In addition to colder-than-normal temperatures, the winter of 2013-2014 has delivered a large number of days with measurable snowfall to the Twin Cities through January 31. While there have only been 4 storms to total more than 4 inches (at the airport), these snowfalls were frequent and often ill-timed. Many of the winter's snowfalls occurred during weekday rush hour periods.
As depicted in the accompanying graph, there were 31 days with measurable snowfall reported at the Twin Cities International Airport during the winter of 2013-2014 through January 31. A measurable snowfall means that the daily snowfall total was greater than or equal to one tenth of an inch. If we were to assess days that saw at least a flake reach the ground at MSP airport, it would be 41 days. In the historical record, the long-term median number of measurable snowfall days through January 31 is 21. The "median" is a statistical measure that indicates that one half of all winters had a more than 21 snow days through January 31, and one half of all winters had less than 21 days. The 90th percentile for the long-term record is 31 days, meaning that only one out of ten winters in the past had more snow days through January 31 than the winter of 2013-2014.
In past winter seasons with large numbers of snow days through January 31, the number of snow days for the remainder of winter is quite similar to winters with relatively few snow days through January. Therefore, the number of snow days prior to February 1 offers little foreshadowing of the number of snow days to occur in February, March, and April.
All of the information above was provided by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the National Weather Service.