Every now and then, a whopper of a snowstorm hits and sets a new record. Here are some of the biggest snowfalls ever to take place in a 24-hour period.
1. Mile 47 Camp, Alaska
On February 9, 1963, a whopping 78″ of white stuff fell in Alaska, setting the official world record for most amount of snow that fell in a single calendar day. Although this location only contains a highway maintenance station on the Richardson Highway, it still meant a lot of shoveling to get to work that day.
2. Silver Lake, Colorado
This lake just an hour west of Boulder did hold the world record for 24-hour snowfall until Mile 47 Camp’s snowfall was made official, with Silver Lake’s 75.8″ on April 14-15, 1921 wiped it out from the top spot.
3. Echo Summit Sierra at Tahoe, California
Batting with the big boys, Echo Summit Sierra saw 67″ fall in one day and put this town in the top 3.
4. Crystal Mountain Ski Resort, Washington
February was only days away from being over, when 65″ fell on the 24th and set a new record in the state. But at least skiers and snowboarders didn’t have to worry about a snow shortage!
5. Saratoga Springs, New York
In what’s known as “The Blizzard of 1888″, snow fell from the sky like there was no tomorrow, dropping 58” to put Saratoga Springs in the fourth spot overall.
6. Tahtsa Lake, British Columbia
In a remote area west of Prince George, a central city in the interior of British Columbia, 57″ of snow dropped in 24 hours on February 11, 1999- as much as Whitehorse, Yukon receives in an entire year.
7. Lead, South Dakota
South Dakota isn’t usually a place people equate with heavy snowfalls, but the town of just over 3,000 snowed themselves into the record books on March 14, 1973 with 52″ of snow.
8. Pleasant Camp, British Columbia
Those Pacific Coasters sure do get their fair share of snow, with 50″ fall exactly three weeks before Christmas in 1985.
(tie) 9,10,11. Hunters Station, Wyoming; Watertown, New York; and Mount Washington, New Hampshire
While each city saw a record 49″ fall, New York started things off on November 14-15, 1900, followed soon after by Wyoming on March 21, 1924, and then over 40 years later with New Hampshire taking up the rear on February 25, 1969.
(tie) 12,13. Cap Madeleine, Quebec and Montana
The state set the record for 24-hour snowfalls twice on the same day (February 25, 1979), with one taking place in Shonkin and the other in Millegan; both saw 48″ fall from the sky. Up north, however, La Belle Province beat both cities to the punch when the same amount fell on March 20, 1885.
14. Hood River Experiment Station, Oregon
The West Coast is usually known for relatively mild weather, even with the mountainous presence, but someone forgot to tell that to Hood River Experiment Station when 47″ fell on January 9, 1980.
15. Lakelse Lake, British Columbia
Just a wee bit east of the Pacific Ocean and about halfway between the north and south borders of British Columbia lies Lakelse Lake, the January 17, 1974 site of a record 46.5″ of snow in one day.
16. Terrace, British Columbia
Less than a half hour drive from our previous record holder, Terrace endured 44.6″ of snowfall on February 11, 1999.
17. Kitimat, British Columbia
Staying on the Canadian West Coast, this neighbor to the south of Terrace was closely nipping at its heels, falling just short of #16 by a mere 2/5″, despite holding the record for 25 years (February 18, 1972.)
18. Jay Peak, Vermont
Coming close to the end, this border town had an even 42″ fall less than 20 years ago, on February 5, 1995.
19. Stewart, British Columbia
Nestled in the Rocky Mountains at the head of the Portland Canal, this town of less than 500 lays claim to the 19th most snow that’s fallen in North America in a single day, with 41.6″ falling on January 16, 1976.
20. Main Brook, Newfoundland
Travel east across Canada for about 4,500 miles in just about a straight line, and you’ll find this tiny town of 300 that closes out the list with 41.3″ of snowfall on February 5, 1988.
Though it most likely won’t snow nearly this much on any single day this winter, make sure you’re prepared with a Toro or Ariens snow blower, and enjoy tax-free shopping (except in Minnesota) and free shipping to anywhere in the lower 48 states.