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Gainesvilles record snowfall was in 1898
Jessie Weber removes ice from the parking lot of Washington Square as Gainesville and Hall County begin to recover from the Jan. 10, 2011, snowstorm. That storm dumped 6 inches of snow on the area, but it was nothing compared to the record 15 inches recorded on Nov. 16, 1898.

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What’s the most it has ever snowed in Gainesville?

On Nov. 16, 1898, it snowed 15 inches in Gainesville, according to the National Weather Service. The records go back just two more years, to 1896, but that much snow has not been recorded in Gainesville since.

On March 3, 1942, Gainesville got its second biggest snowfall, with 11 inches. Other top snowfall days include the following:

• No. 3: 10.5 inches, recorded Dec. 17, 1930

• No. 4: 8 inches, Jan. 22, 1987

• No. 5: 6 inches, recorded on many days including Jan. 10, 2011, when snow blanketed the area and took days to melt, leaving schools and many businesses shut down. That same amount of snowfall also was recorded Jan. 8, 1988, Feb. 29, 1968, Jan. 24, 1940, Jan. 28, 1904, and Nov. 17, 1898.

Snowfall records are not as high for a few cities north of Gainesville, but National Weather Service records do not date as far back for those areas.

Records in Blairsville start in 1931, with the top snowfall recorded at 13 inches on March 2, 1942. In Cleveland, records date back to 1948, with 12 inches ranking as the most snowfall, occurring on Jan. 8, 1988. Records for Helen start in 1956, with 11 inches recorded March 25, 1971.

Snowfall for the season averages at 2.4 inches in Gainesville, according to data kept starting in 1981. The average is higher for Blairsville, at 3.5, but not as high for Cleveland, at 1.6, or Helen, at 1.9.

According to that same data for Gainesville, January is the month that usually sees the most snow, at an average of 1.4 inches. February is second with 0.5 inches. March on average sees 0.3 inches and December 0.2 inches.

The coldest temperature on record for Gainesville since 1891 is minus-8 degrees, recorded Jan. 21, 1985, and Jan. 30, 1966.

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