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Fall/Winter 2020/21 Banter Thread


madwx
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Ugh...the whiplash of winter to non-winter is so hard to take.  If it happens in late March, ok...but it shouldn't happen during DJF.  But every year, it does...it's just a matter of when.  It's like people are ok with 3 weeks of good winter, and then no more. 

Wish we could have gradual transitions and more consistent winter, instead of "all or nothing".

We got about 25" of snow in 3 weeks, with an average temp of around 10F...then the next 3 weeks will see 0" of snow with an average temp around 35F.  It's like a switch flips, even though it's still Feb.  Why can't there be a gradual transition...like maybe we get 10-15" instead of 25" in the next 3 weeks...and an average temp around 20F instead of 10F??

This is why our winter climo is so frustrating.  We have 3 weeks of good winter...but DJF is a 13-week period.  We work so hard to get wintry weather for a decent period...the lakes and ponds froze pretty well...then when winter finally sets in completely, it just vaporizes.  This doesn't happen in the summer.  In JJA, it's either "mostly summer" or "total summer" on any given day.  But in winter, it often ranges from "no winter" to "good winter"...and it just switches on a dime.  There is no room for error, or gadual transitions; any "above average temp" period melts snow and stops lakes from freezing, even during the heart of winter.  It just sucks.  So frustrated that there's no consistency.  We've lost nearly 18" of dense snow in 7 days...winter just disappeared.  I know it's late in the winter...but it's still Feb...and these episodes keep reinforcing our bad climo, which I can't bring myself to accept.  It's not really winter when the normal high in early Dec and late Feb is around 40F.

It's so emotionally draining.  It's always something.  It's like we have 6 weeks of "core winter"...but you can't even count on that, as evidenced by the 50s/60s that occurred in each of the past two Decembers, near Christmas...when daylight is the shortest. Before Dec 15th, the lake is too warm, and the source region hasn't cooled off enough.  Then, after Feb 1st, the source region is colder...but then you have to hope for clouds if the temp is > 25F so that snow doesn't melt, because the sun angle is getting higher.  And you need the nights to be clear, to get radiational cooling and preserve the snow...and have a lower start to the warm-up during the following day.  My point is that it shouldn't need to be this difficult.  If we actually had winter from Dec 1 - Jan 10, it would have been easier to take what has happened over the past week.  We basically had 5 weeks of winter this season...with the last 3 weeks being really good.  Because there have only been 5 weeks of winter, I want winter to continue into March, to make up for the lack of winter in December.  I value duration over intensity...13 weeks of each season, not 5.  Summer is good when the calendar says it, Fall is good when the calendar says it...but let's have seasons in seasons.  Temps above freezing in the daytime is not winter. :(

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11 minutes ago, beavis1729 said:

Ugh...the whiplash of winter to non-winter is so hard to take.  If it happens in late March, ok...but it shouldn't happen during DJF.  But every year, it does...it's just a matter of when.  It's like people are ok with 3 weeks of good winter, and then no more. 

Wish we could have gradual transitions and more consistent winter, instead of "all or nothing".

We got about 25" of snow in 3 weeks, with an average temp of around 10F...then the next 3 weeks will see 0" of snow with an average temp around 35F.  It's like a switch flips, even though it's still Feb.  Why can't there be a gradual transition...like maybe we get 10-15" instead of 25" in the next 3 weeks...and an average temp around 20F instead of 10F??

This is why our winter climo is so frustrating.  We have 3 weeks of good winter...but DJF is a 13-week period.  We work so hard to get wintry weather for a decent period...the lakes and ponds froze pretty well...then when winter finally sets in completely, it just vaporizes.  This doesn't happen in the summer.  In JJA, it's either "mostly summer" or "total summer" on any given day.  But in winter, it often ranges from "no winter" to "good winter"...and it just switches on a dime.  There is no room for error, or gadual transitions; any "above average temp" period melts snow and stops lakes from freezing, even during the heart of winter.  It just sucks.  So frustrated that there's no consistency.  We've lost nearly 18" of dense snow in 7 days...winter just disappeared.  I know it's late in the winter...but it's still Feb...and these episodes keep reinforcing our bad climo, which I can't bring myself to accept.  It's not really winter when the normal high in early Dec and late Feb is around 40F.

It's so emotionally draining.  It's always something.  It's like we have 6 weeks of "core winter"...but you can't even count on that, as evidenced by the 50s/60s that occurred in each of the past two Decembers, near Christmas...when daylight is the shortest. Before Dec 15th, the lake is too warm, and the source region hasn't cooled off enough.  Then, after Feb 1st, the source region is colder...but then you have to hope for clouds if the temp is > 25F so that snow doesn't melt, because the sun angle is getting higher.  And you need the nights to be clear, to get radiational cooling and preserve the snow...and have a lower start to the warm-up during the following day.  My point is that it shouldn't need to be this difficult.  If we actually had winter from Dec 1 - Jan 10, it would have been easier to take what has happened over the past week.  We basically had 5 weeks of winter this season...with the last 3 weeks being really good.  Because there have only been 5 weeks of winter, I want winter to continue into March, to make up for the lack of winter in December.  I value duration over intensity...13 weeks of each season, not 5.  Summer is good when the calendar says it, Fall is good when the calendar says it...but let's have seasons in seasons.  Temps above freezing in the daytime is not winter. :(

57 degrees here today in Northern Ohio and outside the failed storm  that actually hit toldeo and indiana and only dropped like 5 inches here in CLE earlier in Feb,  I feel this. it was in the 20's and teens here for 10 days barley any snow, bare ground,   and before that  period, the last snow we had was 9 inches in two days that melted immediately after Christmas. and since i'm right on the lake we got 9 inches on December 1st but it never got below 35 while it fell and was gone in 2 days. one of our local mets posted that we've never not had snow in march (we average like 12 inches) and so far the models are warm and zzz though 10 days.....

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47 minutes ago, beavis1729 said:

Ugh...the whiplash of winter to non-winter is so hard to take.  If it happens in late March, ok...but it shouldn't happen during DJF.  But every year, it does...it's just a matter of when.  It's like people are ok with 3 weeks of good winter, and then no more. 

Wish we could have gradual transitions and more consistent winter, instead of "all or nothing".

We got about 25" of snow in 3 weeks, with an average temp of around 10F...then the next 3 weeks will see 0" of snow with an average temp around 35F.  It's like a switch flips, even though it's still Feb.  Why can't there be a gradual transition...like maybe we get 10-15" instead of 25" in the next 3 weeks...and an average temp around 20F instead of 10F??

This is why our winter climo is so frustrating.  We have 3 weeks of good winter...but DJF is a 13-week period.  We work so hard to get wintry weather for a decent period...the lakes and ponds froze pretty well...then when winter finally sets in completely, it just vaporizes.  This doesn't happen in the summer.  In JJA, it's either "mostly summer" or "total summer" on any given day.  But in winter, it often ranges from "no winter" to "good winter"...and it just switches on a dime.  There is no room for error, or gadual transitions; any "above average temp" period melts snow and stops lakes from freezing, even during the heart of winter.  It just sucks.  So frustrated that there's no consistency.  We've lost nearly 18" of dense snow in 7 days...winter just disappeared.  I know it's late in the winter...but it's still Feb...and these episodes keep reinforcing our bad climo, which I can't bring myself to accept.  It's not really winter when the normal high in early Dec and late Feb is around 40F.

It's so emotionally draining.  It's always something.  It's like we have 6 weeks of "core winter"...but you can't even count on that, as evidenced by the 50s/60s that occurred in each of the past two Decembers, near Christmas...when daylight is the shortest. Before Dec 15th, the lake is too warm, and the source region hasn't cooled off enough.  Then, after Feb 1st, the source region is colder...but then you have to hope for clouds if the temp is > 25F so that snow doesn't melt, because the sun angle is getting higher.  And you need the nights to be clear, to get radiational cooling and preserve the snow...and have a lower start to the warm-up during the following day.  My point is that it shouldn't need to be this difficult.  If we actually had winter from Dec 1 - Jan 10, it would have been easier to take what has happened over the past week.  We basically had 5 weeks of winter this season...with the last 3 weeks being really good.  Because there have only been 5 weeks of winter, I want winter to continue into March, to make up for the lack of winter in December.  I value duration over intensity...13 weeks of each season, not 5.  Summer is good when the calendar says it, Fall is good when the calendar says it...but let's have seasons in seasons.  Temps above freezing in the daytime is not winter. :(

The speed of the meltdown is similar to what happened in 1979.  On 2/22/1979, the snow depth was 20" in Chicago and it was down to 2" just 10 days later on 3/4.  On 2/17/2021, the snow depth was 20" and was down to 5" as of 2/27.  Of course 1978-79 was a much better winter overall.

As much as I enjoyed the stretch that we just went through, I would've rather had it earlier in the season for a couple reasons.  One, I love snow around the holidays and two, it is easier to keep adding to the snow depth at that time of year.  I wanted to see something truly extraordinary like 3 feet depth but we ran out of time for that.  By the time it gets into later February, you need more to go right to keep building the snow depth at our latitude.

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1 hour ago, beavis1729 said:

Ugh...the whiplash of winter to non-winter is so hard to take.  If it happens in late March, ok...but it shouldn't happen during DJF.  But every year, it does...it's just a matter of when.  It's like people are ok with 3 weeks of good winter, and then no more. 

Wish we could have gradual transitions and more consistent winter, instead of "all or nothing".

We got about 25" of snow in 3 weeks, with an average temp of around 10F...then the next 3 weeks will see 0" of snow with an average temp around 35F.  It's like a switch flips, even though it's still Feb.  Why can't there be a gradual transition...like maybe we get 10-15" instead of 25" in the next 3 weeks...and an average temp around 20F instead of 10F??

This is why our winter climo is so frustrating.  We have 3 weeks of good winter...but DJF is a 13-week period.  We work so hard to get wintry weather for a decent period...the lakes and ponds froze pretty well...then when winter finally sets in completely, it just vaporizes.  This doesn't happen in the summer.  In JJA, it's either "mostly summer" or "total summer" on any given day.  But in winter, it often ranges from "no winter" to "good winter"...and it just switches on a dime.  There is no room for error, or gadual transitions; any "above average temp" period melts snow and stops lakes from freezing, even during the heart of winter.  It just sucks.  So frustrated that there's no consistency.  We've lost nearly 18" of dense snow in 7 days...winter just disappeared.  I know it's late in the winter...but it's still Feb...and these episodes keep reinforcing our bad climo, which I can't bring myself to accept.  It's not really winter when the normal high in early Dec and late Feb is around 40F.

It's so emotionally draining.  It's always something.  It's like we have 6 weeks of "core winter"...but you can't even count on that, as evidenced by the 50s/60s that occurred in each of the past two Decembers, near Christmas...when daylight is the shortest. Before Dec 15th, the lake is too warm, and the source region hasn't cooled off enough.  Then, after Feb 1st, the source region is colder...but then you have to hope for clouds if the temp is > 25F so that snow doesn't melt, because the sun angle is getting higher.  And you need the nights to be clear, to get radiational cooling and preserve the snow...and have a lower start to the warm-up during the following day.  My point is that it shouldn't need to be this difficult.  If we actually had winter from Dec 1 - Jan 10, it would have been easier to take what has happened over the past week.  We basically had 5 weeks of winter this season...with the last 3 weeks being really good.  Because there have only been 5 weeks of winter, I want winter to continue into March, to make up for the lack of winter in December.  I value duration over intensity...13 weeks of each season, not 5.  Summer is good when the calendar says it, Fall is good when the calendar says it...but let's have seasons in seasons.  Temps above freezing in the daytime is not winter. :(

 

Lol your average high at the end of February is 40F. I think you need to move a few hours north to get what you want. 

I'm the same as you though where I enjoy longevity of snow on the ground, ponds frozen, and general winter feel. Id take 3 winter storms that only drop 5-9" instead of one that drops 16-20". 

I think why Toronto, Detroit, Chicago snow weenies are so upset about winter a lot of the times is we are only 150-200 miles away from where winter sets up shop normally in late November and doesnt leave until mid March. Muskoka which is only 2 hour drive north of Toronto gets buried each winter and most times has feet of snow on the ground from December-March. 

No matter how much Toronto snow weenies wish, that type of winter that is right on our doorstep is never going to appear. 

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2 hours ago, Hoosier said:

The speed of the meltdown is similar to what happened in 1979.  On 2/22/1979, the snow depth was 20" in Chicago and it was down to 2" just 10 days later on 3/4.  On 2/17/2021, the snow depth was 20" and was down to 5" as of 2/27.  Of course 1978-79 was a much better winter overall.

As much as I enjoyed the stretch that we just went through, I would've rather had it earlier in the season for a couple reasons.  One, I love snow around the holidays and two, it is easier to keep adding to the snow depth at that time of year.  I wanted to see something truly extraordinary like 3 feet depth but we ran out of time for that.  By the time it gets into later February, you need more to go right to keep building the snow depth at our latitude.

I've actually been quite grouchy myself about how our deep Winter wonderland disappeared the past week, and people enjoying the mild weather and gloating makes it worse. But still lol Chicago just had an amazing stretch I thought beavis' next rant would wait until fall. Chicago had more snow on the ground than much of the Northwoods.

 

This is where MY inner beavis comes in, I honestly can't decide if I would prefer an epic stretch to come frontloaded or backloaded in Winter. There are pros and cons to both. That's why I just want it all Winter long lol. Unlike Chicago, we actually had average snowfall in November and December with several snowfalls and it was absolutely maddening to see each melt in 3 to 4 days despite the weakest sun angle of the year. Plus Christmas is my favorite time of year. Then February comes along, which is our go to month anymore, and suddenly deep Winter appears. On the bitter cold days, the sparkling snow laughs at the Sun angle, but as soon as you get some days in the 20s-30s the sun starts to ripen that snow like it never could in December.  Leads to much quicker vanishing act. But then again, January through March tends to be a boring time of year outside of weather so I always want a lot of snow. Honestly can't choose if I prefer front or back loaded

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2 hours ago, Chicago Storm said:

lol


.

 

2 hours ago, mississaugasnow said:

 

Lol your average high at the end of February is 40F. I think you need to move a few hours north to get what you want. 

I'm the same as you though where I enjoy longevity of snow on the ground, ponds frozen, and general winter feel. Id take 3 winter storms that only drop 5-9" instead of one that drops 16-20". 

I think why Toronto, Detroit, Chicago snow weenies are so upset about winter a lot of the times is we are only 150-200 miles away from where winter sets up shop normally in late November and doesnt leave until mid March. Muskoka which is only 2 hour drive north of Toronto gets buried each winter and most times has feet of snow on the ground from December-March. 

No matter how much Toronto snow weenies wish, that type of winter that is right on our doorstep is never going to appear. 

 

2 hours ago, Stevo6899 said:

Something you have no control over shouldn't be emotionally draining you. If it aint gonna snow, lets torch.

This, it is March, yes I know it can snow but expecting prolonged cold and snow at this point is way against climo.

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I'm sorry but what is there to complain about? 75% of the subforum just had one of the coldest and snowiest three weeks in February in a long time. I mean most areas had over a foot of snow OTG at least once in that period. That is a mark rarely seen around here. Yes no one except for the Chicago Lakeshore got a true big dog, although I'd argue the Feb 1st storm around Chiacago was one, but it was still an insane stretch of winter that we having been dreaming about for years.I get it that December and the first half of January sucked, but it shouldn't outweight that stretch at all. And you know what it does suck a bit to have all of that snow just dissapear like this, but I would rather have all of this melt like this instead of it sticking around for two weeks to get rained upon. Plus it is March 1st tomorrow. That means meteorologically, spring is officially here. This is right on time (for once). Heck even with the last week of warmer temperatures this month will still go down as one of the coldest february's ever. I just don't get what there is to complain about at all.

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Low of 21 on my pws ne of RFD. Wet bulb between 18-20 is allowing my snowgun to lay it down efficiently this morning. Putting a pretty white coat on to try to hold this pack as long as possible. I measure 30” on a slope, so I’m in good shape to hold for at least another week, maybe way longer if we can dodge a few typical March bullets.

29c2486cc292e02be65dd2c2ffa7673d.jpg

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3 hours ago, luckyweather said:

Low of 21 on my pws ne of RFD. Wet bulb between 18-20 is allowing my snowgun to lay it down efficiently this morning. Putting a pretty white coat on to try to hold this pack as long as possible. I measure 30” on a slope, so I’m in good shape to hold for at least another week, maybe way longer if we can dodge a few typical March bullets.

 

idk man, time 2 let it go 

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1 hour ago, Hoosier said:

I wish this were the March 31 run.

 

summaryCFSv2.NaT2m.202104.thumb.gif.c03659bb265429c9b0e510d8df0cbc09.gif

I know,  March's have been reasonably mild around here recently but April has been the killer month in terms of delayed spring.

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21 hours ago, kevlon62 said:

I hear ya Beav.

Even the UP is clinging. We are planning to head up Wednesday for one last hurrah.

From this morning's Alger County/Munising trail report, " . . . it almost feels like season end conditions a few weeks early."

https://www.algersorva.com/snowmobile-trail-report/

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
 

Yep...hope you have a good time.  Several weeks ago, we planned a trip for mid-March in northern WI, to enjoy some relaxation and dog sledding.  Will probably get cancelled due to the current below-normal snow cover and expected mild temps coming up over the next 7-10 days. :( 

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46 minutes ago, madwx said:

I know,  March's have been reasonably mild around here recently but April has been the killer month in terms of delayed spring.

See the problem is that it has felt like we get 60 days of March instead of the normal Spring progression. Look at last spring where it was essentially the same pattern with a couple exceptions from March 1st to May 10th. Man I hope we can get warm this spring.

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20 hours ago, Geoboy645 said:

I'm sorry but what is there to complain about? 75% of the subforum just had one of the coldest and snowiest three weeks in February in a long time. I mean most areas had over a foot of snow OTG at least once in that period. That is a mark rarely seen around here. Yes no one except for the Chicago Lakeshore got a true big dog, although I'd argue the Feb 1st storm around Chiacago was one, but it was still an insane stretch of winter that we having been dreaming about for years.I get it that December and the first half of January sucked, but it shouldn't outweight that stretch at all. And you know what it does suck a bit to have all of that snow just dissapear like this, but I would rather have all of this melt like this instead of it sticking around for two weeks to get rained upon. Plus it is March 1st tomorrow. That means meteorologically, spring is officially here. This is right on time (for once). Heck even with the last week of warmer temperatures this month will still go down as one of the coldest february's ever. I just don't get what there is to complain about at all.

First, a disclaimer:  Not everyone needs to agree with me.  I fully understand that.  But, please...just let people vent.  Yes, this is very emotional for me.  It may not be for others, and that's fine.

To your question...it's the lack of sustained cold, and the lack of consistency.  Winter is supposed to be a season, not a 3-5 week period.  During the holidays and the shortest daylight of the year, we had essentially zero winter.  I'm talking Thanksgiving through Jan. 10 or so.  For example - from 12/1 to 12/28 at ORD, there was no measurable snow, and even at night the temp rarely dropped below 20.  So, that's essentially 28 days in a row without winter, when the days are the shortest.    It's fine if it's not 100% wintry during that period...but we had nearly 0%.  That's a big deal. 

I've said many times that total snowfall is not our issue here.  It's temps.  Being at 42N and needing everything to go right is very stressful and draining.  It's not fun having to wake up every day and hope for everything to go right in order for winter to exist.  It should just "be".  It's just not good.  The most frustrating thing is that, even in the depth of winter, our normal high is 30.  So, half the days are 30 or warmer, assuming a normal distribution.  When you go outside in winter, it should feel really cold.  Not just "chilly", but cold.  We get occasional cold outbreaks here, but not sustained cold.  Like a high of 20 and a low of 0.  Not crazy Fairbanks or Barrow cold...just typical winter cold...where you need and want to wear a hat and gloves to be outside.

No one, including me, is denying that we had solid winter for 5 weeks...including a very good 3-week period.  But winter is 13 weeks, not 5.  The same thing happened in Jan 2019.  We had a good 2-3 week period, including a great arctic outbreak...but then 2 days later it's back in the 40s...in early Feb.  And, after GHD I in Feb 2011, we had a 22" snow depth which completely melted within 2 weeks.  That shouldn't happen; it's maddening.  Typical days in Jan should be 15-20 in the afternoon, with lows 0-5...and typical days in Dec & Feb should be in the 20s, with lows 10-15.  Nothing crazy...just "regular" cold that can be counted on.  Winter is supposed to be cold.  Maybe you get a few mild days in the 30s, with an occasional 40...but there are just too many days with highs of 35+ in DJF.  There should not be puddles and liquid outside during winter.

Here is the ideal winter pattern.  No, it doesn't need to be Barrow or Fairbanks (and I have never said that)...but simply seasons in seasons.

Nov 20 - 30:  highs in 30s, ground starts to freeze...laying the groundwork for met winter to begin

Dec 1 - 10:  5-10" of snowfall, most days in the 20s or colder, occasional day in the 30s

Dec 11 - 20:  5-10" of snowfall, ponds & lakes start to freeze...most days in the 20s, very rarely gets above freezing

Dec 21 - Jan 31:  10-15" of snowfall, looks like a winter wonderland...even if some years are wintrier than others.  Must have a White Christmas - no compromise.

Feb 1 - 15:  5-10" of snowfall, snow depth getting close to peak, everything still frozen.  Temps warming a bit...but most days still in the 20s.

Feb 16 - 28:  5" of snowfall, *gradual* melting...most days 25-35, but still no days 40+.  Ponds and lakes slowly come out of hibernation, but still frozen.

March 1 - 15:  5" of of snowfall, melting going pretty strong by Mar 15.  Ponds and lakes finally thaw around Mar 15.  All snow gone by Mar 21, the first day of astronomical spring.

Then full-out spring can begin after that... 

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The Cliffs Notes version of beavis' last post :D

-Not happy with the lack of consistent winter

-The 5 week stretch was solid but not long enough

-Winter should simply happen in winter without needing a bunch of things to go right

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2 hours ago, WestMichigan said:

I wonder when the last time this happened, if ever - Lansing with more snow than Muskegon.

Tab5FileL.png?fe2c58e708b8add111626fc2095e0857

I bet Lansing does get more snow on occasion during “mild” winters. What was funny about this winter was that it looks like the temp in Muskegon was only .5 above normal. You wouldn’t usually think a winter barely above average would have such little lake effect. Most of the above average temps came from the obnoxious overnight lows especially in January when most of the month had a diurnal range of about 1 degree. A lot of times a winter that comes out with a departure of .5 has a mixture of very cold and blowtorch periods. That situation would actually produce a lot more lake effect. It was kind of an unlucky situation how the block in January trapped all that garbage pacific air in Canada. If colder air would have been in Canada before the block formed, I think January would have been much better in the lake effect snowbelts.

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Hopefully someday Beavis can move to Winnipeg. There might not be much snow there in the winter but what snow does fall probably isn’t going anywhere Dec-Feb. The ponds and lakes will easily be frozen during that time too. I suggest Winnipeg because I’m afraid he wouldn’t be happy in a place like the U.P. either since it can rain there once in awhile in winter and we all know how he feels about that.

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Disclaimer: Not from or currently living in this region, but lived in WI for several years including the record snow winter of 2007-08 in Madison (which was awesome! Sign me up for a winter like that in Pittsburgh!).

That said, I also find this hobby stressful and emotionally draining, and anxiety inducing, so I understand the grousing over the lack of a true winter, which is unfortunately becoming more and more common in areas on the fringe of the true northern US like Chicago, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Indy, even Detroit, etc. in recent years. We do need everything to go right to get a good snowstorm or polar vortex in these parts. This was largely a good winter here too (a foot above normal snowfall, the whitest Christmas ever recorded here, close to normal temps, almost a month of snow cover which is rare here, our second longest stretch to start a year without hitting 50 degrees - we finally did on 2/24). The models often had us getting a nice cold snap in February, much like the Midwest did. The models lied. February’s average here was 3.5 degrees below normal, but we didn’t have the subzero cold I was hoping for. I know our normal high on 2/28 is 42 but I wasn’t ready for winter to end just yet - March here averages 7” of snow and typically has some cold stretches. An abrupt end to winter on 2/24 was not what I had in mind, and a March that likely will feature below average snowfall here, if we see anything more than a trace at all). We suffered through a 76 degree day in mid-November and still had to deal with a flip to spring before the calendar even flipped to March. I miss when March was marginally a winter month. I miss when November was marginally a winter month. I’m sure Chicagoans do too. Don’t judge snow and cold lovers for getting upset at how short winters are these days. Some of us do get quite grouchy when the seasons aren’t the way we like them, even though we know at the heart of it there’s really nothing we can do about it, outside of moving to a colder climate (which due to the pandemic has never been easier than it is now for any of us that have a job that can be done from anywhere, like myself. Almost considering moving back to the Upper Midwest for the weather alone).

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