Reporting Esme Murphy
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Officially, the weekend snowfall total was just more than 10 inches, according to instruments at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
But other parts of the state topped 16 inches. Compare that to the 22 inches that fell all of last winter. So when it comes to snow, we wondered: Is it all or nothing these days?
People we talked to at a Chanhassen shopping mall seemed to think so. But National Weather Service meteorologist Todd Krause said it “just seems like that because two winters ago we had so much snowfall, last year we hardly had anything. But most of the time, we end up right about normal.”
The norm for the Twin Cities metro area is about 50 inches, Krause said.
WCCO-TV meteorologist Mike Augustyniak echoed Krause, summing up the situation thus:
“Who remembers the crummy tenth of an inch snowfall that adds up over time? Nobody does. We remember the big events — the one that collapsed the Metrodome, the one that made you sit in your car on the way to work. We tend to remember those and that tends to feed this perception, but going back the past 10 years and look at some of these snow fall totals…all those are pretty close to the average.”
Large snowfalls, Krause says, are rare.
“Getting 10 inches of snow, we have only done that 20 times in 100 plus years, so we just don’t see it that often,” he said. “Meteorologists say it all averages out, but sometimes it doesn’t seem that way.”
A major snow event of at least 8 inches happens about every two years, Krause says. That means the big storm we got this weekend is fairly typical. The last 8 inch-plus storm happened two winters ago.