Snow news is good news, unless you live in Capracotta. The Italian village may have just set a record for the most snow ever to fall in 24 hours.
A storm on March 5 dumped just over 100.8 inches (or 8 feet, 4 inches) of snow there in 18 hours, reports the Italian weather website Meteoweb. The snowfall inundated the city and left some in the region without power and water.
"It was a spectacle that took our breath away. In some parts of the village the snow was like a long white wall," village mayor Antonio Monaco told the Italian news agency ANSA, as translated to English by the Telegraph.
"It was tough but everybody pulled together and made sure that the old people who couldn't leave their houses had the food and medicines that they needed."
Capracotta sits at an elevation of 4,662 feet in central Italy, just an hour and a half drive from the country's eastern coast.
CNN cautions the record isn't official yet.
Indeed, in an email to The Huffington Post, Italian weather website Il Meteo confirmed Capracotta reported snow totals of more than 8 feet on March 5 but cautioned that figure may not be accurate. Officials speculate the storm may have dropped closer to 5 1/2 feet of snow, which then accumulated in massive snowdrifts due to strong winds.
Should the World Meteorological Association verify the amount of snowfall at 100.8 inches, the storm would break previous records dating back to the 1920s. The earliest the WMO could feasibly assemble an international committee, evaluate the data, and make a ruling on the record, however, would be sometime in the fall, says Randall Cerveny, a professor in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning at Arizona State University.
"[There is a lot] of discussion and paperwork associated with creating these international evaluation teams (e.g., what countries must be represented, what representatives they recommend, what experts must we have on such a committee and so forth)," Cerveny, the WMO's chief "rapporteur" of weather and climate extremes, told HuffPost in an email. "So, unfortunately, we won't have any decision one way or other for quite sometime."
Cerveny cautioned that snowfall reports are "notoriously hard to verify" due to various "inherent difficulties;" for instance, "if you sample snowfall too often you can actually [get] erroneous measurements, since snowfall compaction over time is one aspect of an accurate snowfall measurement."
In 1921, a mid-April storm in Silver Lake, Colorado dropped 75.8 inches of snow in a day, setting a record for the most snow to fall in the U.S. in 24 hours. Over the course of 32 and a half hours, the storm ultimately deposited more than 95 inches of snow.
Check out more photos of the snow in Capracotta below:
This story has been updated with data from Il Meteo and comment from Randall Cerveny.
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