New year delivers one of snowiest first days in Wichita history

Just under one inch of snow fell in Wichita on New Year’s Day.

That may not sound like much, but in fact it’s the fourth-snowiest January 1 in Wichita history.

Only 1925, 1948 and 1891 saw more snow on New Year’s Day in Wichita, according to the National Weather Service. Measurable snowfall has only occurred 28 times on Jan. 1 since records began being kept in the city in 1889, said Jerilyn Billings Wright, a meteorologist with the weather service.

Most of those totals were less than an inch, she said.

Ironically, Wednesday’s snowfall made it back-to-back years that snow fell on New Year’s Day. Last year, .7 of an inch fell on Jan. 1.

While 2013 would end up in the top five of snowiest winters in Wichita history, thanks to two late snow storms that each dumped several inches on the city, Billings Wright said snow on New Year’s Day does not mean a snowy winter looms.

In fact, the three snowiest first days came during winters when little snow fell.

In 1925, the 4.2 inches that fell on New Year’s Day amounted to the only measurable snow Wichita recorded all winter.

In 1948, only 4 inches of snow fell all winter, with 3.6 recorded on New Year’s Day.

And in 1891, the 1.5 inches that fell on Jan. 1 was half of the total that fell all winter.