(WTAJ) — Snow happens in April. Earlier this month, some places had a half-foot of snow. We’ve even had some snowflakes in May, but there is one late-season snowstorm that ranks way above the rest.
The major storm hit our area from April 27 to 29 in 1928 with the bulk of the snowfall coming on the 28th. There was widespread snow between 1.5 to over 3 feet of snow. This storm helped Somerset to achieve the highest April total snowfall in the state of 38.5″.
What makes this storm so special and damaging was not just because it was one of the heaviest snowfalls ever for the region, but it fell when there were leaves on the trees. This combined with the snow being heavy in weight brought down a tremendous amount of trees, limbs, roofs, and entire buildings.
The storm started to form as an area of low pressure was shifting from Texas to the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf is warm at this time of the year and there was a chilly air mass sinking from Canada into the Central U.S.
The storm’s pressure was falling rapidly on the morning of the 27th as it started to turn northward over the Southeast. Thunderstorms raked south of this storm, but windswept rain and snow were spreading northward along the Appalachian Mountains.
The storm bombed (a word for rapidly dropping pressure that is now being nicknamed bomb cyclones) as it moved to the Mid-Atlantic coastline by the morning of the 28th. This is when the heaviest snow was falling across Central Pennsylvania. A perfect track that hit us while places like Pittsburgh and to the west got little to no snowfall.
This storm made headlines for its destruction.
Roofs were collapsed, and keep in mind that with the leaves on the trees, there was that much more area for the snow to cling to and bring down more debris. It was a time before snowplows and modern technology. The area was crippled, but fortunately, in late April the snow does not stick around too long.
Here is a list of snowfall totals for our region:
This storm was one that became a topic of meteorological studies.