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Snow totals for 'winter' released by Indiana climate office

Snow totals for 'winter' released by Indiana climate office
This year's winter season raises questions about when winter really is!

The numbers are in. Winter is over and snow totals have been tabulated for various locations around the state. Ken Scheeringa, Indiana associate state climatologist, has sent us his report.

Wait a minute, you say? Winter isn't over? By the traditional calendar it isn't – there's roughly over a week to go yet. But according to climatologists, it's over. They report data on climatological-based seasons. Winter to an ag climatologist is Dec. 1 through Feb. 28 or 29th.

Related: Saved by the calendar! Weather guys say winter is over!

Typical winter? Snow wasn't deep enough to cover up the water hydrant, but snow totals will likely wind up about average at many sites, especially if you use the traditional spring dates. Yet at times it didn't seem anything like an 'average' winter.

"On March 3 my city bus in Lafayette was an hour late picking me up because of freezing rain," Scheeringa says with a grin. "We were in meteorological spring on March 3, but it certainly didn't seem like it."

That's not good news when it comes from a weather man. It raises the question of when winter really does end.

"Snow that last day of February that came after midnight into March 1 wasn't counted in climatological winter," he says. "Sometimes we even have snow in April, even after the traditional date for the start of spring. So for climatological purpose, we use fixed dates instead."

Here are the official totals for the three sites used in the Indiana Prairie Farmer/Beck's Hybrids Winter Seed Giveaway contest. If you're a winner, you will be notified by a Beck's Hybrid rep soon. Remember that the clock for counting snowfall for contest purposes, based on climatological winter, stopped on midnight, Feb. 28.

This year's totals for Angola, Martinsville and Boonville, respectively, were: (drumroll please) 28.2, 10.1 and 8.9 inches. So was it a mild winter or not according to snowfall data?

Related: Let's hope the woolly worm is out of black bristles

Here are the averages for the same three sites, based on 30-year data from 1981-2010. For Angola, Martinsville and Boonville, respectively, the historical averages are 28.8, 13.5 and 10.6 inches.

Mild? Only slightly, and if you include March1, it all probably looks pretty average.

Bottom line, if you just turned in the averages reported in the December 2014 issue as your entry this year, you might be the winner! Watch for the results coming soon.

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