Friday, November 16, 2012

Snowfall Records

Looking for a way to blow some time at work today?  Peruse the National Climatic Data Center interactive map for record 1-, 2-, and 3-day snowfall by station.

Yup, this is it.  The history of record snowfalls at your fingertips.  Alta's records for 1-, 2-, and 3-day snowfalls are 34, 52, and 70 inches respectively.  Highmarket, NY on the Tug Hill Plateau east of Lake Ontario can top that with 43.5, 63.8, and 84.2 inches.  And of course, there is Thompson Pass, Alaska, with 62, 120.6, and 147 inches.  That's crazy!

A few caveats.  This map is based solely on data provided by National Weather Service cooperative observers.  Snow depth is typically measured once a day at the same time each day.  Thus, these are daily and not 24-hour records.  Alta's 24-hour record is 55.5 inches.  I suspect that storm cross the daily measurement time and thus was split into two days (I suspect the measurement wasn't made by the cooperative observer either - there are several groups that measure snowfall in upper Little Cottonwood).  In addition, keep in mind that this data is warty and that the period of record varies from station to station.  As I like to say, all observations are bad, but some are useful...

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