Snow Already Totals More This December Than Last

HAMPSTEAD – John Kelley, a Hampstead resident who works with the National Weather Service Cooperative Climatological Station at West Hampstead, tracks the daily weather. With winter snows arriving early this year, he took a look back at last year to see what the town faced during the cold months.
This season has already brought 22.6 inches of snow so far this December and 23.2 inches total, all before the official start of winter, which arrived Saturday, Dec 21.

The storm that hit the area Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 14 and 15, dumped 11.7 inches on Hampstead, with neighboring Exeter reporting 13.5 inches of snow and 11 inches in Portsmouth, said Kelley.
And the storm that hit Tuesday, Dec. 17, dropped 7.3 additional inches of snow on Hampstead.
Kelley said that last year, the season’s first 6 inches of snow didn’t occur until Dec. 25-27. By the end of December 2012, over 17 inches of snow had fallen in Hampstead.
What to expect in January? Last year, January was the least snowy month, with only 7.7 inches of snow. The biggest snowstorm in January hit Jan. 16 with 4.3 inches.
Luck in low snowfall totals didn’t last into February, which ended up with 32.6 inches of snow. Kelley said February had two notable snowstorms. A Nor’easter blizzard hit Feb. 8 and 9 and dropped 20.4 inches of snow over the 33-hour event, closing schools on Feb. 8. Another storm arrived Feb. 24, giving the area a 6-inch covering of snow just before the start of the school district’s winter vacation.
March was another snowy month, delivering 26.1 inches of snow. The most significant snowstorm hit the area March 7 and 8 and left behind 12.6 inches of snow, closing schools yet again. This storm was followed by a 13-inch snowstorm March 19 into 20 and also closed schools.
Relief came in April, when the area received only a trace of snow, with the last observed snow of the 2012-2013 snow season happening April 12.
According to Kelley, “For the entire 2012-2013 snow season, October through April, Hampstead received a total of 86.7 inches of snow that was recorded at the West Hampstead station. There was a continuous snow cover of at least a trace running from Christmas morning until March 27.”
Kelley makes no predictions about how this winter will go, noting his expertise is in recording what happens. But with plowable snows already arrived before winter made its official appearance, residents are left to wonder about the odds for an even snowier winter this season.

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