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January 4, 2017: A day for the record books

The Treasure Valley got hammered by an impressive winter storm on Wednesday, January 4 that caused numerous school districts across southwest Idaho to close for the day, and left hundreds of people stuck or unable to drive (Courtesy Photo)

It's no secret that we've had more snow than usual in Boise and the Treasure Valley in the last month or so. Storms have lined up and taken aim at Idaho, one after the other - evidence of a La Niña pattern that was forecast to bring more snow to the Gem state and the Pacific Northwest.

We've used the term 'historic' several times already this month when talking about this week's snow, and last month's too. Here's a breakdown of the records shattered by yesterday's monster storm, and the other statistics that prove this winter is unlike many we've had in Boise's history (at least as far back as records show).

January 2017

New year, same weather! That's what Mother Nature seems to be saying when it comes to our winter.

January 4: What a day! 6.5" of snow fell in Boise. That is the 15th highest daily snowfall total in the city's history, according to the National Weather Service. (Records go back to 1892 for snowfall). That means it has only snowed more in a single day 1 4 times in Boise since records began. According to NWS, 15.5" of snow fell on February 2, 1916, setting the all-time record.

That number (6.5"on January 4) also beats out the old daily record of 3.2" of snow on that date, and by itself, tops Boise's average amount of snow for the month of January (which is 5.1").

Before Wednesday, we picked up 1.2" on Tuesday, 0.9" on Monday, and 0.3" on the first day of the new year. Do the math, and that makes for 8.9" of snow in the first four days of January. (Again, topping our average of 5.1").

December 2016

Through the month of December, (starting December 6), Boise saw 14" of snow, which is double the average amount of 7".

During that time, we saw the most snow on the ground at Christmas since 1983, and the most snow on the ground ever since back in 1996. Since then though, the snow (and number of records broken) have just kept piling up.

The most snow on the ground in Boise...ever (well, almost)

After yesterday's snowfall, there was 15" of snow on the ground in Boise, which is the most snow ever recorded since 1940 (records for measured snow depth began that year). *There is a difference between snowfall and measured snow depth. The records for measured snow depth only go back to 1940, so wouldn't include the 15.5" that fell on a single day back in 1916.

To put it simply: there's a lot of snow out there: more than we've had on the ground in several decades. So be careful, stay safe, and have fun. Oh, and enjoy these statistics!

2016-2017 summary

When looking at snowfall to date (from the start of the season to now), we stand in 5th place as far as records go. Boise is just 0.1" away from moving up into 4th place this winter. The most snow that has fallen by this point in the season in history is 35.1". That happened back in the winter of 1985-1986. You go, Boise. Next up, we get a shot of frigid arctic air, followed by warming temperatures and the threat of flooding as rain falls on top of melting snow. Stay tuned.

On the bright side...we're only 74 days away from spring!


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