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Reviewing our 2020-2021 Winter Outlook

March 1st is the beginning of Meteorological Spring, which means that it's time to review my winter forecast that was made on November 23rd.

You can review the full forecast here.

In short, I used strong La Niña analogs, as well as examined very active Atlantic Hurricane Seasons and other meteorological factors to reach my forecast.

I was expecting above average snowfall between 27-33". Average snowfall in Peoria is 24.6". I was also expecting December to February temperatures to be a degree or less above average.

Here are the results:

Snowfall (to date): 24.4"

December-February temperatures: 0.9° below average

Winter started warm with December and January seeing temps 3.7 and 3.5 degrees above average. Then we all know what happened in February. A long lasting stretch of unseasonably cold weather undid the two months of warm weather. Eventually, that cold was enough to drop our seasonal temperatures to nearly a degree below average.

Low temperatures during the winter months were almost exactly average. Lows were only 0.1° below average. The bigger deviation was highs which ended up 1.7° below average.

While the temperature forecast can be fully verified, snowfall is measured from first snowflake to last. Any snowfall in the next month or two will count towards this winter's total, so there's a chance that our total could increase in time.

This winter started on the quiet side. We only saw 0.2" of snow in November and 1.0" in December.

Winter weather picked up once 2021 began, including a major ice storm on New Year's Day.

Photo: Tracy Melvin

January brought 8.5" of snow, with 3.2" of that coming on the 27th.

We made up a lot of ground thanks to February's snow. Peoria had the 8th snowiest February on record with 14.7" of snow.

Photo: Jean Wall

Between February 4th and 21st, there were 14 days with a trace of snow or more.

We also saw many snowy weekends in 2021. There was a trace of snow or more every weekend from January 2-3 to February 20-21.

Things are changing in the short-term of our forecast as warmer weather looks to stick around for at least a week or two, but we may not be completely finished with snow.

The average monthly snowfall in March is 2.7", and April's average is another 0.6". Time will tell how much snow falls over the next month or two, but we are certainly over the hump and getting closer to spring day-by-day.

Brian Walder

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