Winter is slowly winding down. I guess Punxsutawney Phil (the groundhog) got his prediction of six more weeks of winter correct and then some more. This winter has been dragging on, especially once meteorological spring began on March 1st. We dealt with four powerful nor'easters in a matter of just three weeks in March, and then we received half a foot of snow on April 2nd, a month that typically receives only less than an inch.
Let's first discuss how the snowfall per month compared to average: winter was actually off to a somewhat slow start. We didn't receive any snow in November, which isn't too unusual. The average snowfall for the month is only 0.7 inches. Snowfall then begins to ramp up, typically speaking, as we get into December. Several snowstorms, especially at the end of the month, allowed for the monthly snowfall total to surpass the average mark by 3.2 inches. January was also a snowy month, and the cold outbreak for the first half of January sure helped out. Nearly a foot of snow fell in Bridgeport, which is above the monthly average of 8.3 inches. That takes us to February, a very mild month this year. We got lucky this February. This is the snowiest month climatologically, but we didn't even receive half a foot of snow. That all changed in March, however, as those four nor'easters brought snow. We ended up with 14.5 inches of snow at the coast, which is almost 10 inches above normal. Finally in April, even though it just begun, the one and only snowstorm so far dropped 6 inches, which is 5.4 inches above the average for the entire month!
So how did each month during the winter of 2017-2018 rank? Since we received no snow in November, we were at the complete bottom of the list, tying many other years as the 51st snowiest or the least-snowiest November. We made up in December at the 17th snowiest and January was similar in terms of ranking, making it into the top 16 for snowiest Januarys on record. February was not as snowy of a month, ending up being the 35th snowiest February. March and April were the most impressive snow months this winter. The 14.5 inches of snow that fell in March allowed 2018 to rank as the 6th snowiest March on record. April continues to be even more impressive with the 6 inches of snow from a single storm, thus allowing for the month to crack the top 3 snowiest Aprils in history. That storm also tied the record for biggest 1-day snowstorm in April. If we receive at least 5.9 inches of snow by the end of this April, that would break the snowiest April on record of 11.8 inches set back in 1996. Do we really want to break that record though?
Overall, this winter so far is ranked as the 15th snowiest winter (November through April) on record. The graphic below shows how the winter of 2017-2018 compares with the top 5 snowiest winters, where at least 61.6 inches of snow fell. The winter of 1995-1996 was very impressive. 75.7 inches, or over 6 feet, of snow fell.
Shifting gears toward temperatures this winter, it was a very seasonable winter temperature-wise overall. From November 1st through April 30th, the climatologically average temperature is 38.4 degrees in Bridgeport. Through April 2nd of this year, we are currently at 37.9 degrees, which is slightly below average. The temperatures this April, which are warmer than the high temperatures in the teens, 20s, and 30s from the heart of winter that we experienced, will help bring our average temperature this winter closer to average. The graphic below highlights the month-by-month breakdown of the climatologically average monthly temperature compared to the actual average monthly temperature from this winter. In November, we were 0.6 degrees below normal. December was even cooler relative to average, at 33.4 degrees. Keep in mind, these temperatures factor in both the high and low temperature of each day of the month. January was a very chilly month, although not terribly below average as temperatures rebounded to near to above-average levels during the second half of the month. That leads us to February where the above-average temperatures dominated. We ended the month with a temperature 6.3 degrees above normal. That made it the 2nd warmest February on record, just missing the record of 38.4 degrees set in 2017. Now in March, it seemed like a cold month because of how snowy it was, but temperatures overall were actually slightly above average. April so far, however, is way below average. Warmer temperatures may return for the latter half of the month. Let's hope!