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The snow season in the contiguous United States is of to a rip roaring start, especially in the northern Plains and Rockies. Some places in North Dakota have already measured up to 30 inches and its only October 15th. Get a load of this fall accumulation map.
During this past month of September, 72 thousand kilometers were covered in snow. Normal is 8 thousand making this September the snowiest in the 51 years of records. With 2 weeks to go I would venture to guess October is on pace for a record as well. By the way, February ranked number 4 and March number 6. The country has picked right up where it left off in the spring,
Here is where most of the snow cover existed as of Tuesday morning. 16% of the nation had at least 1" of snow. That's impressive.
Globally, snow cover is rapidly growing at northern latitudes. That's to be expected with winter looming on the horizon.
Here's where climatology dictates snow cover should found as of October 14th.
As you can see, more areas of the Northern Hemisphere have above normal snow cover than below. Purple is above, red below.
Based on what I'm seeing snow cover will continue to increase around the northern U.S. the last 10 days of October. What's the key? You guessed it Einstein, cold air. The 10 day temperature departures for the period October 21-31st are eye popping. Remember, these are averages, some days are going to be even colder.
With such anomalously cold air in place the foundation is in place for snow to occur. I think there's a very good chance much of the Midwest will see at least snow showers or flurries within the next 15 days. I also think there is likely going to be a swath of accumulating snow somewhere over the upper Midwest but pinpointing the swath is impossible at this distance. Most likely it would be in Minnesota and Wisconsin. I base this on two factors, the depth of the cold and the trends in the latest models to depict snow. To be clear, this is not a specific forecast, rather a general assumption based on the synoptic pattern. Here's what I'm seeing with regards to snow forecasts.
The EURO EPS control (51 members)
The operational EURO
The GFS operational.
In these broader perspectives you can see how snow cover will increase between now and October 25th across the northern latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere.
Taking this a step further, the EURO weeklies have this for total snowfall between now and November 31st. As the cold deepens the snow transitions further south as November progresses. Nothing shocking about that.
Rest assured if the EURO weeklies were to verify, it would set the table for some very cold air to build over the snow pack of North America. If the pattern continues to evolve as it is (and how I believe it's going to trend going forward) we should have a healthy winter to deal with. We'll see where we're headed in a couple weeks when November dawns. Roll weather...TS