Throughout the United States, complaints of snowfall have surrounded social media outlets and major news sources. Boston, a major victim of the snowfall this past year, just accumulated a little over 107 inches. While that’s no small number, an Italian village named Capracotta nearly obtained that amount in less than 24 hours. And though it’s unofficial, many people are saying that this is a probable world record.
Capracotta, a small town of about 1,000 people, received roughly 100.8 inches of snow last Thursday in about 18 hours. The town is roughly 3 hours driving distance east of Rome and is located at 4,662 feet. Thus, its position in the Italian Alps allegedly makes it more susceptible to large one-day snowfalls, but the images surrounding the event are remarkable.
A photo of a man atop a snow mountain greets his friend in the second story of a house. Mounds pile way beyond the roofs of cars, streets have been made into tunnels as people dig holes and try to go about their lives.
It is up to the World Meteorological Organization to confirm if the amount accumulated in the 24-hour period does qualify for a record in Capracotta. The prior world record, set in 1927, was on Mount Ibuki, Japan. There, they received 90.6 inches. Thus, while not official, with 10 inches of wiggle room, it seems very likely that Capracotta will make the grade.
However, the skeptics will be appeased for a while, because snowfall measurements and investigations take quite a while to be carried out. Internal committees, climatologists, and meteorologists from Italy need to meet and discuss all the aspects of recording – equipment, monitoring techniques, location, etc. It’s then up to the WMO chief to accept the event as a world record. Also, recording snowfall is reputably hard to do, and hard to do well. It’s difficult to use adequate and accurate tools, and the frequency in which measurements are taken are always intensely scrutinized.
As the villagers of Capracotta begin to move past this snow storm and struggle with the cold temperatures and mountains of immovable snow in every direction, they can hold onto one positive glimmer of excitement: they may soon be world record holders.