InfoLink: Wisconsin snow

Wisconsin InfoLink: an almanac of Wisconsin facts and resources.

Jump to table: Annual Snowfall in Madison by Year

Record snows in Wisconsin

  • Record snowfall in 24-hour period-Wisconsin: 26 inches in Neillsville, Clark County, in December 27-28, 1904
  • Snowiest single day-Madison: 17.3 inches on December 3, 1990.
  • Record snowfall for one month-Wisconsin: 82 inches in November 1991, Brule (Douglas County)
  • Record snowfall for one month-Madison: 37 inches during February 1994.
  • Record seasonal snowfall-Wisconsin: Hurley with 277.7 inches of snow in the winter of 1996-97.
  • Record season snowfall-Madison: 101.4 inches during the winter of 2007-2008. (About 114 inches fell on Madison during the 1880-1881 winter, but that number is unofficial).
  • Record for longest lasting blizzard-Wisconsin: January 28-30, 1947 in southern Wisconsin, 18 to 27 inches of snow, 35-45 mph winds with gusts to 60 mph, 10 to 20 foot drifts.
  • Earliest recorded snowfall in Madison was a half-inch on Oct. 6, 1964. The earliest trace of snow in Madison was on Sept. 28, 1928.
  • Some notable snowstorms

  • March 2-4, 1881: Although this blizzard happened before official record-keeping began, it is thought to be the worst snowstorm ever to hit Madison. Over a three day period, 28 1/2 inches of snow fell in the city.
  • Feb. 4-5, 1924: Heavy snow and gusty winds in southern Wisconsin. Milwaukee receives 20.3 inches in 24 hours.
  • Nov. 11-12, 1940: Armistice Day blizzard. Heavy snow with winds of 50 to 80 mph causing 10 to 20 foot drifts. Thirteen deaths in Wisconsin.
  • Jan. 28-30, 1947: Longest lasting blizzard on record in southern Wisconsin, 18-27 inches of snow, 10 to 15 foot drifts.
  • April 8-9, 1973: South half of the state, 10 to 20 inches of heavy, wet snow with Madison receiving 12.9 inches. Many roads are closed for two days.
  • Nov. 9-10, 1975: Northern Wisconsin, 10 to 14 inches of snow, wind gust in excess of 50 mph, hurricane force winds over Lake Superior, Edmund Fitzgerald sinks.
  • Jan. 25-27, 1978: Southeastern Wisconsin, one to two feet of snow with drifts up to 15 feet.
  • Nov. 30 -Dec. 2, 1985: Widespread storm over most of state, 10 to 18 inches of snow.
  • Dec. 2-3, 1990: Southern half of the state receives 10 to 20 inches of snow, Madison has 17.3 inches (most recorded in a 24 hour period).
  • Dec. 14-15, 1987: Southern half of the state receives up to 17 inches of snow with Madison being hit with 13.2 inches.
  • Jan. 25-27, 1996: South central and southeastern Wisconsin, Madison records 8 inches in less than 2 hours with a total of 13.4 inches overall.
  • March 13-14, 1997: Northern two-thirds of the state receive 12 to 28 inches of snow.
  • Jan. 2, 1999: Southern and eastern Wisconsin receive up to 20 inches of snow along with wind gusts of 45 mph to 63 mph.
  • Annual snowfall in Madison, Wisconsin

    Source: Wisconsin State Climatology Office, Seasonal Snowfall Totals for Madison
    SeasonInches
    2011-201231.8 (unofficial)
    2010-201173 (unofficial)
    2009-201051.6
    2008-200972.0
    2007-2008101.4
    2006-200755.1
    2005-200647.9
    2004-200543.9
    2003-200431.6
    2002-200328.8
    2001-200231.8
    2000-200152.2
    1999-200034.1
    1998-199938.1
    1997-199853.9
    1996-199750.0
    1995-199660.5
    1994-199552.8
    1993-199473.7
    1992-199371.2
    1991-199242.5
    1990-199155.0
    1989-199034.8
    1988-198936.2
    1987-198862.2
    1986-198734.5
    1985-198672.4
    1984-198553.7
    1983-198442.2
    1982-198341.4
    1981-198250.0
    1980-198126.5
    1979-198031.0
    1978-197976.1
    1977-197856.7
    1976-197726.3
    1975-197630.8
    1974-197560.4
    1973-197442.9
    1972-197344.0
    1971-197250.3
    1970-197167.4
    Share on FacebookShare on Twitter
    Pin it on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare via email

    Follow us on Twitter: @WisWatch

    View our newsletter archives.

    Login

      Username:
      Password: