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John Wheeler, WDAY, Published March 24 2013

Weather Talk: Average annual snowfall rises in past two decades

Double the average snowfall in February and March has turned an almost snowless winter into a spring with flooding concerns. Snowfall around Wahpeton, N.D., and Fergus Falls, Minn., has been close to triple the average over the past two months.

But such a turnaround should not be all that surprising. Annual average snowfall has increased significantly over the past two decades. For the decade of the 1950s, average annual snowfall was 28 inches. In the 1960s, it was 34 inches. The 1970s averaged 44 inches.In the 1980s, the average was 41 inches.

But 1990s snowfall averaged 58 inches, and in the 2000s it was 52 inches. This amounts to an increase of about 37 percent in annual snowfall over the past two decades compared to the previous four. Some of that difference is due to measuring techniques, but most of it is just snow. Climate changes, and we are going through a period when it is snowing more than it used to.


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