This winter was long and brutal for many, but none of us got as much of the year’s coldest, darkest season as these locations in the Northeast and Midwest.
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula takes the prize, with two climate-tracking sites leading the top 10 list. At a total of 157 inches, Marquette, Mich., is actually running below average by about 11 inches. But Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., has seen 158.7 inches, which is a solid four feet above its average to date.
The month of November really helped to put Sault Ste. Marie ahead of pace, when a record-setting 65.4 inches of snow fell according to the National Weather Service. The previous record November snowfall was 46.8 inches in 1989.
King of the mountain. Lots of snow in Soo for grandson to play on..in..under pic.twitter.com/DANVHcnWrW
— Mark Kuehne (@MarkKuehne) November 21, 2014
In Boston, where weather records date back to 1872, this season has surpassed the old snowfall record — 107.6 inches set in the winter of 1995-96. What makes the record even more noteworthy is that nearly all of Boston’s snow fell between Jan. 26 and mid-February.
Here we look at the snowiest, non-mountain cities in the United States where snow is well-tracked by the National Weather Service.
Top 10 snowiest cities through March 21 (average to-date in parentheses):
1. Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. — 158.7 inches (110.1)
2. Marquette, Mich. — 157 inches (178.2)
3. Bangor, Maine — 131.5 inches (59.3)
4. Caribou, Maine — 129.4 inches (96.2)
5. Syracuse, N.Y. — 118.5 inches (116.3)
6. Worcester, Mass. — 116.8 inches (58.6)
7. Boston, Mass. — 110.3 inches (40.2)
8. Buffalo, N.Y. — 109.3 inches (88.8)
9. Erie, Pa. — 104 inches (94.4)
10. Gray, Maine — 103.7 inches (74.2)
Of course, it should be noted that for many of these locations, snow often continues well beyond March 21. In fact, in an average year, Marquette, Mich., sees at least some snow nine months out of 12, from September to May.
Though it didn’t make the top 10 list, Providence, R.I., deserves an honorable mention, having totaled 43 more inches of snow this year than average.
This winter hasn’t been all about the snow in the Northeast. With an average temperature of just 14.2 degrees, February was the coldest month out of any month on record for Worcester, Mass. Records for coldest month overall were set in Bangor, Maine, where the average temperature was 6.1 degrees; Marquette, Mich.; and Syracuse, Buffalo and Rochester, N.Y.
Noticing a pattern, here?
Need to warm up? Head to Alaska! All of Upper MI was colder than all of Alaska last night. pic.twitter.com/mENlkoBl0u
— NWS Marquette (@NWSMarquette) February 23, 2015
What’s most impressive about some of these records is by how much they surpassed the old — 3 degrees in Syracuse and 2.3 in Bangor, which is a landslide in terms of monthly records, which typically are broken by fractions of degrees.
Dulles International made the full list from the National Weather Service’s eastern region headquarters with 36.9 inches (15.8 above the average), as did Reagan National with 18.3 inches (3 inches above average).
And obviously there are some mountainous snow totals in the Mountain West, though we didn’t include these in the top 10 list since, well, apples and oranges. But here are a few of the higher, notable totals from the western United States:
Mount Rainier (Paradise), Wash.— 175.3 inches
Crater Lake, Ore. — 142.9 inches
Dixie, Idaho — 134.4 inches
Alta, Utah — 217.8 inches
Silver Lake Brighton, Utah — 149.6 inches
Soda Springs, Calif. — 125 inches
Deadwood Lodge, Idaho — 109.5 inches
Scofield-Skyline Mine, Utah — 103.5 inches
Holden Village, Wash. — 119.5 inches
Red Lodge, Mont. — 150.7 inches
Mystic Lake, Mont. — 136.2 inches
East Glacier, Mont. — 111.1 inches
A previous version of this story listed Gaylord, Mich., in the top 10 list, which we have since removed because it’s not an official climate site that is tracked by the National Weather Service.