Wisconsin Winter 2007-2008 Snowfall Records

The winter of 2007-2008 was nothing short of an incredible one for Wisconsin, especially over southern and eastern sections - one for the ages!  Several major winter storms impacted this region, a couple which producied totals of 18 to 24 inch totals.  Nineteen winter storms or lake-effect events produced 6 or more inches of snow across at least a portion of the state this past winter, 9 of which produced more than a foot of snow and 3 of those produced at least 18 inches! 

The first storm to produce more than 18 inches occurred on December 22-23, 2007.  A large portion of central and northern Wisconsin received 10 to 20 inches with a location just southeast of Wisconsin Rapids having 18.2 inches.  Another 18 incher occurred on March 21, 2008, with the heaviest swath of snow from near La Crosse to Milwaukee.  The greatest total in the March 21st storm was 18.5 inches in West Allis.  The most significant storm of the season occurred on February 5-6, 2008.  Much of southern Wisconsin had 12 to 18 inches of snow with localized totals of 20 to 21 inches.  In this winter storm/bliizzard, the highest snow total of 21 inches occurred in Orfordville and 9 miles west-northwest of Beloit in Rock County.  This snowstorm paralyzed much of the area and many roads were closed for a prolonged period of time because they were impassible; including a stretch of I-90/39 between Madison and Janesville.    

Because Wisconsin was in the path of so many winter storms, it comes as no surprise several cooperative observer stations ended the snow season breaking the seasonal record.  Seasonal snowfall records differ from annual rainfall records.  Annual rainfall records are kept from January 1st  to December 31st.  However, seasonal snowfall records are kept from July 1st to June 30th.  Below is a table that lists each coop station that broke its record and how the previous record compared.  This table consists of only a small sampling - many more locations in southern and eastern Wisconsin broke their old seasonal snowfall records.  The snowfall records are in inches.


Winter 2007-2008 Snowfall Records


County New Snowfall Record Previous Snowfall Record Season Period of Record
West Allis Milwaukee 122.1 82.5 1951-52 1948-2008 (no data 1987-99)
Germantown Washington 121.6 80.2 1978-79 1944-2008
Union Grove Racine 108.3 87.5 1978-79 1941-2008
Beaver Dam Dodge 103.8 76.3 1958-59 1954-2008
Racine Racine 101.9 86.1 1959-60 1896-2008
Madison (Truax Arpt.) Dane 101.4 76.1 1978-79 1871-2008
Wisconsin Dells Sauk 96.5 77.9 1950-51 1922-2008
Portage Columbia 88.8 78.4 1950-51 1895-2008
Dalton Green Lake 88.0 75.9 1996-97 1944-2008
Afton Rock 87.9 54.7 1996-97 1987-2008
Lake Mills Jefferson 87.7 73.2 1950-51 1893-2008
Kenosha Kenosha 87.7 76.4 1977-78 1944-2008
Fort Atkinson Jefferson 86.9 70.0 1970-71 1941-2008
Waukesha Waukesha 84.4 78.6 1951-52 1893-2008
Monroe Green 82.8 70.1 1978-79 1948-2008
Whitewater Rock 81.9 63.7 1978-79 1942-2008
Montello Marquette 77.4 76.0 1958-59 1954-2008
Dodgeville Iowa 73.5 72.3 1958-59

1896-2008 (No Data 1918-39)

Beloit Rock 66.8 60.1 1935-36 1893-2008
Burlington Racine 66.6 63.9 1978-79 1948-2008

Below is the final 2007-2008 seasonal snowfall map of Wisconsin.  A thanks is extended to the National Weather Service offices of Green Bay, La Crosse, Duluth, and Minneapolis for providing additional information from their county warning area of responsibility.  And a BIG THANKS to all coop observers for hanging in there and taking so many snow measurements from November, 2007 through April, 2008 - we know it wasn't easy.  Words of caution - you may have measured snow at your location this past winter, and may have had more than what is shown in the snowfall map below.   We're not implying that you don't know how to measure snow - we have to use only official sites in the development of the statewide snowmap.  In case you were wondering how snow measurements are done - snowfall amounts can be measured hourly or at any interval as long as the snow measurement board is NOT cleared more frequently than once every 6 hours.   Additioanal information about snow measuring guidelines and the coop program can be found at these links...   http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/coop/training.htm               http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/coop/snowguid.htm.

2007-08 Wisconsin Seasonal Snowfall

It is recognized that some people have difficulty distinguishing between the different shades of blue and purple in the above snow map.  Therefore, an alternative, hand-analyzed 2007-08 snowmap was generated only for southern Wisconsin.  This hand-drawn snow map, shown below, will not match the automated plot shown above.  Some smoothing and estimation was used in arriving at the hand-drawn snow map.  There are many different methods one can use to generate a snow map - therefore each will have its own unique appearance.

Southern WI snow map


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