Cold and snow are usually synonymous with winter, but many Tri-Cities residents will tell you those two haven’t paid much of a visit in recent years.
Meteorologist Jeremy Buckles with the National Weather Service in Morristown agrees it’s clear just by glancing at the data.
“We have not had as much snow over the past several years, as our 30-year normals would suggest,” he explained.
“The last big [snow] that I probably remember is the Storm of 93,” Lisa Thayer said.
“[I remember] the Blizzard of 98,” Jesse Brooks recalled.
Our last sizable snow in the Tri-Cities came December 8 through 10, 2018 when a whopping 10 inches of snow fell.
The Storm of ’93 gave us more than 14 inches of snow in two days.
Snow records get sketchy in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, but an estimated several feet of snow fell in places like Roan Mountain in January 1998.
Six out of the ten snowiest days in the last 50 years have occurred in the 1970s and 1980s. Every year is different and it only takes one big snow in a particular year for you to remember that.
- 11.4″ (3-13-93)
- 10.2″ (1-6-96)
- 10.0″ (4-3-87)
- 9.4″ (12-9-18)
- 9.1″ (2-13-71)
- 7.9″ (2-18-79)
- 6.8″ (2-14-86)
- 6.4″ (12-18-09)
- 6.3″ (1-22-87)
- 6.3″ (2-26-79)
The last five winters have been at least two and a half degrees above the average of 37.3 degrees. We’ve been at 42 to 43 degrees the last two.
- 42.8° (2019-2020)
- 41.8° (2018-2019)
- 39.9° (2017-2018)
Two of the last four winters have been among the warmest since 1970.
- 43.2° (2016-2017)
- 42.8° (2019-2020)
- 42.0° (1973-1974)
As for the coldest winters in the last 50 years, the top three all occurred in the 1970s.
- 30.0° (1977-1978)
- 30.0° (1976-1977)
- 32.9° (1969-1970)
For more climate stats around the Tri-Cities during the winter, and all year long, check out this data from the National Weather Service.
So yes, it seems as though Mother Nature has cut us a break when it comes to winter the last few years.
“Even during those periods of time, you know, we’ve had some very cold snaps as well,” Buckles said.
But don’t let your guard down this year. Storm team 11 will be with you along the way. You can always download the WJHL Weather app in the App Store or Google Play.