Mar 2, 2008

Record! (Unofficially, of course)

Unofficially... Oshkosh has broken the all-time monthly snowfall for the month of February. I am excited to see the official data from the National Weather Service!

Observed at OSNW3 (26.4")
Official monthly record (23.8")

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Saturday morning, Mar 1, we were at my Mother & Step Father's house is Suamico, WI.



I grew up here and cannot remember witnessing this much snow on the ground. So, as anyone would, I surveyed the yard for snow depth. I took 11 measurements around the perimeter of the "back yard" about 8' apart in the undisturbed snow pack. The average snow depth was 25.5" with the deepest depth measuring 26.8". This part of the yard is the furthest away from the woods. I took 5 more measurements along the "front yard" which is much closer to the woods and it averaged a snow depth of 20.2". It's not often I get to trounce around in over 2' of snow pack. It was a blast!

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I propose a silly question.

"It is often said that, astronomically, winter starts with the winter solstice and ends with the vernal equinox. In meteorology, it is by convention counted instead as the whole months of June, July and August in the Southern Hemisphere and December, January and February in the Northern Hemisphere. While in actuality, the most accurate start and end point is simply defined by when the first major wave of cold fronts and warm fronts hit a particular area, having no universally predetermined dates." - Wikipedia

With that being said, what concrete events can we determine as the beginning of Winter and the end of Winter? If I wanted to put a length, in days, of how long Winter "actually" lasted I would, perhaps, have my concrete dates be the first 1" snowfall and the last day with snow on the ground. The Winter of 2006-2007, here at OSNW3, then, would have lasted from Nov 10 through Apr 12, a total of 153 days.

Granted this determination can be debated. If you were determine the length of Winter in "actuality" what would you use as your concrete events?