A normal amount of snow for Mid-Missouri is about 18 inches per year.
During the last three winters, we have been anything but average. 2011 was one of the snowiest and 2012 did not seem like winter at all.
The winter of 2012-2013 was nearly the winter that never was. December and January were warm and relatively dry with about four inches of snow during those two months and temperatures running about five degrees above average.
That pattern carried over into February, for at least the first two weeks. Then a swing in the weather pattern changed everything and made our warm and dry winter all of a sudden, a cold and snowy one. More than 30 inches of snow fell in just about a month.
The first winter storm arrived Feb. 21. It was Mid-Missouri's first major snow storm in more than two years.
The storm hit as people were heading out to work and school. The snow fell at rates of more than two inches per hour, as there were reports of thunder with the falling snow.
By noon, nearly a foot of snow had fallen over parts of the area, stranding hundreds of drivers on snow-packed roads.
Within days of clean-up from the first storm, a second snow storm slammed the area on Feb. 26, dumping 10 to 12 inches of snow from Columbia to Moberly and Sedalia. Once again, as rumbles of thunder were reported, snow fell at blinding rates.
The last major winter storm of the season, which technically hit our area not in winter, but early spring, came just hours after temperatures were in the 50s.
Rain changed to thundersnow as temperatures dropped into the lower 30s and by mid-morning on Sun., March 24, another eight to 10 inches of snow blanketed the area, canceling Sunday services for many churches.
We ended the 2013 season with 35 inches of snow, a huge jump from the 6.6 inches we saw in 2012. It was the sixth lowest snow total on record, but nowhere close to our second snowiest season in 2011, when nearly four-and-a-half feet fell.
Nearly a third of that came during the Feb. 1 winter storm. That system crippled the area with more than 17 inches of snow that temporarily closed Interstate 70 and shut down the University of Missouri for three days.