I heard there was 19 inches of snow on Easter 1978. Is this true?

The J. F. C. Schott family on Easter Sunday, April 4, 1920. The snowstorm started at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday and continued until 5 p.m. Easter Sunday, covering the ground with one foot of snow, with drifts waist deep in spots. | Photo courtesy of the Quincy Public Library
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Apr. 25, 2018 11:15 am

I heard there was 19 inches of snow on Easter Sunday 1978. Is this true?

I'm guessing this question was submitted because of the Easter snowstorm we received this month.

There was snow that Easter, but it doesn't look like it was that much.

Easter was on March 26 in 1978, and a trace amount of snow was reported at the weather reporting station at Quincy Regional Airport, according to the information from the National Centers for Environmental Information. However, more than 4 inches of snow fell during the two days before Easter.

We decided to take a look back at some other Easters, particularly from 1973 to 1983. Outside of the snow in 1978, the only snow on Easter Sunday was April 3, 1983, when a trace amount of snow was reported.

Though we didn't find any Easter snowstorms in the 1970s, we did find some significant Easter snowfall going back nearly 100 years.

A March 30, 1974, article in The Herald-Whig notes that 11 inches of snow was on the ground when the church bells rang on Easter, April 5, 1920. The snow fell over the two previous days.

Just six years later, the area was hit with more than a foot of snow.

On March 30, 1926, 7 inches of snow fell, with 8.5 inches more accumulating the next day. On April 2, 2.7 inches fell while there were 14 inches of snow on the ground, and 2.5 inches more fell April 3, the Saturday before Easter.

However, the high on Easter Sunday was 48 degrees, so the snow melted rapidly with little remaining on the ground by April 5.

How can my question be answered? Just ask. We'll quiz community leaders, business officials, historians, educators -- whoever can tell us what you want to know. Submit questions to or mail them to Answers, The Herald-Whig, P.O. Box 909, Quincy, IL 62306. Provide a name and phone number so we can respond or clarify information. Questions dealing with personal or legal disputes will not be accepted.

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