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Why the West Got Buried in Snow, While the East Got Little


This year’s snow season is a tale of two starkly different winters: A cold and snowy one in the West, and a warm and relatively snowless one in the East.

Percent of average cumulative snowfall

Oct. 1 through March 31, compared with 2008-22 average for same period

Map showing percent of average cumulative snowfall in the United States. Most of the West Coast and Mountain West states received more snow than in the past 14 years. There was much less snow in large swaths of the Eastern U.S., including parts of the Northeast, mid-Atlantic and lower Midwest.

Source: National Gridded Snowfall Analysis from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Water Prediction

Note: Comparable data not available for Alaska and Hawaii.

The Western United States received a lot more snow than usual this season, much of it unleashed by punishing storms that battered California especially hard throughout the winter. Parts of the Eastern half of the country, however, saw much less snow than normal amid unusually warm winter temperatures.

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