Winter 2018-2019 Statistics




I get a lot of requests and searches for weather information on this site. Weather pages are actually some of the most popular. So I created a new page specifically focusing on the current winter season. It will have up-to-date stats dealing with snowfall, temperature, etc. This new page is here: Winter 2018-2019

The Biggest Snowstorms of All Time





Near blizzard conditions in Columbus just before 1am on 1/20/2019.

In light of yesterday’s strange storm that challenged local forecasters, I thought it might be time to look at Columbus’ biggest snow events since records began in 1878.

Top 20 Largest 1-Day Snowfalls
1. 3/8/2008: 15.5″
2. 4/4/1987: 12.3″
3. 1/6/1910: 11.9″
4. 2/15/2010: 9.7″
5. 3/19/1906: 9.6″
6. 2/5/2010: 9.0″
7. 2/8/1971, 2/16/2003: 8.9″
8. 1/7/1996: 8.8″
9. 3/5/1962: 8.6″
10. 1/8/1884: 8.5″
11. 2/16/1910: 8.2″
12. 12/3/1957: 7.9″

Top 12 Largest 2-Day Snowfalls
1. 3/7-3/8/2008: 20.5″
2. 3/8-3/9/2008: 15.5″
3. 2/16-2/17/1910: 15.0″
4. 1/6-1/7/1910: 12.7″
5. 4/4-4/5/1987: 12.5″
6. 4/3-4/4/1987: 12.4″
7. 2/15-2/16/2003: 12.0″
8. 1/5-1/6/1910: 11.9″
9. 2/16-2/17/2003: 10.8″
10. 2/11-2/12/1910, 2/4-2/5/2014: 10.6″
11. 2/15-2/16/2010: 10.4″
12. 1/8-1/9/1884: 10.2″

Top 12 Largest 7-Day Snowfalls
1. 2/11-2/17/1910: 25.6″
2. 2/12-2/18/1910: 21.4″
3. 3/2-3/8/2008, 3/3-3/9/2008, 3/4-3/10/2008, 3/5-3/11/2008: 21.2″
4. 3/6-3/12/2008, 3/7-3/13/2008: 20.5″
5. 1/14-1/20/1978: 19.0″
6. 2/10-2/16/1910: 18.8″
7. 3/30-4/5/1987: 18.3″
8. 3/29-4/4/1987: 18.1
9. 1/15-1/21/1978, 1/16-1/22/1978: 17.8″
10. 2/13-2/19/2003, 2/14-2/20/2003: 17.5″
11. 2/10-2/16/2003: 17.0″
12. 4/1-4/7/1886, 4/2-4/8/1886: 16.9″

Top 12 Largest 15-Day Snowfalls
1. 2/8-2/22/1910, 2/9-2/23/1910: 28.8″
2. 2/3-2/17/1910: 28.5″
3. 2/4-2/18/1910, 2/5-2/19/1910, 2/6-2/20/1910, 2/7-2/21/1910: 28.4″
4. 2/10-2/24/1910, 2/11-2/25/1910: 26.3″
5. 2/2-2/16/2010: 25.8″
6. 1/7-1/21/1978, 1/8-1/22/1978: 25.7″
7. 1/6-1/20/1978, 2/3-2/17/2010, 2/4-2/18/2010, 2/5-2/19/2010: 25.5″
8. 1/12-1/26/1978: 25.2″
9. 2/1-2/15/2010: 25.1″
10. 3/10-3/24/1906, 3/11-3/25/1906, 1/13-1/27/1978: 24.8″
11. 1/14-1/28/1978, 2/10-2/24/2003: 24.5″
12. 3/6-3/20/1906, 3/7-3/21/1906: 23.8″

Top 12 Largest 30-Day Snowfalls
1. 1/20-2/18/1910, 1/21-2/19/1910: 37.9″
2. 1/19-2/17/1910: 37.6″
3. 1/22-2/20/1910: 35.3″
4. 1/2-1/31/1978, 1/3-2/1/1978, 1/4-2/2/1978, 1/5-2/3/1978: 34.0″
5. 1/8-2/6/1978: 33.8″
6. 1/1-1/30/1978, 1/7-2/5/1978: 33.6″
7. 12/30/1977-1/28/1978, 12/31/1977-1/29/1978: 33.4″
8. 12/29/1977-1/27/1978: 32.8″
9. 12/28/1977-1/26/1978: 32.5″
10. 1/6-2/4/1978: 32.0″
11. 2/8-3/8/2008: 31.8″
12. 1/24-2/22/1910, 1/25-2/23/1910, 1/26-2/24/1910, 1/27-2/25/1910, 1/28-2/26/1910, 1/29-2/27/1910, 1/30-2/28/1910, 1/26-2/24/2003: 30.7″

Certain years show up on all the lists, including 1906, 1910, 1978, 2003, 2008 and 2010. These winters all had periods of extreme snowfall and are considered “historic”.
Check out more All-Time records here: All-Time Weather




Columbus’ Christmas Day Climatology




*Find more December records in the December Weather page.

Normals 1981-2010
High: 38
Low: 25
Mean: 31.5
Precipitation: 0.10″
Snowfall: 0.2″

1878-2017 Averages
High: 36
Low: 24
Mean: 30
Precipitation: 0.11″
Snowfall: 0.1″

Top 10 Coldest Highs
1. 1983: 1
2. 1878: 10
3. 1924: 11
4. 1980: 15
5. 1902: 16
6. 1985: 17
7. 1884, 2000: 19
8. 1899, 1906, 1914:20
9. 1950, 1968: 22
10. 1935, 1969, 2001: 23

Top 10 Coldest Lows
1. 1983: -12
2. 1980: -5
3. 1935: -4
4. 1924: -3
5. 1878: -2
6. 2004: -1
7. 1985: 1
8. 2000: 2
9. 1884: 4
10. 1914, 1999: 7

Top 10 Warmest Highs
1. 1893: 64
2. 1982: 63
3. 1932, 1940: 62
4. 1889: 60
5. 1964: 58
6. 1895, 1955: 57
7. 1891: 55
8. 1936, 2015: 53
9. 1888, 1915, 1987: 52
10. 1965, 1973: 51

Top 10 Warmest Lows
1. 1889, 1982: 55
2. 1895: 52
3. 1893: 49
4. 1891: 45
5. 2015: 43
6. 1932, 1940: 40
7. 1888, 1964, 1973: 39
8. 1987: 38
9. 1922, 1941, 2009, 2016: 37
10. 1936, 1972: 36

Number of Days with the High Temperature
Less than 10: 1
10-19: 7
20-29: 25
30-39: 54
40-49: 36
50-59: 12
60 or Higher: 5

Number of Days with the Low Temperature
Less than 0: 6
0-9: 7
10-19: 36
20-29: 46
30-39: 37
40-49: 5
50 or Higher: 3

Top 10 Wettest
1. 2009: 0.79″
2. 1944: 0.77″
3. 1926: 0.69″
4. 1951: 0.58″
5. 2006: 0.57″
6. 1945: 0.54″
7. 1957: 0.52″
8. 1987, 2005: 0.51″
9. 1915: 0.48″
10. 1909: 0.47″

Number of Days with Precipitation
0.00″: 44
Trace: 27
0.01″-0.24″: 54
0.25″-0.49″: 6
0.50″-0.74″: 7
0.75″-0.99″: 2
1.00″ or More: 0

Top 10 Snowiest
1. 1890: 7.0″
2. 1909: 5.7″
3. 1950: 3.0″
4. 1917: 2.5″
5. 1969: 2.3″
6. 1884: 2.2″
7. 1976: 1.9″
8. 1880: 1.8″
9. 1935: 1.3″
10. 1944: 1.2″

Top 5 with the Most Snow on the Ground (Since 1947)
1. 1960: 9″
2. 1961, 1963, 1989, 1995: 4″
3. 1969, 1980, 2004: 3″
4. 1950, 2000: 2″
5. 1951, 1956, 1962, 1990, 1992, 1993, 2010, 2017: 1″

Number of Days with Snowfall
0.0″: 73
Trace: 23
0.1″-0.4″: 19
0.5″-0.9″: 9
1″-2.9″: 7
3″ or More: 3

For more general Columbus weather records, go here: Columbus All-Time Weather




Worst Winters of All Time?




Historically, winter in Central Ohio has been a mixed bag. Some years it seems that winter never really arrives, while others never seem to end. The 2010s have been a perfect example, with some years being some of the coldest and snowiest on record, while others were some of the warmest and least snowiest.
The last few winters haven’t been particularly harsh, but where do they rank historically? To find out, I came up with a ranking system for meteorological winter only- December 1st through February 28th. Here was the criteria:

Temperature: 1 point added for each occurrence-
– # of 32 or Below Highs
– # of 32 or Below Lows
– # of 0 or Below Highs
– # of 0 or Below Lows
And 1 point removed for each occurrence-
– # of 60 or Above Highs
– # of 50 or Above Lows

Precipitation: 1 point added for each occurrence-
– # of Days with Measurable Snowfall
– # of 1″+ Snow Days
– # of 2.5″+ Snow Days
– # of 5″+ Snow Days
– # of 10″+ Snow Days
– # of Measurable Precipitation Days overall

I then added the temperature and precipitation points together to come up with a ranking for how miserable each winter really was.

Here are the 30 worst winters of all time and their total points.

1. 1976-1977: 240
2. 1977-1978: 238
3. 1969-1970: 230
4. 2002-2003: 228
5. 1978-1979: 226
6. 1880-1881: 225
7. 1917-1918: 223
8. 1935-1936: 220
9. 2013-2014: 219
10. 1892-1893, 1962-1963: 218
11. 1909-1910: 217
12. 1995-1996, 2009-2010: 208
13. 2010-2011: 207
14. 1903-1904: 204
15. 1981-1982: 202
16. 1911-1912, 1963-1964: 197
17. 1886-1887, 1919-1920: 196
18. 1904-1905: 195
19. 1984-1985: 194
20. 1916-1917: 193
21. 1894-1895: 191
22. 1883-1884: 189
23. 2000-2001: 188
24. 1947-1948, 1961-1962: 187
25. 1993-1994: 186
26. 1884-1885, 1939-1940: 185
27. 1983-1984, 1987-1988: 183
28. 1902-1903, 2014-2015: 182
29. 1954-1955: 180
30. 1878-1879, 1882-1883, 1960-1961, 1985-1986, 2003-2004, 2008-2009: 179

Do any of these surprise you? Both 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 are in the top 30 worst, but only 2013-2014 is in the top 10. In fact, other recent winters like 2000-2001, 2002-2003, 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 are all ranked worse than that. There have been a surprising number of recent winters in the top 30, however. There have been 8 total since 2000. No other similar time frame has produced as many.

And here are the 30 best winters (if you like warm, snowless, dry winters, that is).

1. 1931-1932: 74
2. 1889-1890: 75
3. 1879-1880: 86
4. 1997-1998: 102
5. 2016-2017: 107
6. 1881-1882, 1943-1944: 111
7. 2001-2002: 112
8. 1996-1997: 115
9. 1948-1949, 1953-1954: 118
10. 1941-1942, 1982-1983: 120
11. 1918-1919: 122
12. 1936-1937: 123
13. 1932-1933, 1991-1992: 124
14. 1930-1931, 2015-2016: 125
15. 1905-1906, 1972-1973: 126
16. 1949-1950: 128
17. 1897-1898, 1986-1987: 129
18. 2011-2012: 130
19. 1938-1939: 131
20. 1937-1938: 134
21. 1908-1909, 1920-1921, 2005-2006: 135
22. 1924-1925: 137
23. 1896-1897: 138
24. 1927-1928, 1929-1930, 1940-1941, 1990-1991: 139
25. 1952-1953: 140
26. 1921-1922, 1945-1946, 1998-1999: 141
27. 1988-1989: 143
28. 1891-1892: 144
29. 1946-1947, 1971-1972: 145
30. 1912-1913, 1934-1935: 147

Look how many of the warmest/least snowy occurred between 1920 and 1945. Historically, this period had the fewest number of cold and/or snowy winters on record of any such 25-year period.

And what about winter 2018-2019? Well, that remains to be seen. However, the developing weak El Nino, combined with other Pacific and global indices suggests that it will be both cold and snowy. It’s already getting off to an early start with November 2018 potentially ending up as a top 10 or 15 coldest on record. We’ll have to see if this continues into December and beyond, but such early cold is often associated with harsher winters, though there are certainly exceptions to that.

To see lots of other winter statistics, check out the All-Time Weather page.

Winter 2017-2018




The winter of 2017-2018 featured some wild swings, from a very cold late December-early January to one of the warmest Februarys of all time. Let’s take a closer look at this volatile season, specifically December to February.

December 2017
Average High: 38.6 36th Coldest
Average Low: 23.7 33rd Coldest
Mean: 31.2 37th Coldest
Coldest High: 17 on 12/27/17
Coldest Low: 2 on 12/31/17
Warmest High: 60 on 12/4/17
Warmest Low: 47 on 12/22/17
32 or Below Highs: 10 11th Highest
32 or Below Lows: 27 5th Highest
Total Precipitation: 1.76″ 28th Driest
Total Snowfall: 8.1″ 23rd Snowiest
Average Snow Depth: 0.3″ 4th Lowest
Largest Daily Precipitation: 0.72″ on 12/23/17 31st Largest
Largest Daily Snowfall: 2.1″ on 12/30/17 32nd Largest
Highest Snow Depth: 3″ on 12/30-12/31/17 4th Lowest
Precipitation Days: 20 8th Highest
Snowfall Days: 15 8th Highest

December Records
Record High Minimum: 47 on 12/22/17. Tied for #1 Warmest Low for December 22nd. Tied with 2015.

January 2018
Average High: 35.4 39th Coldest
Average Low: 19.3 39th Coldest
Mean: 27.3 39th Coldest
Coldest High: 10 on 1/2/18
Coldest Low: -4 on 1/2/18
Warmest High: 60 on 1/11 and 1/22/18
Warmest Low: 52 on 1/11/18
32 or Below Highs: 14 11th Highest
32 or Below Lows: 26 6th Highest
Total Precipitation: 2.39″ 56th Driest
Total Snowfall: 10.5″ 38th Snowiest
Average Snow Depth: 1.4″ 15th Lowest
Largest Daily Precipitation: 0.66″ on 1/12/18 35th Lowest
Largest Daily Snowfall: 3.5″ on 1/12/18 29th Highest
Highest Snow Depth: 5″ on 1/16-1/17/18 6th Lowest
Precipitation Days: 26 4th Highest
Snowfall Days: 19 6th Highest

January Records
Record Low Maximum: 10 on 1/2/2018. Coldest High for January 2nd, beating the old record of 11, set in 1928.

February 2018
Average High: 47.3 7th Warmest
Average Low: 30.3 10th Warmest
Mean: 38.8 7th Warmest
Coldest High: 22 on 2/2/18
Coldest Low: 10 on 2/5/18
Warmest High: 77 on 2/20/18
Warmest Low: 60 on 2/20/18
32 or Below Highs: 5 6th Lowest
32 or Below Lows: 17 5th Lowest
Total Precipitation: 5.25″ 7th Highest
Total Snowfall: 6.0″ 43rd Highest
Largest Daily Precipitation: 1.23″ on 2/24/18 20th Highest
Largest Daily Snowfall: 4.4″ on 2/7/18. 17th Highest
Highest Snow Depth: 4″ on 2/7/18. 5th Lowest
Precipitation Days: 20 7th Highest
Snowfall Days: 10 13th Highest

February Records
Record Daily Snowfall: 4.4″ on 2/7/2018. Most snowfall for February 7th, beating the old record of 3.6″ set in 1895.
Record High Minimum: 55 on 2/15/2018. Warmest Low for February 15th, beating the old record of 53 set in 1954.
Record High Maximum: 77 on 2/20/2018. Warmest High for February 20th, beating the old record of 68 set in 1891 and 2016.
Record High Minimum: 60 on 2/20/2018. Warmest Low for February 20th, beating the old record of 49 set in 1930.

Winter (DJF only) 2017-2018
Average High: 40.4 28th Warmest
Average Low: 24.4 38th Warmest
Mean: 32.4 33rd Warmest
32 or Below Highs: 29 21st Highest
32 or Below Lows: 70 18th Lowest
Precipitation: 9.40″ 31st Wettest
Snowfall: 24.6″ 36th Snowiest
Average Snow Depth: 0.7″ 17th Highest (since 1948)

So overall, the winter was definitely warmer than normal, but not record-breaking, even with the extremely warm February. It was also wetter and snowier than normal as well.

Near white-out conditions on the evening of January 12th, 2018