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 this page.

F-A-S-T F-A-C-T-S...

  1. The Stevens Point area averages 44.5 inches of snowfall per year. This is based on the 30 year average from 1971-2001.

  2. The highest 1-day total snowfall in Stevens Point was 13.0 inches. That was recorded on 6 March 1959.

  3. The lowest 1-day snowfall total in Stevens Point was 1.5 inches. This was recorded on 20 October 1992

  4. 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 form?

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.

FIG 1

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. Those are:

  • 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.

    October November December January
    February March April Seasonal

    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.


    Event Details

    Storm Tracks

    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.


    Snowfall Thresholds

    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.