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March Mania

February is usually not too snowy

February has not been very snowy, and that is typical. Of the five wintriest months of the year, February has the lowest average snow total.

Using the most recent three complete decades, 1981-2010, the snowiest months on average are January and December with 11.2 inches, followed by March at 9.1 inches, November at 7.9 inches and February with 7 inches. Average snow for April is 3 inches and 0.7 inches for October. Last winter, the Fargo-Moorhead record for February snowfall was broken with 21.4 inches. Most of the other winter months have record amounts of greater than 30 inches.

Part of the reason for February's smaller snow average is that the month has fewer days, but that is only part of it. Average snowfall per day actually drops slightly during February. The other reason for the decline is that the storm track tends to drop to its southernmost point in February, leaving our area in air that is both cold and dry.

John Wheeler

John was born in Baton Rouge, LA, and grew up near Birmingham, Alabama. As a teenager, his family moved to Madison, Wisconsin, and later to a small town in northeast Iowa. John traces his early interest in weather to the difference in climate between Alabama and Wisconsin. He is a graduate of Iowa State University with a degree in meteorology. Like any meteorologist, John is intrigued by extremes of weather, especially arctic air outbreaks and winter storms.  John has been known to say he prefers his summers to be hot but in winter, he prefers the cold.  When away from work, John enjoys long-distance running and reading.  John has been a meteorologist at WDAY since May of 1985.

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