Washington Post blog: Asheville in 2-year “snow drought,” area snowfall declining


From a Washington Post weather blog, an article exploring our last two nearly snow-free winters–and how snowfall in Asheville is declining by the decade.

Since D.C. and Asheville usually receive the same amount of snow, WaPo compares our two cities, telling D.C. readers that if they’re feeling like the last two winters have been all but snow-free, Asheville’s in a two year “snow drought” that’s even worse:

For all the attention that’s been given to D.C.’s longest drought without a 2 inch or greater snow event, and rightfully so, one city in the South, Asheville, N.C., is actually suffering through a longer period of even paltrier snow amounts. Asheville averages about the same amount of snow as D.C. in a typical winter.

Asheville Regional Airport has failed to record a 0.3 inch or greater snow event for 779 consecutive days, which is the longest such period in the airport’s observed weather history (since 1964). Just over 7.5 inches fell on January 10, 2011, but, in the two-plus years since that date, mostly trace amounts have grazed the airport’s weather station. It’s been almost a complete shutout the last two winters, as no measureable snow was recorded for the 2011-12 season and only a measly two-tenths of an inch has fallen to date this winter.

The record-setting warmth of last winter and elusive synergy between Arctic air and moisture this go around offer no such easy reminder of what snow looks like.

A long term decline

Should Ashevillians temper expectations for the winters ahead? Well, in examining the long term record of snowfall at Asheville, it appears that, like in Washington, D.C., its recent snow deficit is just continuing a downward trend. A look at the total snowfall by decade confirms the trend, as amounts have been declining gradually since the end of the 1960s.

Snow: On a downward trend. Sorry skiiers and fans of sledding, boots and the romance of winter.

And so far it looks like February is coming in like a lion and out like a lamb, and May will arrive on March 1.

Read the whole article here: Asheville, N.C.: Suffering worse snow drought than Washington, D.C.