If it felt like the winter has been unusually cold, it has. In Little Rock, the winter of 2009-2010 will go down as the 13th coldest on record! In the weather world, winter is defined as the months of Dec, Jan and Feb. The average high temp for that period was 48 degrees, well off the average of 53 for those 3 months.
Snowfall totalled 8.7 inches. More than 3 inches above a normal winter.
So why the cold and snowy winter? Blame it on El Nino and the Arctic Oscillation. An El Nino winter usually brings storm systems across the southern U.S. This happened time after time during the winter.
The cold air was also in place as air pressures in the arctic rose enough to allow the cold air to spill south into the U.S.
Combining the cold with the moisture gives obvious results. Ed explains more in the attached video.