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snowstormcanuck

Winter 2018-19 Grade Thread

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Grade your winter here.

Personally, B+/A-.

It was just a good old fashioned winter.  Always going to get a thaw/down period, so December/early January didn't really bother me.  I just stepped away from it all.  And, before you know it, winter arrives like gangbusters.  42" fell between January 18 and March 4, including a 13" storm on January 29 . Not anything historic like what's going on in the Western Lakes, but still a lovely dose of snow.

I think, 20 years ago, I would have graded this winter harsher.  But, contextually, given how this P.O.S. decade has gone, it was a blessing to experience.  Grade doesn't change if I don't see another flake the rest of the way out.

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I'd give it an A here. Best winter for me since 2013-14. Basically experienced every weather phenomena out there: Tornado outbreak (12/1), significant ice storm (2/12), extreme cold (1/29-1/31), blizzard (11/25-26), major snowstorm (1/12-13), river flooding (January), high wind warning (Feb 23-24). Had our first snow flurries in mid-October and just picked up 1.4" of snow yesterday. Hopefully our last snow of the season. Ready for severe weather season.

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This winters gets a B for me.

Downtown Chicago will likely end up with normal to slightly below normal snowfall by the end of the season. Areas just to our north and west will be closer to the 125-150% of normal range. We were not in a favorable spot this year, period.

The two redeeming pieces of this winter were the historic cold and the feb ice storm, otherwise this winter would be solidly a C

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Solid A+.  Yeah we had that 5-week stretch of nothingness, but what made up for that was already being quite satisfied by a powerhouse blizzard (with thundersnow) back on Nov 25.  The snow stayed on the ground for over 10 days into that lull, which is impressive for a snow that early.  Once the snows returned there was always something to track from that point on.  

This winter featured thundersnow, frequent thunder with heavy freezing rain/sleet, all-time cold, long-lasting deep snow cover, the deepest snow depth I've ever seen here, high wind events, and frequent snow events between Jan 12 and Feb 17.

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For Columbus,

I'd give a C-.   We are going to end up right about average for snowfall so another boring winter.  Nothing really memorable.  No big snowstorms or winterstorms to speak of.  Most memorable event was the mid January storm, and one of the reasons it was memorable was because of the hype and tracking leading up to it.  But it never really lived up to the "what could have been" and therefore it will be forgotten by next year.

The polar vortex visit didn't penetrate as far south as some of the early model runs had shown.  As a result it was a run of the mill arctic outbreak for us.  We never really hit double digit below zero temps.  

On the positive side, a few of the nickles and dimes did tend to over perform.   We had a couple of 2-4 forecasted events that gave 5-6 imby.

One interesting aspect of this season was the amount of 5-10 day threats that fell apart inside of 48 hrs.   Notably the euro probably had the worst performance of any winter I can recall, (at least for our neck of the woods).   The euro was extremely generous with snow for our area and often kept the snow right up until it didn't happen.   At the pinnacle, (and I made a post about it at the time), it showed us getting 27 inches of snow in the 10 days leading up to the polar vortex outbreak.    I don't think we got 2 inches of snow during that period and the temps were way too cold by at least 10 degrees.    

The only reason I couldn't go with a D letter grade was because in the end, we will hit our average snowfall if not slightly exceed it.  But it's hard to go above a C on any winter that never delivered a major snowstorm or leaves a 'mark', (which to me is defined as an event that could be used as an analog in future winters).   

 

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D+ here in Indy. Only good storm was Jan 12th. Next weeks storm was terrible. Much of day 33 rain and all frozen precip was north and bulk of it in def band was south and east. Then a ton of other crap 1-2 inchers with rain after. The "polar vortex" wasnt too memorable here at all -10 -35 windchill at its peak with just a dusting on the ground. Doesn't even hold a candle to the 2014 arctic blast. I guess I could say being 10 below with no snow was kind of impressive but what's the fun in that? Then tons of missed to the north and most recently today south. I dont think we even hit 20 inches for the season when we average about 26 27 inches. Indy is just a thread the needle place in winter. It's not often it seems we cash in on the bigger storms. Oh well. Spring is my favorite season and I'm ready for it. Bring on 70 80s and storm chances 

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A- here.  We had the snowiest 5 1/2 week period on record from Jan 12th to Feb 20th, including a 7" storm and an 8" storm in the same week and 19.7" in a ten-day period.  Before the early February melt, we had an amazing, deep, fluffy snowpack, better than any other I can recall.  The negatives include the lack of snow before and after the epic period(We missed out on everything early in the season) and there were no real big snow events.  7-8" is nice, and it's "big" by our low standard, but it's still garden-variety stuff.  It took a lot of snow to build up the great snowpack, but the bigger January events underperformed and we couldn't even hit 5" in any event.  Cold-wise, the record-breaking cold in late January was great.  I'm glad this winter was not as consistently cold as '13-'14.  That winter, it was brutally cold after each storm, which made shoveling suck.  This winter I was much more comfortable while shoveling.

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I'd go B-/C+.  Snowfall will end up somewhere near or just below average (assuming not too much more falls) and I can't really point to one snowstorm that will stick out in my memory 10 years from now.  Very run of the mill season from a snow perspective.  The most memorable storm is actually the February ice storm.  The lack of snow in December is a knock on the grade, but as others have mentioned, there were some memorable occurrences that bring up the grade.  The late January cold and getting below zero in March with no snowcover (arguably more rare than the January cold) are things I will remember for a long time.

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Going A- here. Had the ice storm warning in November, finally broke the winter storm warning drought with an 8" storm, and had thundersnow. One of the better winters in several years.

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B. Very active, more snow at home than work, winter looks to end on time for once. Could have been higher if December wasn't completely absentee.

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B+ here. Between the snowy november, the extreme cold wave, and the heavy snow period it was a pretty good winter. My only complaint was December into early January, that is the only reason I give this winter a B+. My highlight of the winter was either the cold wave or either the snowpack we had at several points. Around that cold wave we had probably close to 20" on the ground! That is insane for this decade. This winter also had the most snow days we've had in quite a while with 6 in a 4 week period. Now we move on to spring storms!

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D. Above average temps, below average snowfall. I figure most of the lower lakes are making faces at this winter............

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Solid B here. Highlights were the tornado outbreak on December 1st, early January warm spell, and the 11" snowstorm on Jan 12th. Worst part of the winter was February. Somehow we managed a long streak of below average temps/above average precip with almost no snow. I lost count of how many times we had 33 and rain. If it isn't going to snow I'd rather it be torching outside.

Now onto "spring" which is starting out as an F here...

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In my area I would perhaps generously give this winter a D+.  I can't give it an F because we did score with one nice storm (8" on 1/19-20).  But the rest of winter was pretty much garbage.  Only one other snowfall over 2" all winter (3" on 1/12) and just 23" total.  Very disappointing considering how promising the overall pattern looked.

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D- much like a pity grade of a teacher. Whats memorable? The late start, record cold, and ice storms.

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I never like grading this early, but we always discuss grades about this time lol. With several A to A+ winters recently (2013-14, 2014-15, 2017-18)......This winter gets a C here. If we dont see anymore snow (which I HIGHLY doubt), I will be changing to C-, and if we get some big late season snowstorm I will change to C+, but the winter deserves to solidly sit in the C range regardless. Sitting at 30.1", I need another foot to hit avg, so very unlikely, but below is an explanation why it still gets a C.

 

This grade is based soley on what happens weather-wise imby. I do not subtract anything for sitting on the sidelines (like we did this winter) just as I dont add anything when we do better than many surrounding areas (if thats the case, Id be giving unfair kudos to winters that dont deserve them, consider how we lucked out snow-wise in some of the milder winters lately).

 

The good:

~November was snowy. Never saw so many Novembers hours with the snow coming down.

~Jan 19th snowstorm of 6.1" was a good "old fashioned" snowstorm with lots of drifting and sparkling. This was the best storm in what was a snowy second half of Jan.

~Ended up with a 3.9" surprise snowstorm Jan 26/27 when less than 1" was forecast. A 3.2" snowstorm followed on its heals 2 days later as a welcome to the historic arctic blast.

~3 ice storms this winter. I was actually up north during the worst one, but pics I saw from my area were incredible, and I came home to ice everywhere. Not the biggest ice fan, but its definitely a nature masterpiece. There IS more to winter than snow, whether I like to admit it or not lol, and this ice proved it.

~Jan Arctic blast. I took a walk the day before it got dangeous. Walking around in a 5-6" crunchy snowpack while winds are howling straight from the arctic, so cold the trees creeked...call me crazy but I loved it. There were several other impressive cold snaps this winter, but none came close.

 

The bad/ugly

~I get that we are prone to thaws. But some of the thaws this winter were particularly cruel in that they would come on the heals of very cold weather, and stay JUST long enough to melt all or most of the snow before freezing everything up. Overall snowcover days were below avg. Since mid-Jan, there has been SOME snow on the ground most of the time, but outside of a 2-week stretch of 4-6", its mostly been 2" or less. This is a far cry from the deep snow depths in recent winters.

~Dec to mid Jan was as ugly as it can get here. After the snowy Nov subsided, from Nov 30th thru Jan 16th we saw a TOTAL snowfall of 0.9". It was mild, but not exactly some raging torch. It just would not snow, and it proved that we are not invincible here lol, because after years of seeing snow in any pattern and any situation, that almost 7 week stretch it just would not snow. Naturally we were squeezing out frequent flurries, but rarely anything that stuck.

 

The indifferent:

It was a very active, potpourri type winter overall. Snowstorms, ice storms, wind storms, record cold snaps and huge thaws....an absolute roller coaster. Definitely not a boring winter.

 

I wish we had winter grade threads every year. Would be fun to look back on, especially the better winters lol.

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C- here.

Sitting at 27" now (normal 34")

Positives- Record cold, one 5" snow and one 6" snow

Negatives- temperature swings which hurt snowpack duration, snowless stretch December-mid-January, below normal seasonal snowfall

I agree with Josh that it's a little too early to make a final grade, but with what the forecast currently depicts, even a late-season storm would only bump it up to a straight C.

 

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Since I base my grade on northern Michigan and the UP.... I give it a B+. December dropped it 1 full grade.

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I share the sentiment that winter should be judged on an objective basis, not relative to climo.  Which is why I moved to a place with better snow climo.

In that respect Dec and Jan were altogether average, maybe even a bit below.  But Feb was an A+, and gets extra credit for just completely smashing the record books with respect to snow:

• Parade of sliders generally giving 3"+ of snow every few days

• All-time season snow records smashed. 80"+ on season thanks to monthly record of 44" in Feb alone

• A couple of big dogs

  - 2/12 which dropped a whopping 15"

  - 2/24 blizzard, started with almost 1/2" freezing rain and ended with 7" of snow with powerful winds (took out lots of power in my area)

• Only a couple notable thaws (~2/3 and ~2/23); fairly brief, temps didn't exceed 40, only took tiny bites out of the snow pack.

• The snow pack itself reached just insane depth by mid-month and we're still holding onto it.  (And areas north of me got even more!)  Even after this recent two-day thaw with March sun it's almost two feet deep even in the middle of suburban lawns.  Here's an example of what some roads were like by 2/28.  Not bad considering I'm well outside of LES zones.

2019-EndFeb.thumb.jpg.a42f38f0988be6b50b6f239b26d645ce.jpg

 

Throw as extra credit: -30s in late Jan, and the first week of March feeling like deep midwinter, and I come up with an overall B+ grade.  Very content.

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9 hours ago, ikcarsky said:

I share the sentiment that winter should be judged on an objective basis, not relative to climo.  Which is why I moved to a place with better snow climo.

 Where did you move from?

 

To each their own with how they judge things, but I guess I just don't understand the objective thing. You may not be as over the top as beavis, as basically his version of objective is a Winter that does not exist outside of the mountains. But without using your climo as a guide, it's a complete free-for-all. I could bring someone from Tennessee up here for an average Winter and they would think they had gone to a world of endless cold and snow. I could bring someone from the keewenaw peninsula down here the same year and they would say, you call this winter?

 

Obviously you had a great winter, but im a bit surprised surpassing 80" smashed a seasonal snow record. 

 

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4 hours ago, michsnowfreak said:

 Where did you move from?

 

To each their own with how they judge things, but I guess I just don't understand the objective thing. You may not be as over the top as beavis, as basically his version of objective is a Winter that does not exist outside of the mountains. But without using your climo as a guide, it's a complete free-for-all. I could bring someone from Tennessee up here for an average Winter and they would think they had gone to a world of endless cold and snow. I could bring someone from the keewenaw peninsula down here the same year and they would say, you call this winter?

 

Obviously you had a great winter, but im a bit surprised surpassing 80" smashed a seasonal snow record. 

 

Gotta agree with the idea of judging by climo.  Actually this can extend to other areas in life as well... if you are always evaluating based on thresholds that are fairly unrealistic (like being upset about not being a billionaire or something), it's not a good way imo.  Anyway, that is pretty off topic lol

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1 hour ago, Hoosier said:

Gotta agree with the idea of judging by climo.  Actually this can extend to other areas in life as well... if you are always evaluating based on thresholds that are fairly unrealistic (like being upset about not being a billionaire or something), it's not a good way imo.  Anyway, that is pretty off topic lol

 Well said and I agree 100%. I don't think its necessarily off topic, just using an example. To use another example, and again I'm not picking on beavis I'm just throwing this out there as an example. He tries to make it sound like Chicago  only gets 3 months of the year to see Winter and they never see it the entire 3 months. Well picture someone from the South coming up to spend a year in the southern Great Lakes. They come from a place where a Winter frost or freeze is the top story on the news, now they're staying in a place where the length of time between the 1st and last frost lasts an average of 7 months. The trees are bare for a solid half of the year. Once the 1st snowflakes of the season are seen, the last will not be for another 6 months. And this is not exaggerating, this is just fact and goes to show that objectivity works both ways.

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First Half (Nov/Dec) F,  Second Half (Jan/Feb) B, what a down and up winter this was.  Crazy thing is , Gaylord is the only reporting area that APX publishes to still be below normal snowfall for the year. Just goes to show what a crappy LES flow for this year for my area, although I have done better then APX site as I am 10 miles West which always performs better. 

image009.png

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C+ here...21.6" so far...which is actually slightly above average.  I would downgrade things for such a pathetic December, and also the lack of clippers, which just hold a special place in my heart.  But a couple of extra credit points were earned for a pretty decent ice storm, and the Jan 19-20 storm that, for 2-3 hours, brought some of the best snow/wind conditions that we've had in the 13 winters that I've lived here. 

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On 3/10/2019 at 2:21 PM, michsnowfreak said:

 Well said and I agree 100%. I don't think its necessarily off topic, just using an example. To use another example, and again I'm not picking on beavis I'm just throwing this out there as an example. He tries to make it sound like Chicago  only gets 3 months of the year to see Winter and they never see it the entire 3 months. Well picture someone from the South coming up to spend a year in the southern Great Lakes. They come from a place where a Winter frost or freeze is the top story on the news, now they're staying in a place where the length of time between the 1st and last frost lasts an average of 7 months. The trees are bare for a solid half of the year. Once the 1st snowflakes of the season are seen, the last will not be for another 6 months. And this is not exaggerating, this is just fact and goes to show that objectivity works both ways.

I think I see what you mean by "both ways" but this is awkward to me since the entire point of being objective here would be to provide a single standard by which a winter should be judged -- no matter where you are in the world.  Which standard to choose?  Pure numbers (80"+ seasonal snowfall) or relative to climo (10"+ above average)?  I would rather judge on criteria closer to the former than that latter.  There is some enjoyment from breaking records and knowing a given season is unusual and as you saw I do give points for that.  I just don't think it should be the basis of the scoring rubric.

To go off of your example, someone from the South coming living in Chicago for a year would be impressed by even a climatologically average Chicago winter, but even they would have to some sense of what a real "grade A" winter would be like, and that it wasn't what they experienced in Chicago.  Our culture gives the impression (reinforced around Christmastime) that winter means kids are bundled up from head to toe, the hearth is ablaze, and the snow is deep enough that you could use sleighs to get around.  You see it on decorations, media, your coffee mugs, etc.  And there are places in this country where that can happen on a consistent annual basis.  Shouldn't these places be the "grade A students" of winter?

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On 3/13/2019 at 9:01 AM, ikcarsky said:

I think I see what you mean by "both ways" but this is awkward to me since the entire point of being objective here would be to provide a single standard by which a winter should be judged -- no matter where you are in the world.  Which standard to choose?  Pure numbers (80"+ seasonal snowfall) or relative to climo (10"+ above average)?  I would rather judge on criteria closer to the former than that latter.  There is some enjoyment from breaking records and knowing a given season is unusual and as you saw I do give points for that.  I just don't think it should be the basis of the scoring rubric.

To go off of your example, someone from the South coming living in Chicago for a year would be impressed by even a climatologically average Chicago winter, but even they would have to some sense of what a real "grade A" winter would be like, and that it wasn't what they experienced in Chicago.  Our culture gives the impression (reinforced around Christmastime) that winter means kids are bundled up from head to toe, the hearth is ablaze, and the snow is deep enough that you could use sleighs to get around.  You see it on decorations, media, your coffee mugs, etc.  And there are places in this country where that can happen on a consistent annual basis.  Shouldn't these places be the "grade A students" of winter?

You have good points but also some i disagree with (in a friendly way of course :)). For one, any decoration, coffee mug, etc is showing a winter scene, sort of a snapshot in time; it does not imply any longevity or length of time. I was not fond of this winter at all, but had dozens of days where i saw a courier and ives scene in my own backyard. Any place that has winter gets scenes like that. I am someone who LOVES snow and LOVES Christmas (my absolute favorite time of year), but our culture is very skewed when it comes to that. The deep winter snow scenes start when christmas is everywhere by late October, when even the upper peninsula is often times still bare of snow. We are told Christmases should be white, and then on December 26th bam. Its done. Culture is ready for warmer weather (grossss lol). The reality is Christmas is the FOURTH day of astronomical winter. The dead of winter is a solid month later.

 

I guess we are going way OT. Theres nothing wrong with looking at winter objectively, i just dont understand what the heck the point of grading it is then.

 

I definitely place a lot heavier emphasis on WINTER (ie snowcover) than actual snowstorms, but you have some here who put heavier weight on snowstorms. For example, some would grade a winter that featured two huge snowstorms but had bare ground half the time much higher than a winter that had constant snowcover but no storm over say 5".

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