Friday, March 7, 2008

Kitchener Waterloo all time record snowfall

Kitchener Waterloo all time record snowfall

What is the record snowfall in KW?

You would think that this would be an easy question, unfortunately there are three official Envrionment Canada measurement stations within in KW and they all give different results.

Here are the stations, along with when their years of operation, the season of maximum snowfall, and the amount of the maximum snowfall:

Waterloo-Wellington Airport
221.6 cm

Waterloo WPCP
275.8 cm

245.3 cm

So on the surface it would seem that 275.8 cm is the record.  However, I was a bit suspicious of the two Waterloo stations being so different and I did a bit of digging into the numbers.

If there had consistently been more snow at the WPCP station I could have lived with it.  But the total winter snowfall from both of these stations is very close for 25 years except for that particular winter season.  See the comparison here.

I then looked at the 83-84 season in detail and again the daily snowfall amounts at the two stations match very well throughout the entire winter except for the last two weeks of December when the WPCP station reports 87.6 cm compared to the Waterloo-Wellington airport that had 41.2 cm.

Here are the other nearby stations during December of 1983 showing the amount of snow in the final two weeks of December and in brackets the amount for all of December:

Waterloo-Wellington Airport - 41.2 (74.4)
Waterloo WPCP - 87.6 (122.9)

CAMBRIDGE GALT MOE - 71.0 (91.0)
Elmira - 46.0 (113.0)
Elora Research Station - 26.6 (52.8)
Preston - 36.6 (67.6)
PRESTON WPCP - 24.2 (51.8)
Roseville - 42.0 (77.0)

Based on all of this, we are officially rejecting the 275.8 cm reading from the Waterloo WPCP station and calling the record snowfall for Kitchener-Waterloo as the winter of 1923-1924 when we had 245.3 cm.