For people living east of the Rocky Mountains, the winter of 2014-15 has been interminable. Week after week of bone-chilling, teeth-chattering and even hair-freezing cold has slid down from the Arctic.
The cold fronts this season weren’t ordinary fronts. They seemed to be seeking revenge for some insult that happened long ago, blasting cities from Chicago to New York with dangerously cold wind chills and setting the stage for snowstorm after snowstorm.
Feet of snow piled up in cities like Boston — which is nearing its all-time seasonal snowfall record — as well as Chicago and Portland, Maine.
Boston received 64.8 inches of snow in February alone, which set a record for the snowiest month of any month at that location. Boston’s typical annual snowfall is between 40 and 50 inches. The February snow cover for the lower 48 states was the 20th-largest on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
But the weather pattern is undergoing a radical shift in much of the contiguous U.S., with milder temperatures flooding in from the Pacific Ocean, helping to encourage a slow but steady melt of the snow. These images compare the snow depth across the U.S. last Thursday with the same analysis taken today (Tuesday).
On Thursday, 53.8% of the country was covered by snow, yet by Tuesday, this had declined to just 19.3%. The snowpack in the Northeast and parts of the Midwest will be the most difficult to melt quickly, and there are signs that more snow could be on the way this weekend and again next week as more storms target the snow-weary region.
At least the national picture is improving though, right?
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