutive winters with very persistent snow cover (and excellent skiing and snowmobiling). Last winter, the snow was good only in February.

Time will tell what we get this winter. But it is premature to give up hope for snow cover on Dec. 1.


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