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BRRRR! Let me shake this snow off my boots

Mark Heyne
Winter wonderland. Looking north on Central Parkway outside the WVXU studios.

This definitely has been a colder, snowier winter than usual.   Just ask the folks at the National Weather Service in Wilmington how much snow we've gotten.

"So far this winter, not including Tuesday's snowfall but through midnight last night, 20.1 inches at our official observing location at the Cincinnati Airport,"  said Seth Binau, Science Operations Officer at the NWS.

The average is 17.8 inches, but that's for the entire meteorological winter, which runs December 1 through February 28.  Binau notes that we've already exceeded that average and we're only halfway through winter.

As for  temperatures this month,  Binau said they're averaging about 3 degrees below normal so far.  

So what's causing all this cold and snow?

"We're kind of locked in a pattern of northwest flow, which is allowing some very chilly air from Canada to come down into the Great Lakes region," said Binau.  "Little weather systems along the temperature gradient through the Great Lakes are bringing us these periodic waves of snow, which over time add up quite significantly."

It's a trend Binau expects will continue through the end of the month.  If that's the case, he said this month has the potential to make the list of the top-20 coldest Januarys.  Right now, it only ranks about 42nd.