An Overview of Recent Cumulative Snowfall Totals Across the United States (credit: Garrett Dash Nelson)
DISCUSSION: Over the past several weeks there has been a substantial increase in the degree of national snowfall coverage. This is due in part to the fact that a number of different Colorado lows as well as Alberta Clipper systems have traversed across portions of the Central and North-Central United States. Hence, you can see how the inter-mountain portion of the Western United States was one of the first parts of the United States to receive a sizable amount of measurable snowfall. In addition, you will note how the Great Lakes region was one of the other regions to receive notable amounts of snowfall earlier on in the 2017-2018 Winter season.
There is no question that orographic features spread across the United States are major influences on heavy snowfall potential. This is largely due to the fact that when air parcels are forced to rise up and over higher terrain, increasingly larger amounts of water vapor are forced out of corresponding air parcels. Thus, when greater amounts of water vapor are "squeezed" out of said air parcels, this greatly increased the localized potential for heavier precipitation events (i.e., heavier snowfall totals in the case of winter storm situations). Hence, there is no debate that orography plays a pivotal role in facilitating greater potential for major snowfall events both across the United States and the world for that matter.
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© 2018 Meteorologist Jordan Rabinowitz