The 2019 snow drought

Makana Knightstep, Editorial Cartoonist

Photos by NPS/Jim Peaco on Flickr
A Reindeer walks silently in the snow filled forest.

In 2019 North Carolina suffered a major snow drought lasting all year. On average, the Raleigh area gets around 7.9 inches of snow each year. In 2019, the Raleigh area didn’t get any major snowstorms, which was odd, given that 6.5 inches of snow was recorded in this city on Dec 9, 2018. Fortunately, on Feb 21, 2020, 1 to 4.5 inches were recorded in the Triangle, breaking the snow drought that started in 2019.

Snow can affect the elements surrounding it, such as traffic on streets and highways. Feb 21, 2020,  One NC Capitol Police officer lost control of her car while on duty that morning. The Capitol Police Officer had to be treated for non-life threatening injuries after the incident. Every year, about 76,000 people are injured in traffic accidents during snowfall.

Ross Kennel, Earth/Environmental science teacher and Track Coach at Athens Drive Magnet High School, was asked what he thought of the snow drought in 2019. 

“I think it was pretty unusual for this state since we usually get a bit of snow each year,” Kennel said.

 There is always a chance that next year could be a snow drought. One question was if climate change, more commonly known as global warming, could have been the known cause for the snow drought.

“Yes, Global warming could be one cause of the snow drought, it could have also been abnormal winter weather patterns that caused the no snow spell,” said Kennel. 

 

The absence of snow in North Carolina, and more specifically Raleigh, has affected the population in one way or another in 2019. In most aspects snow is a burden to the people of NC, given it can and has caused numerous car wrecks, injuries, and deaths on the road. 18% of weather-related crashes are caused by snow and sleet. The last time there was not any measurable snow in North Carolina was the winter of 2007-2008.