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Snowiest winter on record?

In the Sauk Valley, not even close

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014 4:10 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014 4:13 p.m. CDT
(Michael Krabbenhoeft/
It has been a snowy winter so far, with 37 inches falling in the Sterling-Rock Falls area before Tuesday. It also has been a windy winter, causing a lot of blowing and drifting on rural roads.

STERLING – Think this area has had an unusually large amount of snow this year? You're right.

Think it's near-record-breaking? Not even close.

According to the National Weather Service, the Sterling-Rock Falls area has seen, as of midday today, 37 inches of snow this season.

While the meteorologists at the National Weather Service don't keep historical records of snowfall in the Sauk Valley, in Moline, where there's been 36.4 inches so far, they do.

And those records say that so far the snowfall in Moline is 15.8 inches above normal.

But for as much snow as we've had, it doesn't even come close to the 1975-76 snow season, which holds the record with 69.7 inches of the white stuff.

To even make it on the list of top 10 snowiest winters, this area would need to see more than 47.9 inches, a record set during the 1962-63 snow season.

But with the rest of February and all of spring left to cement our place, and 3 to 4 inches already forecast to fall until noon Wednesday, we've got a pretty good shot.

So far, we're not too far behind Anchorage, Alaska, which has had 43.5 inches – 7.2 inches below normal.

By the numbers

Snowiest years on record

1. 1975-1976, 69.7 inches

2. 1979-1980, 64.0 inches

3. 1960-1961, 61.5 inches

4. 1997-1998, 59.1 inches

5. 1972-1973, 54.1 inches

6. 2008-2009, 51.5 inches

7. 1912-1913, 51.4 inches

8. 1970-1971, 51.2 inches

9. 1926-1927, 49.3 inches

10. 1962-1963, 47.9 inches

Note: These are the snowfall totals in Moline; the National Weather Service doesn't keep historical records for the Sauk Valley.

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