Astronomical Winter begins December 21. Meteorological Winter (Dec/Jan/Feb) begins on December 1. Then you have the beginning of winter according to the Accumulated Winter Season Severity Index (AWSSI). Here is the criteria for when winter begins and comes to an end.
According to the AWSSI, winter began this year at the end of October when our first snow fell. Since then it has been cold with a few more rounds of snow. Some of the cold has been to record levels as well. So when you see some of the data in the story it might not come as a surprise to you that our winter has been pretty severe for this time of year.
You can click here to learn more about this index and what goes into coming up with the number.
As of November 14th the AWSSI value is 101 for Dubuque.
There are many places plotted on the map below that show how winter has been so far. They all have been extreme. The blue circles are showing locations that are at record levels. There are 7 on the map plotted. Since Dubuque is at the record level I thought I would look at the chart for Dubuque.
The black line on the chart below shows the progress so far. So far it is out of the pink shaded area and that puts us in record territory. This index is calculated daily. So as it gets warmer and we don’t see snow, the number doesn’t change but as you can see the range starts to go up.
It is just another way to try and measure how bad the winter really is.