WINTER STATISTICS PAGE
Welcome to the newly revised statistics page of our winter season section of
our web site. We have went through and gone over tons of stuff to possibly make
it to this page, but only a fraction of that made it here. On this page, we have
included various graphs and charts packed with information, mainly for
Wisconsin at the moment, but we are attempting to process information more
to the regional level. As soon as this data is processed, we will post it on
- The Stevens Point area averages 44.5 inches of snowfall per year. This
is based on the 30 year average from 1971-2001.
- The highest 1-day total snowfall in Stevens Point was 13.0 inches. That
was recorded on 6 March 1959.
- The lowest 1-day snowfall total in Stevens Point was 1.5 inches. This was
recorded on 20 October 1992
- The Stevens Point area averages 5 major winter storms per year. Based on
a 30 year average from 1981-2010.
Graphical Winter Storm Statistics
Click on thumbnail for larger view.
Total Winter Storms 1975-2011
Winter storm 30 year average
Winter Storm Events (by county)
Blizzards (By county)
Ice Storms (By county)
Where do most winter storms originate from, and how do they
These are good questions! Winter storms which affects all, or parts of our
coverage region have many different origins across the conus (that is,
continental United States). Of these, about 70 percent of the storms that does
affect our region have their origins from either the Gulf of Mexico, or as
Panhandle Hookers. About 20 percent of the storms which impacts our coverage
region have their origins from Alberta Canada, and are known as "Alberta Clippers".
The remaining 10 percent of those storms to affect our coverage region have their
origins over Colorado, known as "Colorado lows". But you maybe wondering why so
many storms originate from the Gulf or as Panhandle Hookers. The reason is
because those storms have better access to thermo contrasts in the atmosphere.
In other words, those storms have better access to temperature differences in the
atmosphere, then other systems. Figure 1 illustrates the origins of most winter
storms to affect our coverage region.
So then, just what makes a winter storm anyway? How do these monster storms
develop? Good questions! Winter storms need three (3) basic ingredients to form.
Cold Air . Below freezing temperatures near the ground and at cloud
level are needed to make snow and ice.
Moisture . This is necessary to produce clouds and precipitation.
Lifting . Something to raise the moist air to create clouds and
precipitation, such as fronts.
As was alluded to in the paragraph above, winter storms also require a sharp
thermo gradient, or "contrast" in order to mature and sustain themselves for
several days out. Usually, the greater this thermo gradient is, the stronger the
storm may become. In some notable cases in past years, such storms were able to
achieve "Superstorm" status, and caused widespread severe winter weather
related problems. Superstorms are however, quite rare in our coverage region.
The mentioned thermo gradient above also explains why the Hooker and Gulf storms
are stronger then the Clipper storms for instance. The Alberta clipper systems
form over western Canada, where deep rich moisture is limited, and thermo
gradients are weaker. Still, such clipper storms are capable to produce several
inches of mainly dry and fluffy snow. Figures 2 and 3 illustrate an Alberta
Clipper from a Panhandle Hooker storm.
FIG 2 Hooker
FIG 3 Clipper
Snowfall Totals (Regional)
The following table shows the snowfall totals for each month of the
winter season across our coverage region, including an annual total. These graphics
span the period from 1982-2009. These data includes all winter storms to move
across the region, and lake enhanced snowfall.
Memorable Winter Storms
Since accurate record keeping began in earnest on major winter storms in 1954,
there have been many winter storms which have been regarded as historic or
memorable in some way or another. The table below shows seven (7) noteworthy
storms which were considered memorable in various ways. These storms are not
necessarily the strongest systems to strike the region. The staff of our office
would like to thank the staff of the Duluth National Weather Service for
composing these graphics.
Local statistical data for Stevens Point (Graphical)
The following table shows some local snowfall data for Stevens Point. The first
graphic shows the snowfall threshold climatology for the Stevens Point area. This
provides snowfall variables for each month (ie - 0.1", 0.5", 1.0", 3.0" etc). The
second graphic shows the cumulative snowfall averages since 1980.
30 Year snowfall averages
WARNING... All chart graphics and other
information found on this page is © copyright material. In no way can
the graphics or charts be copied, duplicated, or transcribed in any fashion
without written permission from our office. Violators will be prosecuted!
Return to main winter center page.