When will winter end?

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by PETE DELKUS

Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaaweather

WFAA Chief Meteorologist

Posted on February 11, 2014 at 11:45 PM

Ice, snow, freezing rain... North Texas has seen it all in the past few months.

Meteorologist Mark Fox at the National Weather Service in Fort Worth says this year will definitely hold a place in the record books.

"We're looking back... this is definitely on the top end," he said."

This winter has already taken a spot in the top 10 coldest, based on our average temperature, which has been about 43 degrees.

But we have not received much snow — just 2.8 inches so far — putting us at No. 40 out of 116 years of record-keeping.

But compare this to the worst winters on record, and this year doesn’t seem so bad. The top spot belongs to the winter of '77-78, which brought more than 17 inches of snow to North Texas, with the average temperature not climbing above 40 degrees.

As for more recent events, the snowy Super Bowl of 2011 is always top of mind, but actually doesn't compare at all.

"The memory of everybody from that year, though, is that week in February was absolutely cold, and it was one event," Fox said, "but the winter of 2010 and 11 was actually above normal."

So all of this is leading us to the question: When will winter end?

It is likely over starting Wednesday, according to some.

"Not ready to say that just yet, but the pattern does seem to be changing," Fox said. "Actually, later on this week, we're going to start to get more into a warmer pattern, more Pacific-type fronts, and that means storm season is just around the corner."

Now history tells us the average last freeze is March 13, but many winters like this one have ended sooner.

Fox said similar winter seasons ended around mid-February — where we are right now.

Temperatures will begin to warm up for the rest of this week, and we'll finally be getting back to normal highs around 60 degrees.

You could even see the thermometer hit the 70s by the weekend.

And just because we have a near-record winter does not mean it plays a part in an overly active spring.

"It's going to be a normal storm season," Fox said. "It's going to be spring in Texas; we're going to have severe weather; we'd better be ready for it."

E-mail pdelkus@wfaa.com

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