Weather Talk: Snowless winters have happened before
The average winter snowfall in Fargo-Moorhead from 1981 to 2010 was 50.1 inches. The average was 45.7 inches from 1961 to 2010. The average since the trifecta of floods here, 2009 to 2011, has been just 34.3 inches.
So far, a mere 15.3 inches of snow has been measured this winter season. Unless the next three months bring a new weather pattern, this winter will be the fifth consecutive winter of below-average snowfall and the sixth of the past seven.
There is another long period in the record of relatively snowless winters. The average during the nine-year period from 1952-53 through 1960-61 was just 21.7 inches.
It is interesting to note that neither of these lengthy periods of little snow coincided with major drought. Snow is only about 10 percent water, so most of our average annual precipitation comes in the summer. As long as we get enough spring and summer rainfall, limited winter snows do not necessarily signify drought.