It’s been the snowiest stretch ever for a number of municipalities around Massachusetts, including Boston, but for other cities and towns around the state this season has not even cracked their top 10 snowiest winters of all time.
Ashburnham, for example, has seen about 88 inches of snow this year, which only ranks as the 27th snowiest winter the town has ever recorded and it pales in comparison to the 145.7 inches that fell in the winter of 1995-96 in the town, which borders New Hampshire, according to data from the National Weather Service.
About 15 miles west, at a snow measurement site at Birch Hill Dam in Royalston, the roughly 68 inches that fell this winter is just the 20th highest total for a winter there. The snowiest winter at Birch Hill Dam was 1960-1961, when 104.5 inches fell, data shows.
And in Worthington, about 30 miles northwest of Springfield, the snowfall this winter barely surpassed the halfway mark of the town’s record winter, 1995-96 when a whopping 152.9 inches piled up.
Snowfall around Massachusetts during winter 2014-2015
A look at local snow totals as recorded by National Weather Service volunteers
DATA: National Weather Service
Matt Rocheleau/Globe Staff
The Globe looked at seasonal snowfall totals and historical records collected and published by the National Weather Service.
The actual snow measurements are made by volunteers, who receive equipment and training from the federal weather agency to properly observe and report back local weather conditions.
The weather service has quality control measures in place to vet the information volunteers send in, said Kimberly Buttrick, meteorologist and manager of the weather service’s Southern New England Cooperative Weather Observer program.
However, tallying precise snow totals is easier said than done.
For instance, the amount and height of snowfall can vary greatly over small distances, and the so-called weather observers are not always available to adhere to the recommended process of measuring snowfall every six hours during a storm, meaning measurements taken later on could differ if the snow has drifted or settled.
“They do the best they can,” Buttrick said of the volunteers. “But snowfall observation can be subjective.”
|City/town||State||2014-2015 (inches)||Snowfall rank||Record / Previous record if broken this winter||Winter of record||Snowfall recorded since|
|Blue Hill Observatory||MA||144||1||143.4||1995-1996||1892-1893|