Snowiest February and Snowiest Winter in 34 years

Conway — February 28, 2008 — With the latest snowstorm on Tuesday night, North Conway set new records for the snowiest February and the snowiest winter in 34 years. “I’d rate it a 50-center, the top rating, as we broke two records today with this storm,” cooperative weather observer Ed Bergeron said on Wednesday morning’s “Morning Weather Show” on local radio station WMWV 93.5-FM after another 11.3 inches of snow fell overnight.

Bergeron, who took over the weather recording duties from longtime National Weather Service cooperative observer Briggs Bunker last year, said the latest storm broke Briggs’ 34-year record of greatest February snowfall. The new total stands at 53.5 inches for February as of 7 a.m. Feb. 27.

“The second biggest February in 34 years that we have records for was 1993 when we had 41.3 inches and 2001 when we had 29.9, so we have smashed that 34-year record,” said Bergeron. “We have had a total of 121 inches of snow so far this season, which also breaks the 34-year record of 114.7 set in 1996. The third was 114.6 set in 1978.”

But it’s still not the snowiest winter ever.

“I have unofficial records from the late Lew Bissell of Jackson which note that the maximum snowfall for this area for the season was 163.5 inches in the big snow year that everyone remembers of 1968-69, when 17 inches fell that March,” said Bergeron.

The weather outlook was for another few inches of snow Wednesday, followed by cold weather and a slight chance of snow for Thursday. There was a slight chance of snow predicted for Friday, and snow is likely Friday night, which is the last day of February, this being a leap year — giving the region one more day to add to the monthly and seasonal record.

It all made for great news for skiers and riders at all local areas, including at Wildcat Mountain, which had its Two-Fer traditional two-for-one day on Wednesday. Wildcat last year received 6 feet of snow in April — so there’s no telling how much the area will receive this winter.

Cranmore Mountain Meisters resumed its weekly schedule Wednesday after the one-week February Vacation Week layoff. It marked the sixth time in seven weeks of racing so far this season that racers had to combat the weather. The excessive snow has put a strain on residential and commercial building roofs throughout the valley. Steve Solomon, fire chief for the Conway Village Fire District, urges all property owners to have their roofs cleared of heavy snow, especially those with flat roofs.

Will March roar in like a lion? There’s a 50 percent chance of snow for the first day of the new month Saturday. Bergeron says the 34-year average for snow in March is 17.7 inches, and that the 34-year maximum was 44.4 inches, recorded by Bunker in 2001. The 34-year average for April is 3.3 inches, with the maximum of 29.3 inches recorded just last year, Bergeron said.

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