We haven't had much snow here in recent winters - just a few flurries so far this winter, about a foot last winter, less than an inch the winter before that.

But you don't have to go back too far on this date - just 4 years - and we were still digging out from the biggest snowstorm in the recorded history of this area - the Blizzard of January 7-8, 1996. Total snowfall that winter was more than 5 feet.

Winter snow totals are a great example of the tremendous variability we often experience from one year to the next. It's not unusual for some winters to be very snowy, and others not - for some winters to be bone-chilling cold and others relatively mild. Here, in the mid-latitudes, that's simply the nature of our climate.

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