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A check on the snow

When it comes to winter in Minnesota, we all watch the forecast - what kind of temperatures we'll be dealing with and, most importantly, how much snow we're going to get.
That last one probably has more intrigue to many of us than anything else. After all, we like to be out and about during the winter. We refuse to let winter keep us indoors. But if there's significant snowfall coming, we'll hunker down with a good movie or book - while making sure we have plenty of gas for the snowblower.
So, if you're like me, I'm curious as to what we can expect for the rest of the winter when it comes to snowfall.
The last couple of winters have seen significant snowfall after January. However, there's no guarantee Winter 2019-20 will be the same as, or different than, Winter 2018-19. Nevertheless, I did a quick look back at last winter.
Through January in 2018-19 (October to January), Windom received 33.6 inches of snow - that includes 18.1 inches in January. What we got the rest of last winter - February through April (yes, we had snow in April) - was another 37.6 inches, including 26.1 inches in February.
So, how does that compare to the winter of 2019-20?
So far this winter (October to January), we've received 26.7 inches of snow, about seven inches behind last year. We've only received 8.4 inches in January compared to the 18.1 a year ago. This year, the forecast indicates warm temperatures and, so far, very little snowfall into the early days of February.
But, as we discovered last year, winter is only half over when we hit February. We received almost 27 inches in February last year and a total of 11.5 inches in March and April. In 2018, Windom received just 13.7 inches in February, but a whopping 18 inches in March and 22.4 inches in April - 40.4 inches in the two months when winter is supposed to be winding down.
Trends? Let's face it, there are none - other than the next three months are extremely unpredictable.
Here's hoping that February, March and April are unseasonably mild when it comes to snowfall. That certainly would be a plus for everyone, especially farmers.
Another author speak tidbit
I have one other story from my visit to Jackson to hear author Nathan Jorgenson speak recently.
As he signed a copy of his new book for me - and having already told him how much I enjoyed his second book "A Crooked Number" - he asked, how I liked the ending of that book. Now, my memory isn't that good any more and when put on the spot, I tend to freeze and/or panic. At that moment, and knowing there was a line of people behind me eager to have the same sort of short chit-chat I was having with him, the only thing I could remember from the end of the book was that the hero drove the ball deep to the outfield with a chance to win the game with a home run. Sadly, it fell short and they lost the game by a run.
I told Nathan, I was OK with that ending. That happens.
Well, as soon as I stepped outside, it came to me what he was asking about. At the very end of the book, the hero's girlfriend becomes his wife and then dies. That, I'm certain, is really what he was asking me about.
And, like the home run bid that fell short, I was OK with his wife dying (not that I'm OK with anyone's wife dying, but OK with it in a novel). That, too, is life. Sure it was sad and you wanted the story to go on with the love story he created between the two, but that doesn't always happen.
Life happens, as sad as it sometimes may be.
So, Nathan, if someone passes along this column to you, I was perfectly fine with her death. I'll keep right on reading your books and am looking forward to diving into your fourth one.


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