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Local Weather History: The Top 10 Biggest November Snowfalls Since 1850

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Here are the Top 10 Biggest Snowfalls Since 1850 For the Area!

1.  November 6-7, 1951:  9.3" West Lafayette

This was a historic snowstorm for the viewing area.  Totals reached a foot in some places, such not seen in the area from one November storm since 1932.  A considerable amount of wind also accompanied the storm causing extensive drifting.  Some trees still had some foliage.  Such a combo resulted in some limbs coming down.

Totals included:  12" Fowler....11.7" Wheatfield....10" Kentland....9" Delphi....8" Veedersburg....7.3" Rensselaer....6.8" Logansport...5.7" Rochester....5" Kokomo....4" Crawfordsville

2.  November 19-20, 1874:  9" Lafayette

Another classic "Inside Runner" track, 14" at Logansport, while 9" accumulated at Lafayette.  It still ranks as the second snowiest November on record at Logansport, just behind this historically cold & snowy November of 1880.

Latter November 1874 saw a very progressive, very stormy pattern.  Days after the big snowfall, a very strong storm system with it pressure down to 975 mb near Kankakee, Illinois (Category 2 hurricane equivalent) late November 22-early November 23. 

Temperatures surged from 20s & 30s to 50s suddenly.

This storm brought non-t’storm wind gusts to 60 mph early in the morning as it raced from Kankakee to Detroit to Toronto. The powerhouse storm brought rain & highs in the 50s to us (followed by 30s), but a severe weather outbreak from the Tennessee Valley to the Deep South to the Mid-Atlantic & Northeast with tornadoes & damaging winds.  Severe storms with vivid lightning, extensive lightning & several injuries & fatalities hit Baltimore, Maryland.  12 people were killed by a tornado at Tuscumbia, Alabama. Many limbs were knocked down & some trees uprooted by the strength of the wind on the low’s backside.

3.  November 15-16, 1932:  7.8" West Lafayette

This early snowstorm dumped up to 12" of accumulation.  This was the first single November storm to dump totals of 12" or greater since 1899.  It reportedly drifted badly to drifts as high as 3 FEET in Putnam & Montgomery counties alone as strong northeast

to north winds blew.  Drifts were even deeper in Newton & Jasper counties.

Totals included:  12" Wheatfield....11" Rochester....9.3" Crawfordsville....9" Winamac....8.5" Frankfort....8.5" Delphi....7" Kokomo....6.4" Renssealer....6" Thayer (Newton County)....4.9" Veedersburg....4.7" Fowler....4" Covington....

4.  November 24, 1857:  7" Lafayette

One of the worst November cold outbreaks on record occurred in the area after 4-8” of snowfall. Widespread readings of -15 to -5 occurred in the Midwest. An early record-keeper had a low of -17° on this date in Allen County, Indiana. At Indianapolis, the weather record entry read “weather uncommonly severe” on this date with 0° at sunrise & only 18° at 2 p.m. 7” of snow was on the ground on this date in Lafayette with snow reportedly on the ground for “5 days”. On the 19th through the 25th, 2 p.m. temperatures did not exceed the teens at Lafayette, or Indianapolis. It was also a very wet month overall with 7.24" of rainfall recorded at Indianapolis for November 1857. Lafayette was said to have had a "very wet, snowy, uncommonly cold month" with "fields totally unfit for work".

5.  November 26, 1882:  5.8" West Lafayette

5.8” of snow measured at West Lafayette. Melted to 0.63” if liquid. High was 36 with low of 27.

Totals included:  8" Logansport....8" Peru....6-8" totals extended from Fort Wayne, Indiana to Springfield, Illinois.  St. Louis saw 4".  Flurries occurred as far south as northern Mississippi.

6.  November 2-3, 1899:  5.7" West Lafayette

5.7" of snow fall measured at 7 a.m. onNovember 3 at West Lafayette after falling 6:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. Temperatures hovered around 33 or 34 during the snowfall, so it was slushy, sticky, wet & tended to melt as it fell quite a bit on the Purdue campus. Up to fell 13.5” fell elsewhere.  There was a sharp cut-off between the heavy, wet snow & mainly rainfall in the far south & southeast.

Totals included:  13.5" Winamac....13" Delphi....12" Monticello....10" Logansport....2" Peru....Trace Veedersburg

7. November 30, 1974: 5.1" West Lafayette

November came to an end with a winter storm arriving to the viewing area. By the time the snow came to an end, 8.8” of snow had accumulated at Kokomo, 8.6” at Crawfordsville, 8” Logansport, 7.5” Kentland, 7.3” at Delphi, 6” Peru, 5.5” at Romney, 5.1” West Lafayette & 5” at Whitestown.

8.  November 5-6, 1886:  5" West Lafayette

This storm system dumped 5" at Logansport....4" Crawfordsville & Veedersburg...2" Marion, Indiana.  Up to 7" was measured in east-central Illinois per scanty observations.

This began another one of those rough, brutal 1880s winters with the all-time record low of -33 set at West Lafayette in January 1887 & then this monster storm in December unusually far to the south.  We missed this early blizzard, but still had the cold.

9. November 27, 1980: 5" West Lafayette

Up to 9" of snow was measured in the area from this sort of "Inside Runner" storm that began in the Gulf of Mexico & moved due north.

Snowfall totals included:  9" Covington....7.7" Kentland....7.6" Monticello....7" Winmac....7" Rochester....5"Delphi....4.5" Kokomo....4.5" Wheatfield....4" Frankfort....3.5" Logansport

10.  November 27, 1931:  4" West Lafayette

This system was a bit different in that it was an upper low.  It was still a favorable track for significant snowfall for part of area.  There was a very weak surface reflection as seen on the surface map below.

Snowfall totals from this event included 8" Veedersburg....6.1" Frankfort....6" Kokomo....3" Delphi....2.6" Rensselaer....2" Logansport....1.5" Wheatfield....1.5" Thayer (Newton County)....1" Crawfordsville....1" Winamac....Trace Rochester

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