Weather Blog

March no slouch for Seattle-area snow either

March no slouch for Seattle-area snow either
Snow falls in Silverdale, Wash. on March 15, 2009.

Monday, I tried to cheer up snow fans who have been frowning at Seattle's paltry 0.6" of snowfall this winter by stating that February has had its share of snowfall over the years.

I then went as far as to declare that I think snows are in the realm of possible until about March 8, then we "close up the snow shop" and start looking forward to next December.

But Jason Phelps, a local weather stat guru who helped compile the February data for me in my Monday blog, saw my declaration and said my March 8 date might be a bit premature...

He contends there have been quite a few snow events even in mid to late March around the Seattle area, although I'd counter it's been a looong time since we've had what I'd call a "significant" late season snow.

April 17th is the last measurable snow in Seattle (2" in 1972) -- ironically the same winter as the earliest snow on record of Oct. 26, 1971.

Here is Phelps' defense:

  • In 2008, Bonney Lake had 6" of snow come down on March 26 and had snow through April 1st. A smaller amount of snow was reported at SeaTac and it snowed again at SeaTac April 19-20.
  • On March 25, 1955 Sea-Tac Airport had 1.3" of snow.
  • On April 17, 1972 Sea-Tac Airport reported 2" of snow.
  • March 5-12, 1951: 4" of snow at Sea-Tac Airport.
  • March 16, 1894: 1" of snow at Seattle City Office, followed by 0.12" of snow on St. Patrick's Day.
  • March 12, 1895: 2" of snow at Seattle City Office.
  • In 1897, Seattle City Office had 1.5" on March 11 and 2" on March 13, followed by 3/4" on March 21 and several traces in between.
  • March 25, 1898, Seattle City Office had 3" of snow!
  • 1899-March 12-13: 1" of snow, March 21-22: 1" of snow.
  • April 7, 1900: 1/2" of snow.
  • April 8, 1902: 1/2" of snow.
  • March 11-12, 1903: 6" of snow (yes, an entire half foot of snow on the 11th-12th of March!).
  • 1904 was a pretty good example of later March snow: 4" of snow on March 14, 2" on March 23rd.
  • 1913: 3" of snow on March 19!
  • 1917: 1/2" on March 25 and March 29-31.
  • 1920: 2" of snow April 1-3.
  • 1924: 1.5" of snow on April 14!
  • 1935: 1/2" of snow on March 25.
  • 1936: 1" of snow on March 27, 1" of snow on April 1.
  • In 1945, the Buckley, WA station reported 8.9" of snow on the 8th of April. It is interesting to note that before the end of March Buckley, WA had not reported any snow at all that entire winter.
  • Seattle City Office had 3" of snow March 26-27, 1946!

Jason has also gone back and compiled how many times it has snowed at least a trace on any given day in March and April (and May! -- A trace of snow has been registered as late as May 2) in Seattle as far back as 1894.

In the interest of saving your mouse's scroll button, I've put the list of dates on this site for those interested.

We'll see if we get to add March 2013 to the list!