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Winter '13/'14 Banter/Complaint Thread Part 2

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This really is the pits...nothing but epic cold until fantasy range and then the warm up only gets us to slightly below normal. Add to that little to no chance for worthwhile storm systems and you have one dull stretch of weather.

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Some people I have talked to and just now on the news, say that the song bird population isn't where it should be right now. I think there might be a few less right now, but not a big decrease. Anyone else notice fewer birds for this time of year?

Explore year to year trends in bird sightings and ranges at eBird dot org, brought to you courtesy of the Audobon Society and thousands of checklisting loons like my father:

http://ebird.org/ebird/eBirdReports?cmd=Start

http://gbbc.birdcount.org/

The late winter one is the great backyard birdcount, and their preliminary results are up:

http://us2.campaign-archive1.com/?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0ce32406&id=f2aef233b5

We moved to a new place on the South Side and between the LSD prairie restoration, Hyde Park parks, canalfront, and lots and lots of overgrown empty lots I've seen & heard more birds this winter not fewer.

There was a thing in the radio about songbird kill but winter hasn't managed to kill off our feral parakeets:

http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/The-312/March-2013/In-Hyde-Park-the-Parakeets-Abide/

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As promised, a quick picture I just took...

Mine looks like that in the back yard, but it's still all brown in the front. I'm guessing it has to do with different cultivars of grass since the stuff out front was there when I moved in, the stuff in the back I tore up completely and reseeded several years back.

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This really is the pits...nothing but epic cold until fantasy range and then the warm up only gets us to slightly below normal. Add to that little to no chance for worthwhile storm systems and you have one dull stretch of weather.

 

Yeah other than the March 1st system this has really been a benign month.  I guess for those of us who like severe it's better to have this stretch now than in April-June.

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Chances for Detroit to break the record are dwindling ... <_<

 

Its hard to imagine not snagging something from this upcoming pattern, but the average snow from today till May 1st probably isn't 3 inches.

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Explore year to year trends in bird sightings and ranges at eBird dot org, brought to you courtesy of the Audobon Society and thousands of checklisting loons like my father:

http://ebird.org/ebird/eBirdReports?cmd=Start

http://gbbc.birdcount.org/

The late winter one is the great backyard birdcount, and their preliminary results are up:

http://us2.campaign-archive1.com/?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0ce32406&id=f2aef233b5

We moved to a new place on the South Side and between the LSD prairie restoration, Hyde Park parks, canalfront, and lots and lots of overgrown empty lots I've seen & heard more birds this winter not fewer.

There was a thing in the radio about songbird kill but winter hasn't managed to kill off our feral parakeets:

http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/The-312/March-2013/In-Hyde-Park-the-Parakeets-Abide/

 

Awesome links! Thanks for sharing. 

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Only lawn I can see is under my pines or areas that drift out.  75% of my yard is still 6-12"+ 

 

Areas with solid coverage still a strong depth

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Its hard to imagine not snagging something from this upcoming pattern, but the average snow from today till May 1st probably isn't 3 inches.

I believe average is around 2" between now and then, not that this winter has been anything near average, but it's still very possible. All it takes is one mid-April slopfest (which we've gotten in 2005 and 2009, both of which were "similar" winters) and we're due for one of those.

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Yeah I think that guy is new to Oklahoma! Would have been a nice little storm for even this area!  :lmao:

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So I think I'm ready to give my winter grade.

 

It's been clear for a while that this winter would either be an A or A+ overall, in large part due to the record breaking seasonal snowfall but also factoring in things like 6" storms, 10" storms, snow cover, etc.  

 

If we break it down like this, my grades are as follows:

 

 

total snow:  A+... It's hard to improve upon a 74" winter around here. 

 

significant storms:  A... 1 (arguably 2) ten inch storm is good and there were other storms near or over 6".  The thing that prevents me from going A+ in this category is the lack of a 12"+ storm.

 

snow cover:  A... we had a lot of days with snow on the ground and it reached very respectable depth at times but didn't really get out of control.  Brief snow destroying meltdowns were a bit annoying.

 

cold:  A... this was a cold winter and the cold was about as consistent as it gets but we came up a bit short in the extremes department.  Officially there were no highs below 0 and we failed to reach the rare -20F threshold, and we actually had a chance to pull it off.

 

 

^Those are my main criteria in descending order.  I don't put nearly as much emphasis on cold but it is a factor.  Don't really care about number of days with flakes in the air or stuff like that.

 

Putting it all together, this winter falls on the line between A/A+ in my view but I am going with a solid A.  I was very tempted to go A+ and I certainly can't fault anyone around here who does.  This grade is probably final but in the event we get another significant snowstorm, there's a chance I could bump it up to A+

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I'd place my grade at an B+.

 

Pro's:

41 separate snow accumulation events. 

94 days of consecutive snow cover. Never seen that.

Didn't have too look at the brown/yellow grass more than a few days - and only patches at that.

178% of the average seasonal snowfall.

 

Con's

Too darn cold for me personally. Couldn't enjoy being outdoors more than a handful of days it seemed.

Lack of a single large snow system that came in one wave. New Years event was came as a couple wave, but did produce 16".

Too many nickel and dimers that got old after awhile.

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Someone mentioned a while back that they didn't think the winter really had a defining moment in their area.  I sort of agree as there's nothing that leaps off the page for me but if I had to pick I'd go with the January 5 storm and post-storm recovery.  Didn't crack a foot but it might as well have been a 2 foot blizzard with the mess that was caused by the bitter cold right after.  That was some serious stuff and to see a large stretch of I-65 closed for the better part of 3 days was impressive. 

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Grading the winter here is gonna sound harsh, but it is what it is...

 

Total snow:  A+...  50"+ is pretty damn good for around here.  Especially considering the dozens of events it took to get there.

 

Significant storms:  F-...  It's bad enough to go a 3rd winter in a row without a heavy 6"+ event, but to watch time and time again areas nearby get slammed made for a miserable season.  Especially when so many times this area was modeled to get slammed a few days out.

 

Snow cover:  A+...Solid 1"+ of snow cover from Dec 8th deep into March.  Much of that time the snow cover was 8"+.

 

Cold:  A... Had over 30 days below zero.

 

Overall:  F...Sorry, as good as this winter was, I cannot give it anything other than a failing grade as it failed to deliver a single heavy event for the 3rd season in a row.  That may sound harsh, but that's an asinine stat right there.

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Grade = B

 

Total snow of 48.3" is quite good, but, like cyclone said, not one major event for the third straight winter.  It isn't easy to get 50% above average snow from only a whole bunch of penny, nickel & dimers, but that's how it went around here

 

Although there were no major snow events, there were several instances of brief heavy to very heavy snow.  Twice we got an intense snow squall that dropped visibility to zero.

 

Coldwise, this winter was brutal.  That's good to a point, but I lost count of the number of times I froze my hands off while blowing/shoveling.  Never before, that I can remember, has it been so brutally cold during/after nearly every snow event.

 

There was pretty much continuous snow cover from early December to March.  Every time it would become crusty and dirty, we'd get another 1-3 inches of snow.

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A-. Likewise to cold(which was bizzarre considering the 850's weren't that impressive) personally and lack of a real blizzard compared to my other full A's on reanalysis(17-18,77-78). That said a A- is a pretty good grade, I am a tough grader.

2012-13: C-, just for March snow

2011-12: F, no explanation

2010-11: B, solid all around winter

2009-10: C-, late snow blitz

2008-9: B-, decent, would be a B+ if the ghost storm had happened

2007-8: B-, stormy, not overly cold winter

2006-7: D terrible winter saved by one 2 week period from a E

2005-6: F God awful

2004-5: C-, fairly mild winter saved with 2 big storms

2003-4: D, not real warm, but lack of storminess killed it

2002-3: B+, before this winter, this was the coldest/snowiest composite I remembered.

2001-2: F, terrible.

Overall grade    B-

 

Too cold for my liking and I was not overly impressed with the Jan 5th storm. 

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