MEASURING THE WINTER...
It's been an odd winter to say the least.. but can we measure how odd it has been? The Midwestern Regional Climate Center actually is using AWSSI. AWSSI, Accumulated Winter Season Severity Index, has 5 different categories from extreme to mild. You can see across *most* of the Midwest (really with the exception of the Dakotas), the winter so far has been on the mild side.
AWSSI is calculated based on specific thresholds for temperature, snowfall, and snow depth.
Now, I bring this up because several sites have been reporting record and near-record low (mild) values for AWSSI. Below are the current charts for the Quad Cities, Des Moines, Omaha, and St. Louis. The black line represents the values for the current winter:
Omaha had record low AWSSI values from January 31st to February 8th. On top of that, all of the locations above have not gotten above the "average" marker the entire winter!
Will this change any time soon? It certainty doesn't look like it. Here's the latest temperature outlook from the Climate Prediction Center through February 24th:
Dry and mild will be the name of the game pretty much through the rest of Meteorological Winter (which ends on February 28th).
When this pattern breaks, we'll see if we can break out of the mild category. Only time will tell...