National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


May 2, 1929 snowfall

A large part of central and southern Illinois saw its first measurable May snowfall on record on May 2, 1929. A large swath of the state, from around St. Louis to the southern tip of Lake Michigan, observed 2 to 4 inches of snow during the morning and early afternoon hours, with some totals around 5 inches between Decatur and the St. Louis metro area. Most of the snow melted by evening. 

Significant damage occurred across the region:

  • Trees were fully covered in leaves in many cases, allowing the heavy, wet snow to collect. Windy conditions helped break branches and even entire trees in some cases. Damage to fruit trees was in the thousands of dollars.
  • Western Union reported that it lost over 1,000 telegraph poles.
  • Southwest Bell lost 508 telephone poles within a radius of 30 miles outside of St. Louis. 

The day before, portions of southern Illinois were impacted by hail that accumulated several inches in depth. Fruit trees and crops in this area suffered about $400,000 worth of damage.