The first half of the 2014/15 snow season is in the books — and it has treated Property Managers pretty well.

#1 Not much snow

As of January 15th, we are 9.7″ below normal for historic snowfalls. December itself was 6.3″ below the historic average and 7.3″ below our 20 year average.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The reasons this is good for Property Managers and your budget is obvious. The reasons it may be a problem won’t surface until the growing season. With little snow, we have had little snow cover to insulate our soils and moderate the temperature swings may cause significant winter damage. More on that below.

#2 Few Plowable Events

Last year was nuts. We had had 14 events through 1/15 and most of them we close enough to triggers that they were plowable. This year, we have had 13 events but only 6 were plowable at 1″ trigger amounts and only 4 were plowable at a 2″ trigger. This means great news for your budgets – even if you are on monthly plans. There should be very little hauling, stacking or piling that has been done this year.

1st ½ events

#3 Temperature Fluctuation

While our temperatures for 2014/15 Winter are averaging below normal this winter, we have seen some crazy swings in temperatures from below 0º to 40º in a matter of hours.

We have had 3 stretches of extended weather above freezing that have melted piles and left us with very little snow cover.


Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

The great thing about this is that there has been little-to-no hauling, stacking or extra piling of snow necessary this winter. This was great for ending your 2014 budget year strong (since Jan-April 2014 were BRUTAL) and starting 2015 off pretty easily.

The big problem with these temps coupled with the little snowfall results in massive temperature swings within your soils. The mid-December stretch of above-freezing temperatures allowed the upper inches of soil to thaw. That was followed by a stretch of nearly 2 weeks of double-digits below 0º. We generally have around a foot of snow on the ground that insulates the snow from cold wind, sun and the major temperature swings we are experiencing. This can be very damaging to shallow-rooted turf, perennials and marginally-hardy plants. We’ll have to see how this shakes out in May.

You can check out recaps of each event and month so far this winter at our MSP Winter Event Data. It is a HUGE resource for property managers.


PS: Do you need to get bids for summer maintenance? Here are summer specs, pricing templates and comparison spreadsheets for you to use – ALL FREE! Click here to download.