Saturday, October 20, 2012
Putting Down the Winter Snowpack
A couple of things stand out on the chart. First, in the past twenty years there has been much less variability in when the winter snow pack was established compared to previous decades (only one year more than 10 days from the median). Also note that it's a lot more common to have very late establishment of snow pack than very early. Only two autumns has the snow pack been established more than 15 days early (1956 and 1992), but seven times has the snow cover been more than 15 days late (though none since 1982). This includes the remarkable autumn of 1934, when the thin snow cover of November was obliterated by the super Chinook of December 3-8, 1934 and then there was no measurable precipitation until after the day after Christmas, resulting in the only "brown Christmas" in Fairbanks weather history.