WKU Meteorology

Discussion of Mid-South weather and climate and information about the WKU Meteorology program

WKU Meteorology - Discussion of Mid-South weather and climate and information about the WKU Meteorology program

Spring snowier than winter for Bowling Green, again!

For the second straight year, Bowling Green has received the biggest snowfall of the year during WKU’s spring break. This also marks the second straight year that spring was snowier than winter for Bowling Green. Has this ever happened before?

As you would expect, having a snowier spring (March – May) than winter (December – February) is relatively rare for the main reason that while snow is only likely in one month (March) during spring, snow is likely in all three months during winter. However, for places like Bowling Green that receive a relatively light amount of snow on average (about 8 inches per year) this becomes possible with a single big spring snowstorm.

Both 2008 and 2009 both had snowfall that was below average, which also makes having a snowier spring than winter possible. In 2008, there was only 1.0″ during winter but 5.0″ during spring. In 2009, there was 1.7″ during winter and 3.0″ during spring. I have only been able to find four other winters where this occurred in Bowling Green.

1987 spring (8.0″) winter (4.3″)
1960 spring (32.0″) winter (15.0″)
1949 spring (3.2″) winter (2.6″)
1947 spring (9.4″) winter (6.4″)

What is notable about the 1960 event is that winter in 1960 was quite snowy with 150% of normal annual snowfall. The spring was truly incredible as March 1960 had three of the nine worst snowstorms to ever hit Kentucky over the past 50 years. For Bowling Green to get 32″ of snow in March alone is remarkable and will probably never happen again in our lifetime.