It might be summer, but snow accumulation amounts in Pennsylvania are being adjusted. This comes several months after Erie received what they thought was the largest snowfall in state history.
The National Weather Service out of Cleveland looked into the extreme weather event further and discovered a large discrepancy. There were significant snow amount differences between the official totals at Erie International Airport compared to other snow spotters just a few miles away.
A State Climate Extremes Committee was formed and double-checked the snow accumulation measurement practices. They said Erie did not get anywhere near as much snow during the Christmas lake effect storm. Eighteen inches! Yes, 18″ of snow was shaved off from the record books. Other storm systems later in the 2017/2018 winter were also adjusted lower.
When all said and done the seasonal snowfall total was changed from 198.5″ to 166.3″. This mammoth 32″ change still easily beat out the local Erie record
for the most snow in a season. BUT the Pennsylvania state snowfall record is still secure.
"THE REVISED VALUES ARE NOT NEW 24-HOUR, MONTHLY, AND SEASONAL RECORDS FOR THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA. HERE ARE THE STANDING RECORD VALUES THAT REMAIN FOR THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA: STANDING 24-HOUR RECORD: 38.0 INCHES OF SNOW, SET ON MARCH 20, 1958 IN MORGANTOWN, PA STANDING MONTHLY RECORD: 117.8 INCHES OF SNOW, SET IN FEBRUARY 2010 IN LAUREL SUMMIT, PA STANDING SEASONAL RECORD: 218.3 INCHES OF SNOW, SET DURING THE 2009- 2010 WINTER SEASON IN LAUREL SUMMIT, PA"
The National Weather Service blames a traffic cone as a big part of the issue.
“The observer put a cone on top of the snowboard in order to keep it down from the strong winds and that was a violation of the rules,” said Service Hydrologist Sarah Jamison to the ABC affiliate in Erie. “When clearing off the snowboard, you’re supposed to put the snowboard on top of the snow pile. What happened was the observer just kind of brushed the snow off and created kind of a cave around the snowboard.”
You can read the full report from the SCEC review HERE