Snow? What’s it all about?

Photo courtesy John M. Motter
The Pagosa Springs Medical Center, once named for Dr. Mary Fisher, the pioneer Pagosa doctor who began serving local medical needs circa 1895. This photo was made in 1928.

By John Motter
PREVIEW Columnist
Who could deny that snow is a huge attention-getter? Go to any coffee shop and the talk among the coffee-gulpin’ old geezers sittin’ there is likely to be focused on questions such as, “I wonders when it snowed first? I wonders how much it snowed? Or I wonders what’s next?”
There is always one old-timer who does remember when. After clearing his throat and draining his cup, he’ll say something like, “I remembers one time in ‘42 when it snowed all night. Took me two hours to shovel a path to the barn, it did. Couldn’t see over the snow when my boots touched dirt and when I gets in the barn, there’s old Bess with a brand new set of twins, boys they was, and boys, she was so glad when I gave’er a bucket of oats she was in a good moo’ed for days. Them little fellers was purty happy, too, don’t ya know, and took a minute or two away from mama and they’s own breakfast to see what was goin’ on. And that’s a fact!”
Our bewhiskered storyteller hooks a thumb behind each suspender, leans back with a satisfied smile on his face and grins around the circle of wrinkled, old faces, defying anyone to top that story.
According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, the world record for the highest seasonal snowfall was measured in the United States at Mt. Baker Ski Area, outside of the city of Bellingham, Wash., during the 1998-1999 season. Baker received 95.01 feet of snow, thus surpassing the previous record holder, Mount Rainier, Wash., which during the 1971-1972 season received 93.5 feet of snow.
The world record for the highest average annual snowfall is 57.87 feet measured in Sukayu Onsen, Japan, for the period of 1981-2010.
According to Guinness World Records, the world’s largest snowflake fell in January 1887 outside present-day Miles City, Mont. It measured 15 inches in diameter. More on snow next week.

This story was posted on February 3, 2020.