Highly unusual volumes of snow. So much for snowfall soon becoming a thing of the past… the trend appears to be the exact opposite.
This year’s Northern Hemisphere snowfall data, collated by the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) reveals that the 2019/2020 season has become one of the snowiest NH Winters on record, joining the uptick witnessed over the past few years.
Looking at the FMI chart below, during some points of the season, the total snow mass across the Northern Hemisphere reached 3 standard deviations above the average, indicating highly unusual volumes of snow.
North America, Northern Europe, and Russia have contributed to this seasons amazing totals. Countries like Sweden, for example, are breaking all-time seasonal snowfall records this year.
In an email, the FMI confirms that this has indeed been “one of the snowiest winters on record” since books began in 1979, since the dawn of the satellite era.
The institute also points out that the 2017-2018 winter was even more exceptional, and that the following winter (2018-2019) was greater still, with only 1989, 1993, 1997 and 2001 recording higher masses at their seasonal peaks.
For peak snow mass, it looks like 2018-2019 was the fifth snowiest Northern Hemisphere season of the past 41 years, with 2017-2018 the sixth, and this season, 2019-2020 preliminary looking like the seventh.
But if you look at the overall mean March snow mass, then the year 2018 holds the record for the snowiest NH Winter. According to the FMI that year saw a 3190 Gt mean March snow mass, putting it in the top spot in 41 years of record keeping, and some 330 Gt above the 1979-2018 average.
Thanks to Bill Sellers for this link