You have to go back one hundred years to find the record Wichita broke this month. National Weather Service Meteorologist Suzanne Fortin found it for us... in of all things... a book. The handwriting shows in February 1913, it snowed 20.5 inches. Half of that amount came from a two-day storm.
"But then they had snowfall over the course of the month and that all accumulated to that 20.5,” Fortin said.
One hundred years later... Wichita has set a new record for the most snowfall in a month—21 inches. Storm Team 12 Meteorologist Merril Teller says this means something.
"This was a hundred years ago exactly that the old record stood for that long. It's pretty significant. In fact, someone mentioned to me today, do we call it a one hundred year storm, like we talk about the one hundred year flood. Yeah, I guess so. It has been a hundred years,” Teller said.
The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum keeps pictures of significant snowfalls in Wichita. Museum worker Patricia Rhea remembers the snowfall shown in a picture from 1971.
"[We had] blizzard conditions. I mean, we had a hard time seeing as we walked from my car to my parents’ house,” Rhea said.
After this month, a new generation will have stories and pictures, similar to Rhea's. They'll talk about a record snowfall that comes along... maybe once... in a hundred years.
"It will be something I'm sure they'll talk about with their kids and grandkids and things like that, about the snow events they experienced,” Fortin said.
Just a little history lesson… the Signal Corps was the first group that started recording the weather here in Wichita. In the 1890's it turned it over to the U.S. Weather Bureau. In the 1960's, it became the National Weather Service.