Friday Marks 25th Anniversary of April Fools’ Blizzard

Photo courtesy of NOAA and the National Weather Service

HYANNIS – As the calendar turns to April on Friday, it’s also time to remember the blizzard that struck Massachusetts 25 years ago.

The April Fools’ Day storm of 1997, the most impactful storm of that season, caught residents by surprise considering the mild nature of that winter.

Boston’s snowfall for the 1996-1997 season was at 26.5 inches prior to April, well below the average of about 40 inches. The blizzard brought just over 25 inches to Logan International Airport and 33 inches to Worcester.

This was the fourth-biggest snowstorm recorded in Boston’s history, and led to the city’s snowiest April ever.

The previously warmer weather mixed with the inconvenient timing–the storm hit on April Fools’ Day–caused many people to not take weather reports seriously.

Tens of thousands of residents lost power due to downed trees and branches, and modes of transportation were stopped.

Data from NOAA and the National Weather Service (NWS) shows that an initially rainy outlook quickly turned to snow due to a strong jet stream initiating from the southeastern region of the country.

Statistics from the Chatham area show how the rain was able to quickly be changed to snow, thanks to the freezing level being about 10,000 feet above the ground.

A full retrospective of the storm from NOAA and the NWS can be found by clicking here.

About Brendan Fitzpatrick

Brendan, a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is one of the newest members of the NewsCenter team. When not on the beat, you'll probably find him watching Boston sports.
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