FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — Parts of northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio picked up anywhere from just over a foot of snow to near two feet of snow in February.
Fort Wayne picked up a whopping 17.3 inches of snowfall for February 2021 which was the sixth snowiest February on record for the city.
With that much snow, it may seem strange that parts of the region were either abnormally dry or in a moderate drought.
The latest drought monitor issued on March 4, 2020 shows abnormally dry conditions for parts of northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio.
Abnormally dry and moderate drought conditions persist across northern Indiana and Ohio. pic.twitter.com/LQahVyaiA7
— Meteorologist Beverly Perry (@BeverlyPerryWx) March 4, 2021
Baffling? There are actually a couple reasons for this.
For starters, we received most of the snowfall during a very frigid period of time.
When the ground is frozen, it really doesn’t help to relieve a drought.
Also, snow is pretty dry and it is not equally proportional to rain.
One inch of moisture or rain does not equal one inch of snow.
Ever heard of the term "snow ratio"? It's a measure of how much moisture the snow contains, or, put another way, how fluffy or wet it is. A ratio of 10:1 for example means that 10 inches of snow melts down to 1 inch of liquid water. pic.twitter.com/p7NBxIMX9K
— NWS Aberdeen (@NWSAberdeen) February 7, 2018
This is where snowfall ratios come into play.
You might have heard your local meteorologist say dry snow or wet snow.
A dry snow is typically an 18:1 or a 20:1 ratio which means, one inch of liquid will equal 18 inches of snow or 20 inches of snow.
The same can be said for a dry snow with a ratio of 7:1 or one inch of liquid equals 7 inches of snow.
With that being said, Fort Wayne picked up 17.3 inches of snow but it was equivalent to 1.57” of actual water content.
Precipitation chances are non-existent until at least Tuesday night and becoming more likely Wednesday of next week.
— NWS Climate Prediction Center (@NWSCPC) March 3, 2021
The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) precipitation outlook could be troubling for local farmers trying to work the fields this spring.
According to the CPC precipitation outlook, above average precipitation is expected for Indiana and Ohio through the middle of March.
The CPC also has Indiana and Ohio in above average precipitation for the three month outlook of March, April and May.
This could pose a huge problem for area farmers trying to plant seeds at the right time without getting flooded out.
NOAA’s seasonal outlook for February through April is out today. Get the latest look at possible precipitation across the U.S. during the months ahead: https://t.co/o9au44Auft pic.twitter.com/lYo5gxY8gn
— National Weather Service (@NWS) January 21, 2021