|JANUARY SNOWCOVER - 2012 (LEFT) VS 2013 (RIGHT) |
Top image shows satellite image of snow cover
Bottom image shows webcam image from Emerson
This year it's been a lot different, but certainly more typical for winter in this part of the world. Winnipeg has seen 75 cm of snow through Jan 1st, about 3 times the amount from last year, and almost twice the normal up to this point. Snowcover is much more widespread across the Prairies, with much of the area covered in a blanket of white (see satellite image above) Snowcover has been greater throughout much of the US as well, with about 65% of the country snowcovered compared to only 23% at the same point last winter. Snowcover is a very efficient heat deflector, as incoming solar radiation reflects off the bright snow surface back into space, making it more difficult for the earth's surface to warm up. The result is colder temperatures, which we've been seeing this winter compared to last winter.