Erie Smashes State Snowfall Records in Less Than 36 Hours

By Janita Kan
Janita Kan
Janita Kan
Janita Kan is a reporter based in New York covering the Justice Department, courts, and First Amendment.
December 26, 2017 Updated: December 26, 2017

A blizzard swept through northeast of the country over Christmas and dumped over 50 inches of snow in Pennsylvania in two days, shattering many records.

Erie, Pennsylvania was hammered by a lake-effect snowstorm on Christmas day until Tuesday, Dec. 26, and received 34 inches of snow on Christmas day alone smashing Erie’s daily snowfall record. The previous record was 20 inches set on Nov. 22, 1956. It then picked up another 19 inches of snow within six hours of the next day which brings the snow total to an incredible 53 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

The heavy onslaught of snow continued into late Tuesday morning, adding a further inch and a half, bringing the total to a whopping 54.5 inches of snow since Christmas day, becoming the greatest 2-day record in Pennsylvania. The previous record was 44 inches, set between March 20 and 21, 1958 at Morgantown.

Even more impressive was that Erie picked up more snowfall in less than 36 hours than its 13-day snowfall record of 52.8 inches between Dec. 31, 1998, and Jan. 12, 1999.

According to The Weather Channel, Erie, a northwest city of Pennsylvania with a population of about 100,000, is used to heavy lake-effect snow and is one of America’s snowiest cities with an average of 101 inches of snow a year.

Residents of Erie may be used to heavy snowfall, but 55 inches in just two days—which is close to the average of December and January snowfall—is something they have never seen before, reported the weather news station.

A snow emergency was declared for the city on Tuesday morning, with authorities encouraging people to avoid unnecessary travel and to use caution and patience if travel is needed, reported Go Erie. Many roads have been given speed restrictions and some roads have restricted commercial vehicles altogether.

The snow is expected to continue into Wednesday, Dec. 27.

2017 Year in Review


Janita Kan
Janita Kan is a reporter based in New York covering the Justice Department, courts, and First Amendment.