Weather Facts and Records: Snow and Ice

With frigid temperatures and the need to bundle up, snow and ice can create weather conditions that pose a threat to our fingers and toes. Some locations in the world must battle intense snowfall, while others are fleeing from hailstorms with abnormally sized pieces of hail. In this article, you will learn where the largest recorded snowflake has landed and interesting facts regarding hailstones.

Largest Snowflake

The biggest snowflake on record fell to the ground in Fort Keogh, Montana in January of 1887. It was mentioned in the Guinness Book of World Records as measuring 15 inches in diameter, which is about the same size as a frying pan.

Big Piece of Ice

The biggest piece of ice recorded on earth was an ice block that measured 6 meters (20 ft) across, which fell in Scotland on August 13, 1849.

The Largest Recorded Hailstones

The size of hailstones are affected by updrafts that repeatedly force hail back into the clouds, where they increase in size due to increasing layers of ice. When the hailstone finally leaves the sky, it is layered and can become as big as an onion. One of the largest hailstones ever found was on a house in Aurora, Nebraska in 2003. It measured 7 inches wide. In Bangladesh, a hailstone weighing 2.25 pounds fell on April 14, 1986 during a hailstorm that took an estimated 92 lives.

Hail-Prone Cities in the U.S.

States like Oklahoma and Colorado experience the most frequency and severity in hailstorms. The cities that pose the most concern are Tulsa, Oklahoma; Amarillo, Texas; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Wichita, Kansas; Dallas / Fort Worth, Texas; Arlington, Texas; Denver, Colorado; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Shreveport, Louisiana; and Kansas City, Missouri / Kansas.

Hailstone Probabilities

The chance that an individual is killed by hail in a year is 1 in 662,700,000. The odds of being killed in a dust storm are actually 1 in 497,000,000.

Permanent Snow

Tanzania is home to Mt Kilimanjaro, which is acknowledged as the only permanent snowcap within sight of the equator.

Most One-Day Snowfall Title

In 1921, 75.8 inches of snow were recorded to have fallen in Silver Lake, Colorado between April 14 and 15 , giving it the title of the most snow falling in a one-day span of time.

Deepest Snow Accumulation

A total of 451 inches of snow were found on the ground at Tamarack, California on March 11, 1911, which was deemed a record for the deepest snow depth. The snow accumulated over time and did not come from a single storm.

Snowiest Winter

The snowiest winter was recorded at Rainier Ranger Station, Washington , taking place between 1971 and 1972. 1122 inches of snow was recorded to have fallen.

Snowiest Snowstorm

At Mt Shasta Ski Bowl, California, 4.8 meters (or 15.75 feet) of snow fell in a single snowstorm between February 13 and 19, 1959 , making it the snowiest snowstorm in the United States.