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107°; 50 inches of snow: Here's New England's All-Time Weather Records

Here's the definitive catalog of New England's weather extremes:


HOTTEST TEMPERATURE: 107° (1912, 1975)


This occurred two separate times in three communities in New England. The first was in Vernon, Vermont on July 7, 1912. The first week of July 1912 saw a well-documented extreme heat wave torch the northeastern and midwestern United States. One of the New York Tribune's top stories on July 10th was the heat wave, they wrote:


"Nine dead, thirty-six prostrated and two were driven insane by the torrid of heat yesterday...The seventh day of excessive heat in New England, was the hottest of the summer...Two deaths and about thirty prostrations were recorded at Boston hospitals."

The second instance of 107° heat in New England occurred on August 2, 1975, which is now known simply as "Hot Saturday". This recording occurred in both Chester and New Bedford, Massachusetts. This day also gave Rhode Island's hottest recorded temperature, which was 104° in Providence.


Other cities that 100° that day include Portland, ME; Bangor, ME; Concord, NH and Portsmouth, NH. Nantucket saw its only 100+° reading on record. Mount Washington's summit also saw its highest recorded temperature ever on this day when it hit 72°. There is one other day on record with a 72° reading (June 26, 2003) however the exact recorded temperature in 2003 was 72.1° versus an exact reading of 72.2° on August 2, 1975.



COLDEST TEMPERATURE: -50° (1885, 1933, 2009)


This air temperature (not including wind chill) was recorded on three separate dates across three separate states. The first occurred on January 22, 1885 at the summit of Mount Washington. The Mount Washington Observatory officially has -47° listed as the coldest temperature at the summit (occurring in January 1934 and February 2023). This is because the modern observatory only dates back to 1932, so their official records date back to 1932.


Mt. Washington in December 2022

From 1870 to 1892, the US Signal Service maintained a weather station on the summit. This is the station that recorded the -50° temperature in 1885. This temperature is accepted by the NOAA's State Climate Extremes Committee, citing archives of the National Climatic Data Center.


The two other -50° readings occurred in Bloomfield, Vermont on December 30, 1933 and at a remote weather station along the Big Black River in northern Maine, on the border with Canada, on January 16, 2009. The coldest temperature recorded in Massachusetts is -35°, which occurred three times, most recently on January 12, 1981 in Chester. This gives Chester the distinction of having both Massachusetts' coldest and hottest temperatures ever.



MOST RAIN IN 24 HOURS: 18.15" (1955)


This occurred during the Great Flood of 1955, which was caused by Tropical Storms Connie and Diane moving through the region back to back. This 18.15" total fell during Diane, which was the second of the two systems to hit. The town of Westfield was split into three completely isolated sections.



Over 20 inches of rain fell between the two storms combined, leading to one of New England's worst disasters. Connecticut would experience its highest 24 hour rain total during this flood as well, seeing 12.77" fall in Burlington.



MOST RAIN FROM ONE STORM: 19.75" (1955)


While Tropical Storm Diane would drop a total of 18.15" of rain in a 24 hour time frame, the entire storm system (which lasted longer than 24 hours) would drop a total of nearly 20 inches on the town of Westfield. There were totals in Connecticut that topped 20 inches for the entire great flood, but remember the entire flood was caused by two separate storms.



MOST SNOW IN 24 HOURS: 49.3" (1969); Record for a town/city: 48" (2020)


This fell at the summit of Mount Washington on February 25, 1969. This occurred at the beginning of what's known as "The 100 Hour Storm", which was likely New England's longest duration snowstorm on record.


The most snow in 24 hours in a populated place in New England is 48", which occurred from December 16-17, 2020 in Danbury, New Hampshire. A 24 hour snow total of 44.8" was reported during this storm in Peru, Vermont, which would have beaten Vermont's highest 24 hour total of 42", which occurred in 1995. This total was rejected by the State Climate Extremes Committee due to concerns about how the snow was measured.


This could call into question the 48" total in Danbury as the two towns laid within the same band where the heaviest of snow fell. Despite this, the National Weather Service has confirmed the 48" total in Danbury, so this will remain the highest 24 hour total in a town or city.



MOST SNOW FROM ONE STORM: 98" (1969); Record for a town/city: 50" (1888)


Like the rainfall record, the record for 24 hour and one-storm snow totals came from the same system. Nearly 100" of snow fell at the top of Mount Washington from this system, which was a strong nor'easter that stalled out. Pinkham Notch, a mountain pass below Mount Washington, recorded 77" of snow.


The Great White Hurricane of 1888 stands atop the list of New England snowstorms for the most recorded in a populated place. While snowfall records dating back to 1800s are far from reliable, it's widely accepted that upwards of 40-50" fell across portions of western New York, southern Vermont and central Connecticut. While the range of snow to have fallen can be found listed in the 40-60" range, we believe around 50" is the most likely total in New England. This most likely fell in southern Vermont, with another band in southern Connecticut.



Four other storms have dropped at least 40" on a populated place in New England. Those storms are as follows: the Nor'easter of 2020 (48", discussed above), the Nor'easter of 2023 (42"), the Blizzard of 2013 (40") and the Blizzard of 1978 (40").


DEEPEST SNOWPACK: 164" (1969)


With the 100 Hour Storm dropping 77" on New Hampshire's Pinkham Notch, it's no surprise that it led to the deepest snowpack ever in New England at 164". The deepest snowpack in New England's five other states are as follows: Vermont 149" (1969 on Mount Mansfield), Maine 84" (1969 in Farmington), Massachusetts 62" (1996 in Great Barrington), Connecticut 55" (1961 in Norfolk), Rhode Island 42" (1978 in Foster).


Snowpack in Berlin, NH in 1969. Photo by Conway Daily Sun





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