National Snow & Ice - April 2008


NCDC transitioned to the nClimDiv dataset on Thursday, March 13, 2014. This was coincident with the release of the February 2014 monthly monitoring report. For details on this transition, please visit our public FTP site and our U.S. Climate Divisional Database site.

April brought warm temperatures that melted a significant portion of the North American snow cover by the end of the month. A large storm system brought snow throughout much of the northern Midwest on April 1, bringing 8-10 inches (20-25 cm) of snow to the central Upper Peninsula (UP) of Michigan and 18-24 inches in Marquette County, MI. Several days later, a small but strong wave of low pressure produced a narrow band of heavy snow from eastern North Dakota across the Iron Range of northern Minnesota. The maximum snow from this event was reported in Virginia, MN, which received 32 inches (81 cm) from this single event, the largest ever April multi-day snowfall in the Iron Range. In Canada, Quebec City received 5.5 meters (18 feet) of snow this winter. However, by the end of the month, snow remained only at the highest elevations in the Rockies and a few areas in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Maine, and West Virginia.

Several cities and ski resorts across the country set new seasonal snowfall records during April. Madison, Wisconsin set a new seasonal record snow total of 101.4 inches (257.6 cm) on April 8, breaking the previous record of 76.1 inches (193.3 cm) from the 1978-79 season. Numerous ski resorts in the West reported record breaking snowfall this year, as did parts of northern Maine. Caribou, Maine received 197.8 inches (502 cm) of snowfall this winter, shattering the previous record of 181.1 inches (460 cm).

Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado received 418 inches (1061 cm) during the 2007-08 winter, breaking the previous record of 415 inches (1054 cm) from 1979-1980. Even Spokane, Washington was the second-snowiest on record with 89.5 inches (227 cm), four inches (10 cm) short of the previous record from 1949-1950. The map to the right depicts the snowpack levels in many Rocky Mountain basins on May 1, 2008, illustrating a residual near to above average snow cover over much of the Rockies and Cascades in the western U.S. Thirty-two Snowtel locations reported record snow water equivalent records by the end of April. Above-average snowfall this season brought relief to many areas of the Western U.S. that have been plagued by drought in recent years.

More information on April severe winter weather can also be found on NCDC's Hazards page.

Citing This Report

NOAA National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate: National Snow & Ice for April 2008, published online May 2008, retrieved on October 1, 2014 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/snow/2008/4.