Snow Totals Higher Than Normal

By KBJR News 1

August 4, 2010 Updated Aug 4, 2010 at 11:47 AM CDT

Has it seemed snowier than normal this winter?

Meteorologist Dave Anderson tells us it is...and that's good news for the region's water supply.

Native Northlanders have seen a lot of December snow storms come and go but they do take some getting used to by newcomers.

Milwaukee native Roman Berdes from the National Weather Service is still working on driving in the snow.

"Living here for the last five years, it's gotten old."

Roman's had plenty of opportunity to practice his winter driving lately.

He checked the record book and found December 07 is in the top ten for December snow totals.

"The snow for the season stands at 40.9 inches and for December it is 34.9. That's the sixth snowiest December on record for Duluth."

So far, we're about ten inches over the norm but there are at least three more snow months to come.

"The Climate Prediction Center is forecasting near normal temperatures for January to March and near normal precipitation."

Three more months of near normal should lead to a seasonal snow total near 90 inches.

The average is 77.

The cause of the extra snow is the La Nina effect in the Pacific Ocean.

La Nina is a cooling of the ocean's water which changes the position of semi-permanent pressure systems that in turn shift the pattern of the jet stream.

The jet steers snow making lows and this year, that pattern shift is aiming the lows right at us.

Roman says that's good news after last summer's drought.

"With all the rain we got during autumn in 2007 and with the snow so far this winter, we're near normal precipitation. I should say we're not in a drought anymore."

In Duluth, Dave Anderson, the Northland's News Center.

Along with breaking the drought, the snow has also been good for businesses reliant on winter sports.

Snowmobile dealers and ski hills report business increased greatly beginning with the first snow storm in early December.