The 5 Biggest Snowfalls in Chippewa Valley History

Tom Giffey

Rod & Gun Park, November 2014, photo by Tina Ecker.
Rod & Gun Park, November 2014, photo by Tina Ecker.

Let's learn about the biggest snowfalls in Chippewa Valley history.

5. March 19, 2005: 13.5”

A slow-moving low-pressure system socked much of Wisconsin (as well as parts of Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois) with a heavy blizzard. Basketball fans often complain that snowstorms seem to hit just in time for the state tournament, and that was the case with this mid-March storm, which dropped up to 23 inches in some parts of the Badger State.

4. February 22, 1913: 14”

A 14-inch blizzard delayed the start of Eau Claire’s annual ski-jumping tournament by a day back in 1913. Before the storm, ski club members had been hauling snow to make sure they had enough, but as the Eau Claire Sunday Leader reported, “then Friday night brought them enough to last the rest of the winter.”

3. TIE! March 29, 1924, and December 27, 1904: 15”

The Valley has experienced a 15-inch blizzard on two occasions. In March 1924, strong winds created huge drifts and disrupted travel and communication. Likewise, the storm that struck just after Christmas in 1904 left six-foot drifts on some Eau Claire streets. In nearby Neillsville, 26 inches fell during the 1904 storm, which still stands as a 24-hour state record.

2. March 9, 1918: 16.5”

The Chippewa Valley was slammed with a then-record 16.5 inches in March 1918. According to the next day’s Eau Claire Leader, the storm prevented streetcar service between Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls, caused passenger train delays, and knocked out long-distance telephone connections.

1. December 11, 2010: 22”

Sure, people talk about how awful winters were in the old days, but if you’ve lived around here for at least four years, you’ve already seen the worst Old Man Winter has thrown at us: The nearly two-foot snowfall in December 2010 is the biggest ever (or at least since 1893 when the records began). The blizzard inundated most of Wisconsin and was among the worst in history in the Twin Cities, where it shut down the airport.

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