Snowier winters the new normal? - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Snowier winters the new normal?

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With 11 inches of snowfall during the last snow storm and close to four inches today; the winters seem to be snowier.

In fact, the National Weather Service sent out a tweet on January 3rd saying in each of the last five winters there have been days with at least 14 inches of snow on the ground.

The winters are snowier but the snow season also appears to be heavier in the mid-winter than late winter like the 30-year average.

March and April are typically the snowiest months for the Magic City but in the past five years, December through February have been seeing the heaviest snow.

This by no means is a new normal though.

The normal for weather is defined as the climatological average for an area over 30 years.

The current normals are from 1980-2010 so the change in snowfall over the past 5 years doesn't count in the current normal.

Joe Lester of the Billings National Weather Service said it takes way longer than 5 years to determine trends and new normals.

Lester said "if you look back in time you see throughout our period of history...our period of record we've had period where we've really become dry for stretches other periods where we've been colder or wetter so the one thing about our climate here is as soon as you think you've got it figured out it kind of throws you a little twist."

While we can't determine a new normal for the past 5 years we do know that the winter season isn't over so we can expect to have another above average year for snowfall.


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