© 2019 Terry Swails

THE WAITING IS THE HARDEST PART...

November 7, 2017

The waiting is the hardest part...or so the late great Tom Petty crooned in his 1981 song. For me that tune goes directly to the waiting length between the last snow of spring and the first of winter. On average, it's usually over 7 months. I do fine biding my time until October and then the itch kicks in. By this time in November I'm in rough shape. If I haven't had the shovel out by the turn of December I'm a mess!

 

So here we are a week into November and I'm still waiting. I wish I could say patiently but that's not one of my strong suits. The thing I keep telling myself is "relax dude, it's still really early". The average first 1" snowfall doesn't usually occur until the end of November, a good 3 weeks from now. Still plenty of time! Below you can see the approximate dates of the first measurable snow. My area falls into the range of November 15th north to December 5th in the south.

A look at the average annual snowfall across the Midwest shows a significant spread in amounts. In my region alone averages range from 40" north to about 25" in the south.

Here's some stats for Iowa. You can see the average days with measurable snow and the yearly average accumulation.

Eastern Iowa

Average annual snowfall

Days Place Inches 

17.5 Burlington 23.5 

24.6 Cedar Rapids 31.5

21.9 Clinton 30.3 

26.6 Cresco 39.5

23.2 Decorah 38.8 

17.8 Dubuque 33.7 

14.8 Iowa City 27.2 

26.4 Waterloo 34.5 

Central Iowa

Yearly snow averages

Days Place Inches 

17.3 Ames 31.6 

26.2 Des Moines 34.9 

19.2 Fort Dodge 35.8 

14.2 Marshalltown 25.4 

28.2 Mason City 41.2 

16.3 Ottumwa 23.5 

Western Iowa

Average total snowfall for a year

Days Place Inches 

16.9 Carroll 29.2 

20.1 Lake Park 39.9 

17.0 Onawa 30.3 

11.1 Shenandoah 25.1 

25.5 Sioux City 34.8 

17.7 Storm Lake 36.4 

 

For now I do not see anything threatening for my area for at least 10 days but the new EURO weeklies still look promising for both cold and snow towards the last 5-10 days of November, perhaps close to Thanksgiving. 

 

The 46 day EPS mean average temperatures came in this way.

The 46 day mean EPS snowfall was also generous. This goes out to Dec 22nd. Most of this is shown coming near or beyond Thanksgiving.

Basically that means I'm going to have to sit tight and work more on my patience.

 

Meantime, another cold front mid-week will bring in a big cold high that ushers in the chilliest temperatures of the season so far. The NWS in La Crosse, Wisconsin put this story board out regarding the cold. Notice the lows Friday morning in the single digits from Rhinelander and Rice Lake on up to Ashland and the U.P. That's a very healthy high.

The NAM shows this for Friday morning lows.

Here's a tighter perspective of my area.

Cold and dry sums it up the rest of this week. The heaters are humming and the waiting is still the hardest part. Roll weather....TS

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