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New Record Snowfall In Italy?

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It’s been a snowy winter across the Northeast and through much of the Midwest, but if a European report is true, nobody’s got anything on what parts of Italy saw over the weekend.

According to a report from Meteoweb.eu, the town of Capracotta, about 100 miles due east from Rome in central Italy’s Apennine Mountains, received 100.8″ of snow (256 centimeters) last Thursday, a total that would make it the world’s greatest 24-hour recorded snowfall if validated.

To put Capracotta’s reported snow into perspective, 100.8″ of snow in a 24-hour span translates into an incredible 4.2″ per hour average over that 24-hour timespan. The nearby town of Pescocostanzo, about 10 miles northwest of Capracotta, recorded 94.5″ of snow (240 centimeters) last Thursday as well.

The current 24-hour snowfall record belongs to Silver Lake, Colorado, where 75.8″ of snow was recorded between April 14-15 1921, according to the University of Colorado-Boulder.

Capracotta sits about 4,600 feet above sea level, forming a steep gradient between it and the Mediterranean shoreline, giving it access to moisture from the adjacent sea while converting it into heavy snowfall in the colder mountains. The added uplift gives Capracotta and the mountains 3,200 feet and above hefty snowfall during the winter months, when lows typically work trek way across the Mediterranean and through Italy.

A panel from the World Meteorological Organization is in charge of validating world records, and the snowfall report and record is not official until they do so. Regardless, Capracotta residents (about a thousand people currently live in the town, down from a peak of near 5,000 a century ago) certainly had themselves some digging to do last week.

And by the way, more snow was reported in Capracotta on Monday. Boston, it could be worse.

Meteorologist Chris Bianchi

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