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By Meteorologist Randy Mann
Article published on May 1, 2021

Here are some of the most interesting snowfall records across the globe. According to numerous weather sources, the most snow in a season, which is from July 1 through the following June 30, was a whopping 1,140 inches, or 95 feet at Mount Baker, Washington during the 1998 through 1999 season. Mount Rainier also holds the record for most snow during a 12-month period. From February 19, 1971 to February 18, 1972, slightly more than 1,240 inches of snow fell. In one calendar month, Tamarack, California reported 390 inches in January 1911, a record that still holds nearly 110 years later.

In other parts of the world, some of the snowiest places in the world include the mountains in the western and eastern U.S. as well as other mountainous areas in France, Japan and western Canada. According to TripsToDiscover.com, Aomori City in Japan receives about 312 inches of snow per year. Aomori City is located at the highest elevation in the Hakkoda Mountains and has a population of around 300,000 people. Another mountainous location, Niseko, Japan, picks up an average of nearly 50 feet of snow per year and is considered to be one of the snowiest places on the planet.

In terms of snowfall sizes, the smallest ones are called Diamond Dust crystals and usually have the diameter of a human hair. According to SnowCrystals.com, about a million billion snowflakes fall each second across the globe. They say it’s estimated to be enough to make one snowman for every person on earth every ten minutes.

Most snowflakes are small, but there have been occasions when the snowflake becomes much bigger. The world’s largest snowflake was reported at Fort Keough, Montana on January 28, 1887 when it was measured to be about 15 inches wide and close to 8 inches in thickness.

It was first discovered that no two snowflakes are alike by a Vermont man, William Bentley, also known as “Snowflake Bentley” in the late 1880s. During Wilson’s 50-year-plus career, he painstakingly photographed more than 5,300 distinct patterns of snow crystals concluding accurately that "no two snowflakes have ever been identical."

In 1885, at age 20, Bentley successfully adapted his microscope to a bellows-type camera and soon became the first person in recorded history to photograph a single snow crystal. In fact, in his 66-year lifetime, Wilson collected more photographic negatives of snowflakes than all other observers combined. His photographs also proved that all snowflakes are "hexagonal," or "six-sided."

Bentley’s photographs have been featured in literally hundreds of books, magazines and newspapers around the world. It’s almost hard to believe that the estimated billion million snowflakes that fall each second are different from one another.