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Blue Hill
Observatory 
Sky Mail
 February 16, 2015
 
Epic Winter of 2014-2015 Sets
Monthly Snowfall Record
 
By Michael Iacono

The unprecedented and relentless snowfall across New England since the last week of January continues with another very significant storm on 14-15 February, 2015. As of 1 PM on Sunday, February 15th, the final snowfall total for this storm was 21.6 inches.  For a few hours before sunrise on the 15th, snow was falling at the rate of three or four inches per hour and about 12 inches fell in roughly three hours. A total liquid equivalent of 1.17 inches was measured, which gives a snow to water ratio of 18:1 due to the very cold air in place during this storm.

The snow depth on the summit of Great Blue Hill reached a high of 46 inches on the morning of Feb. 15th. This surpassed the previous record for the greatest average snow depth ever measured at the Observatory, which was 43 inches in March 1969. The liquid equivalent of water in all of the snow on the ground is now approximately 8 inches or more.

This latest big snowstorm will likely set a new daily snowfall record for Feb. 15th, with more than 16 inches of snow occurring on that day alone.  The current record for Feb. 15th is 11.2 inches in 1940. This storm was the 7th greatest snowfall ever observed in February. Three of the 13 greatest snowstorms ever observed at Blue Hill have occurred in the last three weeks.

Through 1 PM on February 15th, the monthly snowfall has reached 71.3 inches, which is a new monthly snowfall record for February and for any month. The combined January-February snowfall has reached 114.2 inches, which is a new record, surpassing the previous total of 77.9 inches in 1948. The snowfall for the entire season so far has climbed to 125.2 inches, which is now third on the top ten list of snowiest seasons. The snow depth on the ground has exceeded 20 inches for 13 consecutive days (through Feb 15th), which is the sixth longest duration on record. This season is sure to climb higher on this list, since the current record snow depth will not diminish quickly with cold air remaining in place for another week or more.

Below (and above) are several photos of the scene on the summit of Great Blue Hill on February 14th, 2015 before this latest storm:




Here are the current snowfall lists including the storm this week:

BHO Greatest Snowstorms, inches (1885-2015):

1) 38.7 on 24-28 Feb, 1969
2) 30.8 on 26-28 Jan, 2015
3) 30.3 on 3-5 Mar, 1960
4) 30.1 on 6-7 Feb, 1978
5) 30.0 on 31 Mar - 1 Apr, 1997
6) 29.8 on 6-8 Mar, 2013
7) 27.7 on 7-10 Feb, 2015
8) 26.6 on 8-9 Feb, 2013
9) 24.7 on 17-18 Feb, 2003
10) 24.3 on 5-7 Dec, 2003
11) 23.0 on 5-7 Mar, 2001
12) 22.2 on 16-17 Feb, 1958
13) 21.6 on 14-15 Feb, 2015
14) 21.0 on 9-10 Feb, 1969

BHO Greatest February Snowstorms, inches (1885-2015):

1) 38.7 on 24-28 Feb, 1969
2) 30.1 on 6-7 Feb, 1978
3) 27.7 on 7-10 Feb, 2015
4) 26.6 on 8-9 Feb, 2013
5) 24.7 on 17-18 Feb, 2003
6) 22.2 on 16-17 Feb, 1958
7) 21.6 on 14-15 Feb, 2015
8) 21.0 on 9-10 Feb, 1969

BHO Snowiest Months, inches (1885-2015):

1) 71.3 in Feb, 2015 (through 1 PM Feb 15)
2) 65.4 in Feb, 1969
3) 56.3 in Jan, 1848
4) 52.0 in Mar, 1956
5) 51.3 in Feb, 2003
6) 48.2 in Jan, 2011
7) 48.0 in Jan, 1904
8) 47.6 in Jan, 1996
9) 46.0 in Jan, 1966

BHO Snowiest Februarys, inches (1885-2015):

1) 71.3 in 2015 (through 1 PM Feb 15)
2) 65.4 in 1969
3) 51.3 in 2003
4) 45.2 in 1967
5) 40.4 in 1920
6) 39.7 in 2013
7) 37.0 in 1893

BHO Snowiest January-February, inches (1886-2015):

1) 114.2 in 2015 (through 1 PM Feb 15)
2) 77.9 in 1948
3) 70.2 in 2005
4) 68.7 in 1904
5) 67.5 in 1920
6) 66.9 in 1994

BHO Greatest Snow Depth, inches (1895-2015):

1) 46 in Feb, 2015
2) 43 in Mar, 1969
3) 42 in Jan, 1948
4) 41 in Feb, 1969
5) 39 in Feb, 1948
6) 38 in Feb, 1920
7) 33 in Feb, 1978
33 in Jan, 1996
9) 31 in Feb, 2003
31 in Feb, 2011
11) 30 in Mar, 1960
30 in Mar, 1978

BHO Snowiest Seasons, inches (1885-2015):

1) 144.4 in 1995-1996
2) 136.0 in 1947-1948
3) 125.2 in 2014-2015 (through 1 PM Feb 15)
4) 119.4 in 2004-2005
5) 113.1 in 2002-2003
6) 111.5 in 1915-1916
7) 109.6 in 1966-1967
8) 106.8 in 1955-1956
9) 103.4 in 1903-1904
10) 102.5 in 1922-1923

BHO Longest Duration of 20"+ Snow Depth, (1885-2015):

1) 53 days, 27 Dec, 1947 - 17 Feb, 1948
2) 34 days, 5 Feb - 9 Mar, 1920
34 days, 7 Feb - 12 Mar, 1978
4) 23 days, 25 Feb - 19 Mar, 1969
5) 21 days, 27 Jan - 16 Feb, 2011
6) 13 days, 3-15 Feb, 2015 (through 1 PM Feb 15)
7) 11 days, 15-25 Mar, 1916
11 days, 5-15 Jan, 1961
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