SALISBURY — Rowan County saw a light dusting of snow Friday night and Saturday morning, but by late Saturday morning roads were largely passable and Duke Energy was reporting no outages in the county.
Snowfall was light and Steve Monday of Rowan County Weather estimated about a half inch fell in the community of Atwell in West Rowan. But the storm also marks the third straight weekend in 2022 there has been snowfall and freezing temperatures, with about 5 inches of total snowfall in January. January 2021 only saw half an inch and there was no snow in January 2020.
This month was unusual for the 21st century, but Rowan County recorded snowfall that massively exceeded this year’s total. In 1962, the snowiest January on record was recorded with both Salisbury weather stations recording 15.7 and 20.5 inches.
The totals surpassed a previous major snowfall in March 1960 and began in early January. On January 2, 1962, the Post reported snow, ice and fog with temperatures dropping to 25 degrees overnight. Local schools closed and the newspaper at the time unfortunately described the snow as “too muddy for good sleigh rides” but great for snowballing and building snowmen.
“A lot of these activities have been observed,” the writer noted.
A week later, on January 9, the Post reported receiving three thumbs up overnight with a sunny afternoon the next day. On Jan. 29, the Post reported the heaviest snowfall since the March 1960 storm, bringing January’s total to over 15 inches and the fourth snowfall that month. March 1960 recorded only 9.25 inches of snow.
There was a collection of other significant snowfalls in the mid-20th century: 8 inches in two days in January 1955, 8.5 inches in one day in February 1948, and 14 inches in one day in December 1930. The stations Rowan County weather forecasters disagree on whether the 1960s or 1927 saw the biggest snowfall totals, but 1927 easily saw the biggest single-day snowfalls.
Between March 1 and March 2, 1927, 20 inches of snow fell in Rowan County. The roof of the local YMCA collapsed. In 1960, a Post writer described it as the standard by which all other snowfall in the county was measured. A campaign to bring a YMCA back to Rowan County began in 1955.