Feb 12, 2008Madison Passes Record Snowfall
By Cara Harshman, Badger Herald
Last night’s snowfall sent Madison’s winter total plowing into the record books, breaking the all-time snowfall record of 76.1 inches in 1978-79. “Anytime you set records, it is sort of a momentous occasion, but it doesn’t mean anything more than we’ll be out just like any other storm,” said Madison streets superintendent Al Schumacher. Jon Martin, University of Wisconsin chair of the atmospheric and ocean sciences department said there is a lot of variability from one winter to another, and it is difficult to put a finger on why this winter has been so snowy. “This is a very abnormal winter,” Martin said. “We break the all-time snowiest winter record, and we still have 5 or 6 weeks left for possible snow.”
Since Dec. 1, it has snowed 41 times in Madison, taking a toll on everyone in the city, especially streets employees working 16-hour days plowing streets and fixing potholes, Schumacher said. This is one of those winters we are not going to see again, Martin said, with continuously cold temperatures and very few rainy days. Cold temperatures carried by northwesterly winds have not ceased all winter. Madison has not seen westerly or southwesterly winds that would bring warmer temperatures. “We may crush this thing,” Martin said, referring to the snowfall record. “That’s what I’m hoping for, because all of us who live through this will have seen the greatest snowfall in our lifetimes, especially if we get to 100 inches.” See full story here. See also the official NWS report here.
Icecap Note: Record or near record snows will be reported in many spots in the midwest before it is over. See this story about Rockford, Illinois which has the most snowfall to date and after today’s storm will rank only behind 1978/79. Also see Tom Skilling’s blog on how snow days and zero degree days are running twice the long-term average. See also how this cold spell set a record in the “Nation’s Icebox”, International Falls, MN here. See snow depths across Iowa, also hard hit this winter here.