Freedom — February 26, 2008 — Sure it’s been a snowy season, but is it a record breaker? Not yet, according to the local weather website NorthConwayWeather.com. But that could change today. With another 8 to 14 inches of snow in the forecast for this afternoon and tomorrow, the winter of 2007-2008 could enter the North Country’s top 10 for annual snowfall in modern times.
Season to date the area has had 109.4 inches. The last time the mid-February snowfall total broke 100 inches was 1973. Richard Nixon was president and Pink Floyd was just about to release “Dark Side of the Moon.”
So far this winter ranks just behind the tenth snowiest season, which was 2000-2001 when 110.1 inches fell. That total was for the whole season, however, and with plenty of winter still left, 2007-2008 appears destined for the record book.
In fact, in one measure the current season has already cracked the top 10. On Valentine’s Day the 42 inch snow depth edged out the 1977-1978 season and put it in sixth place just behind 1961-1962.
Still, for this season to be a true contender it will have to take aim at the legendary 1968-1969 season. The Godzilla of North Country winters in modern times.
It was the snowiest winter, with 163.5 inches of white stuff falling in a seemingly never-ending cascade of snow days and canceled events. By comparison, second-ranked 1970-1971 barely comes close with its 146 inches for the year.
On a single day in February 1969, 21 inches fell to tie it with a February day in 1960 as the snowiest day on record. Another day saw 14.5 inches, tying it for the sixth-snowiest day in the North Country. Some weeks it snowed every day, a little and then a lot, non-stop.
Peak snow depth? That would be 1968-1969’s total of 65 inches – more than five feet of snow and a foot higher than runner-up 1970-1971. For consecutive days with more than 1 inch of snow on the ground the winter of 1968-1969 clocks in at 160 days, or a little more than five months without a trace of the front yard (or the back yard for that matter).
Will this season go the distance? You can follow its progress on the Internet at the always interesting weather site www.NorthConwayWeather.com. In the meantime, keep an eye on today’s storm and get the skis, snowshoes and snowmobile ready for a potential day-off tomorrow.