Rachel’s Report: Winter’s still here

By Rachel Pasker – Chief Copy Editor

It’s the Midwest and there’s bound to be a lot of snow throughout the winter. We have two choices in this matter: accept it or move somewhere warmer. So this is not going to be a rant about the obnoxious amount of snow that makes walking across the football field by way of one of five foot paths an adventure every day. Instead, looking at to the Farmer’s Almanac for the winter of 2014, we should receive less than the normal amount of snowfall this winter.

The almanac predicted snow and cold weather from Feb. 1-6, causing a bit of worry as to how bearable the Super Bowl would be. Although it was not entirely accurate for the big game, the amount of snow that fell in the following days made up for it. The prediction for the rest of the month stays the same at snowy, sunny and cold. We have yet to see the temperature hit what was predicted, though. The almanac thought we would see temperatures around 31 degrees which is average for February. That must be coming soon, because we have not had a day above freezing so far this month.

It may not seem like it now, but snowfall amounts were predicted to be below normal this winter.

“Precipitation will be slightly below normal in the north…The snowiest periods will be in early November, late December, mid-January, early to mid-February and late February,” according to the almanac.

Although there is no set measure of how much snow has fallen so far this winter, a look at the average snowfall amounts might put this year into perspective. According to currentresults.com and its records on Clinton, IA, instead of the Quad Cities, the average number of days it snows is 21.9 with the average amount of snowfall throughout the winter at 30.3 inches. Iowa City averages 27.2 inches of snow on 14.8 days throughout the year. The averages are based on snowfall totals from 1981 to 2010. Currently, intellicast.com reports anywhere from 8-16 inches of snow on the ground in the Quad Cities.

A free view of the next two months in the farmer’s almanac can be found at http://www.almanac.com/weather/longrange/IA/Davenport.

Spring break does not look much better as rain and wet snow are predicted with cool temperatures for that week. If you believe the almanac’s predictions and are looking forward to summer, it forecasts a hotter and rainier summer than normal.

So whether you believe a groundhog, a farmer’s almanac, an old wives tale that says a robin must walk in snow three times before spring comes or simply the months on the calendar, spring is coming…eventually. Either way, I don’t blame the groundhog for diving back into his hole. That much snow and negative temperatures would scare anyone back inside for another six weeks.

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