How Cold Has This Winter Really Been?

ROCKFORD -- No one's debating that it's been a cold winter. Conditions were brutal enough this morning to close Winnebago school district. But just how bad has it really been? Meteorologist Max Tsaparis crunches the numbers.
ROCKFORD -- Black ice, ample snow, and temps so cold they come with negative signs.  Old man winter has a stranglehold on the Stateline.  Boo Johnson, a Rockford resident, says “Everybody says this is the coldest winter ever."

In reality it's not the coldest winter ever.   But, it comes close.  So far this season takes eighth place with an average temp of 17.0°.  Couple that with last year's mild temps and that's why it feels so unbearable.  Johnson moved here from Florida.  Bad idea.  He complains, “I can't feel my fingertips now."

Because so far, Boo has seen 16 days below zero this winter.  This time last winter, the Stateline hadn't seen a single day below zero. And the persistent cold is extremely dangerous.  David Franklin say, “There's a lotta homeless people out here that are dying in this kind of weather...it's more cold this winter than it has been.  We've also had a lotta snow."

The Stateline's had snow on the ground since December 8th.  And the almost daily snow showers have added up.  Officially in Rockford, we've gotten 29.6”  inches of it--nearly ten inches above average.  But folks seem to handle the snow better than the cold.  Franklin says, “I love the snow. I just don't like the cold!"

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like it'll get better.  Expect below average temps and above average snowfall to persist through February meaning we may be seeing more snowbirds.  Tim Blue says, “I'm leaving right away.  I'm going to Florida."

The statement “what a difference a year makes” comes to mind when comparing last winter to this one.  To put it in perspective with one last stat, we had less than 3” of snow up to this point last year.
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