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January 1 Snow Coverage Sets New Record for US

snowfall record
(Image credit: NOAA.)

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With 67 percent of the contiguous U.S. covered by snow, the first day of 2013 marked the widest coverage of snow the U.S. has seen on Jan. 1 in the past ten years.

(Note: Percentages of snow coverage have only been calculated since 2004.)

The previous record was set in 2010, when the new year saw 61 percent of the U.S. beneath snow. That same season was marked by the blizzard nicknamed 'Snowmageddon,' in the mid-Atlantic, which set a long list of records in cities such as Philadelphia, DC and Baltimore.

Snow Coverage Percentages on Jan. 1

YearPercentage Coverage

"As far as New Year's Days go, I think that our snow cover is very healthy," Expert Senior Meteorologist Jack Boston said.

The lack of snow coverage since record keeping began in 2004, with the exception of 2010, have been an anomaly, Boston explained.

"The temperature of the North Atlantic ocean has been in a warm cycle and that has resulted in eastern North America, on average, having milder temperatures during the last decade."

Despite a few local locations, most of the contiguous U.S. was above normal in snow coverage for the month of December as well.

The percentage of coverage differs drastically between the two months, however.

Dec. 1 saw 13 percent coverage across the contiguous U.S. -- a 53 percentage point difference from Jan. 1.

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