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Less snow & drier conditions for Omaha area this winter, but 'it gets worse off to the west'

We've seen less than 8 in. of snow this year
Posted at 6:36 PM, Feb 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-18 19:36:04-05

OMAHA, Neb.(KMTV) — So far this year, Omaha has seen less than 8 inches of snow, which is below average and well below the snowfall totals of last year.

"So far this year, our biggest one-day snow has been just over 4 inches of snow and that accounts for more than half of our snow. We’re only up to 7.8 inches at Eppley Airfield this year, whereas last year December, January and February had more than a foot of snow each," KMTV's Chief Meteorologist Mark Stitz said.

Experts say it's been the general pattern as upper-level winds and surface-level winds have come in from the northwest and west.

"Times where we get more snowfall, we get more off the southerly winds that can pull some of the gulf moisture and the pattern has not set up that way," Paul Fajman, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service said.

Part of it is just luck as other cities in the Heartland, like Kansas City, have seen snow.

Nebraska has also been really dry with low precipitation.

"It’s not like we’ve been making up with moisture from rain. Most of the state of Nebraska at this point is in some level of drought. In Omaha, we’re considered abnormally dry but it gets worse off to the west. The panhandle is considered severe drought right now," Stitz said.

This warm, dry pattern will likely continue into spring. With little precipitation in the winter, there's little moisture on the ground to retain colder weather, meaning it'll be warmer faster.

Meteorologists say though, although this winter has been warm, that doesn't mean it'll be the same conditions next winter.

"Something like this, it’s hard to compare season to season. This is likely just a blip it doesn’t have much (bearing) on what might happen next year," Fajman said.