The first snow has arrived or is just around the corner across much of the United States. This year, however, much like last year, the cheerful anticipation of the holidays that usually accompanies this time of year is tinted with concerns of the pandemic getting worse during the colder months.
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The U.S.’s path through the pandemic may be unclear, but troves of government weather data can certainly help provide some context for a more familiar winter experience: snowfall. Based on how U.S. winters have been trending amid the rapidly progressing effects of climate change, most places are not likely to see anything close to their state’s record snowfall this year — or anytime soon.
Of the 130 weather stations that reported the biggest snowfall records — all 3 feet or greater — 112 reported these records before the year 2000. In 37 of 50 states, the biggest single-day snowfall occurred before 2000.
The all-time record for snowfall was set in Boulder County, Colorado, in 1921, when a blizzard delivered a whopping 6 feet, 4 inches of snow in 24 hours.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed one-day snowfall extremes recorded by the 3,061 weather stations across the United States. We compared each state’s maximum snow record at all weather stations to find the biggest single-day snowfall record in every state. Weather station data by county is published by the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
According to an analysis of U.S. weather station data from 1930 to 2007 by the Environmental Protection Agency, climate change has contributed to a decrease in total snowfall in many parts of the country. Of the weather stations reviewed by the EPA, 57% showed a decline.