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Boston clinches snowiest season on record amid winter of superlatives

It’s official: Boston set a new high for snowiest season. Through March 15, the city had accumulated 108.6 inches of snow, surpassing the old record of 107.6 inches set in the winter of 1995-96. (Video: Jhaan Elker/The Washington Post)

It’s official: Boston has set a new record for snowiest season. Through Sunday evening, the city had accumulated a total of 108.6 inches of snow, surpassing the old record of 107.6 inches set in the winter of 1995-96. Boston’s weather records date to 1872.

Although it was a snowy road to first place, it wasn’t necessarily a long one. Nearly all of Boston’s 10 feet of snow has fallen since Jan. 26, when winter’s first blizzard whipped through New England.

The Blizzard of 2015 on Jan. 26-27 may be more well-known as the “winter storm that wasn’t” in New York City. But in southern New England, it was anything but an underachiever. The storm went down in the record books for eastern Massachusetts after as much as 36 inches of snow fell between Monday and Tuesday, making it the snowiest storm on record in Worcester, Mass., and the snowiest January storm for Boston.

Boston’s official reporting station, Logan International Airport, reported a total of 24.6 inches during the city’s first big winter storm. And that was on the low end of totals in the area — a station downtown reported 26 inches, and South Boston had 31 inches.

Just a week later, when all eyes were on Punxsutawney Phil for his seasonal prognostication, the next storm took aim at southeast New England, and brought 16.2 inches of snow to Boston on Groundhog Day. Winter was far from over, but Bostonians didn’t need a marmot to tell them that.

Week after week, Boston’s snow total increased by feet. Another winter storm delivered 22.2 inches on Feb. 8-9, followed by 16.2 inches on Feb. 14-15, and the season shot to second place with 95.7 inches. Happy Valentine’s Day, Boston.

Since then, New England has had somewhat of a reprieve from the big winter storms. A few inches here and there helped to push Boston’s total to the record, which finally toppled on Sunday.

But it wasn’t just the seasonal record that was broken this winter — Boston has broken (and sometimes obliterated) dozens of records since late January. The city’s five-, seven-, 10-, 20-, 30- and 40-day snowfall records were all broken within a couple of weeks. February became the snowiest month on record after more than 45 inches fell in just two weeks. By the 28th, the month’s total was 64.8 inches.

Fastest six-foot snowfall record? Broken — 18 days.

Fastest 90-inch snowfall record? Broken — 23 days.

To top it off, it has been brutally cold this winter across the entire Northeast. There would be no helpful melting in February, which was the coldest month on record in Boston at an average temperature of just 16.1 degrees.

Perhaps we can hear a collective sigh of relief from Bostonians now that the record for snowiest season has been broken. If you’ve come all this way, you’d better be No. 1. But it’s only mid-March, and at least two weeks of winter are left for the city. Who knows what new depths it can achieve.

Top 10 snowiest seasons

1. 2014-2015: 108.6 inches (as of March 15)
2. 1995-1996: 107.6 inches

3. 1993-1994: 96.3 inches
4. 1947-1948: 89.2 inches
5. 2004-2005: 86.6 inches
6. 1977-1978: 85.1 inches
7. 1992-1993: 83.9 inches
8. 2010-2011: 81.0 inches
9. 1915-1916: 79.2 inches
10. 1919-1920: 73.4 inches

More Boston snow blitz:

What does Boston’s record season mean for global warming?

For marathoners, road to Boston is covered in snow and ice

Astounding February snowfall a 1-in-26,315 year occurrence

Boston to D.C.: Stop whining