Second Greatest Daily Snowfall Amount in Madison Yesterday

A major snowstorm brought 13.3 inches of heavy wet snow to the Dane County Regional Airport in Madison on Thursday, December 20, 2012.  An additional 1.9 inches of snow fell on the evening of Wednesday, December 19th for a storm total of 15.2 inches.

The daily snowfall amount broke the record for the highest amount of snow that ever fell on December 20th (old record was 4.6 inches set in 2000).  When the snow was melted down, the liquid water amounted to 1.16 inches, which broke the old record of 0.80 inch set in 1882.  This daily snowfall amount ranks second for the highest snowfall amount recorded in one day (record period for the Madison area 1884-2012).  Interestingly, 4 of the top 5 greatest snowfall days fell in December.


Rank Snow Amount Date
1 17.3 Dec 3, 1990
2 13.3 Dec 20, 2012
3 13.2 Dec 15, 1987
4 12.9 Apr 9, 1973
5 12.7 Dec 10, 1970






The snowstorm fell over a period of two calendar days.  How did this storm rank amongst other 2-day snowstorms?


Rank Snow Amount Dates
1 17.3 Dec 2-3, 1990
2 16.1 Dec 10-11, 1970
3 15.4 Feb 22-23, 1994
4 15.2 Dec 19-20, 2012
5 14.5 Mar 18-19, 1971

Precipitation fell mainly in the form of rain in Milwaukee on December 20th.  It eventually changed over to snow late in the afternoon.  The precipitation total (including the liquid water content of the 2.8 inches of snow that fell) for the day was 2.16 inches.  This broke the record for the highest amount of rain that fell on December 20th.  The previous record was 1.48 inches set in 1977.




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