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This mid-January through the end of February was the second most severe winter out of the last 126 years!

Posted: Sun, Mar 3, 2019 3:13 PM

It's official now--Decorah meteorologist Richard Bernatz has confirmed what we all knew--it's been a tough winter!

Bernatz has crunched weather statistics from January 16th through February 28th and reports this period in 2019 was surpassed only by the mid-January through the end of February in 1935.

Bernatz says all 15 categories he computes to determine winter weather severity were on the "severe" side for 2019.  He reports, "not surprisingly, the most severe (category) is snowfall."  He says during the 41 days from January 16th to February 28th, there were 13 days with measurable snowfall totaling 41.6 inches.  The average snowfall for Decorah over the last 126 years has been 12.4 inches.

1935 was much colder than 2019, which explains why it earned the title of "worst winter."  But the 41-day period in 2019 still finished with the 10th coldest average high temperature and the 21st coldest average low temperature.

Overall, the November 1st through February 28th period of 2018-2019 is the 30th most severe.  Bernatz says that's because the winter weather "flipped" around mid-January, going from ranking 112th in severity out of 126 winters from November 1st through January 15th, but 2nd in severity from January 16th through February 28th.  Concludes Bernatz, "severity rankings go from (close to) last to (almost) first!"