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Jan. 1 snow cover set U.S. record

  |   Jan. 3, 2013 at 4:05 PM
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STATE COLLEGE, Pa., Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Snow coverage in the United States on New Year's Day was the most in 10 years with 67 percent of the 48 contiguous states covered by snow, meteorologists say.

That surpassed the previous record set in 2010, when the new year saw 61 percent of the United States beneath snow, AccuWeather.com reported Thursday.

That was the year of the mid-Atlantic blizzard dubbed "Snowmaggedon" that set a long list of records in cities such as Philadelphia, Washington and Baltimore.

"As far as New Year's Days go, I think that our [2013] snow cover is very healthy," AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist Jack Boston said.

Unusually low snow coverage percentages since record keeping began in 2004, with the exception of 2010, have been an anomaly, Boston said. "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."

However, he said, most of the contiguous United States was above normal in snow coverage for the month of December 2012 as well.

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