Iowa's Snowiest Winters... and '07-'08 isn't on the List
By Josh Baynes, Meteorologist
CEDAR RAPIDS - You might be looking at your driveway wondering where you'd put a few more inches of snow. With the piles already on the ground and more snow in the forecast, it seems like this season could be one for the record books. But this winter probably won't top the list.
"The winters I remember were very snowy and very windy. We would get a snow storm with 5 or 6 inches and the weather would clear off but we would have winds for 3 or 4 days," said Randall Roethlisberger, DOT plow driver.
Snow plow driver Randall Roethlisberger is talking about the winters of the 1970s. And these days, things are looking pretty familiar. Roethlisberger started clearing area roads for the Iowa DOT in 1977. He says it has been difficult to keep up with this year's snow storms.
"It's been storm after storm. It's hard to maintain the equipment. The cold weather is unusual and it's hard on equipment and people," said Roethlisberger.
The National Weather Service says a little more than 50 inches of snow have fallen here in Cedar Rapids. Compared to the top ten snowiest winters in recorded history, Cedar Rapids is not quite there yet, but it is very close. The all-time record is 84.3 inches in 1943.
"Sooner or later, we knew this was going to come back around. Everything seem to be in trends and cycles and we were due for another good one," said Roethlisberger.
Based on historical averages, Cedar Rapids should receive another 9 inches of snow. If that happens it would make this season one of the top five snowiest of all time.
The DOT says it has already logged more than 270 hours of overtime this year.