George Isobar looks at snowfall 2014.03.19

chart 81-82/13-14


George Isobar says he's getting tired of hearing the question, so here's his answer to get it over with: Yes, the snowfall this season is the deepest recorded since Tom Buehrer started keeping track in 1975.

"This season didn't top 1981-82 by much," he said, "but many people seem to hope that it did so now they can rejoice in knowing they didn't suffer through all of this snow for nothing."

The 81-82 season finished with 70.8 inches in Morenci and the current season stands at 71.7 inches. 

"I'm certainly not foolish enough to say that it ended with 71.7 inches," Isobar said. "Wednesday [today] may be the end of winter, but it won’t be the end of winter weather. It looks as though we might make it through March without much more snow, and the odds are against it for April, but it does happen."

The year with the biggest April snow was 1982 when 10.2 inches fell in Morenci. There was another year with 7.1 inches and another with 3.8. Toledo lists 1951 as the snowiest April ever when 12 inches fell.

And May?

“We’ve have had snow in May only once in my lifetime,” Isobar said.

This season's snowfall started off slowly.

"You might think that we got an early start, but that wasn't the case," he said. "There was only a trace in October, half an inch in November, and a decent amount in December with 12.1 inches."

January made all the difference with just under 30 inches.

"We don't get that much in an entire season many years," Isobar said. 

The snow that fell a week ago turned out to be one of the biggest of the season. 

"I had it listed as 7.4 inches, but who knows how accurate that was," Isobar said. "With that wind, it was a tough one to measure. It was also a tough one to shovel. That was the wettest, heaviest snow of the season."

In Detroit, the snowfall record to chase isn’t 1981-82 but 100 years earlier when more than 93 inches fell during the 1880-81 season. The current season is only about three inches shy of that.

Isobar would be surprised to see anymore below-zero days this season, but March has had two to add to the eight from February. Last month finished an astounding 10.6° colder than the average. According to the data from the National Weather Service office in Toledo, there were seven days last month with an average daily temperature that was more than 20° colder than expected for that time of year.

"I remember the article that you wrote last month about the cold spells of the past," Isobar said. "There have been many of them over the years. We haven't had so many in the past decade or so, so when it happened this year it seemed really extreme.”

"Worldwide, temperature averages are on the warm side, but that doesn't mean we aren't supposed to get cold weather. It is winter, after all," Isobar said.