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Daryl Ritchison, WDAY, Published December 11 2013

Weather Talk: F-M winter season running below average for snowfall

Although our recent snowfalls may give you the perception that our current cold season is running above average for snowfall, the opposite is true, though December is on pace for above-average snowfall if our current trend continues.

November was virtually snowless. The average snowfall in November is nearly 8 inches, and at least for now, this month has not made up that snow deficit. Thus, Fargo-Moorhead snowfall is running a few inches below normal.

It could be that the dry past two Decembers may be adding to the snowy perceptions this winter. Two years ago, we recorded a brown Christmas locally, and last year it was a light snow just before Christmas that made the holiday white.

Prior to the past two dry Decembers, our region had been on a run of very snowy Decembers. Three out of the four snowiest Decembers on record occurred in 2008, 2009 and 2010. December 2008 ranks as the snowiest December on record, with 33.5 inches measured that year. All three of those years were followed by severe spring flooding, so the ongoing near-to-below-average snowfall might not be such a bad thing.

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