Snowfall Statistics for Champaign-Urbana

A question today prompted me to revisit the Champaign-Urbana snowfall statistics. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Last winter (2012-2013), we measured 24.6 inches. What was unusual about last winter was that most of our snow came in March (16.4 inches versus an average of 2.6 inches and the third snowiest March on record). 
  • The 1981-2010 average snowfall total is 23.2 inches.
  • The most snowfall in a season was 67.2 inches during the winter of 1977-78.
  • The least snowfall in a season was 6.7 inches, almost exactly 10 times less, during the winter of 1953-54.

Other Statistics

  • The average date of the first measurable snow (one-tenth of an inch or more) is November 23.
  • The average of the first inch of snow is December 2.
  • The greatest depth of snow on the ground was 19 inches on February 8-10, 1982.
  • The greatest 24-hour snowfall was 15 inches on January 1-2, 1999.
  • The longest stretch of constant snow on the ground was 62 days (January 1, 1979 to March 3, 1979).
  • Snowfall is measured to the nearest tenth of an inch. The snow depth (old and new snow) is measured to the nearest inch.
  • Snowfall records for Champaign-Urbana go back to 1903.

Plot of average snowfall by month

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Plot of seasonal snowfall since 1903

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About Jim Angel

I have been the state climatologist for Illinois since 1997 and have worked at the Illinois State Water Survey since 1984.
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