DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – No snow boots needed in Milwaukee. Chicago commuters aren’t dodging knee-deep snow drifts frozen along city sidewalks. And children in Des Moines are settling for ice shavings dumped from a Zamboni.
Many cities in the Midwest haven’t seen any decent snow this season _ and some are even setting records for the number of days without it, in part because last winter was so mild and any precipitation that does fall gets soaked into the drought-parched land.
On Thursday, Des Moines matched a record set in 1889 when it hit its 277th consecutive day without measurable snowfall, according to the National Weather Service. Iowa’s capital city is expecting clear skies Friday.
That may not sit well with local youngsters, according to ice skating rink manager Dave Roquet. He said that after he emptied the accumulated ice from his Zamboni recently in downtown Des Moines, a group of children ran straight for the man-made snow.
“The kids just went crazy for it,” he laughed. “They saw it, and I think they hadn’t seen snow in so long. They just started throwing snowballs at each other.”
In Nebraska, Omaha recorded its 285th consecutive snowless day Wednesday _ breaking its previous record set in 2006 _ and Lincoln extended its record on Thursday to 297 days without measureable snow. Lincoln’s former record was 295 snow-free days in 2004.
Chicago and Milwaukee are just days away from breaking their records. Other areas also are either setting or close to records, while some cities are far off their usual snowfall totals.
But fear not, white Christmas dreamers: Snow is coming, at least for some people. Forecasters are calling for snow in parts of Nebraska and Iowa starting Saturday night and into Sunday, and possibly in Chicago the next day.
Florida-native Patricia Dryden admits she doesn’t mind the whiteless weather at her home in suburban Des Moines.
“Two years ago there was a snowstorm,” she said. “Now it’s around 60 degrees. Selfishly, I’m happy.”
National Weather Service program manager Jim Keeney said the country’s drought conditions this year are to blame for snow not sticking to the ground.
“At this point it doesn’t matter what falls from the sky, snow or rain,” he said. “To get precipitation would be beneficial for a chunk of the country.”
He also noted some cities that have seen snow are well below their averages this time of year.
Minneapolis usually has about 11 inches of snow on the ground by early December _ but the measurement stands at less than an inch right now. Green Bay, Wis., is more than four inches off its normal snowfall.
Data shows Chicago will be just two days away Friday from breaking its 1994 record of 280 days without measurable snow. Milwaukee also will be two days away from breaking its 1999 record of 279 consecutive days without measurable snow, though there is a slight chance for snow Friday night.
Keeney said just a small portion of the country around Kentucky and Tennessee is expected to have above normal precipitation in the months ahead.
“We might all just expect more of the same,” he said.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food