Sunday, October 30, 2011

Summary of Record October Snowstorm in the Northeast...

There is still some light snowfall taking place across central and Eastern Maine as of this writing, but for the most part, the record setting late October snowfall event has come to an end across the Northeast.

This storm would be considered a whopper any month of the year, but especially in late October.  The image below is a summary of the snowfall totals that have come in thus far:

So far, the highest total to come in was an impressive 31.4 inches at Jaffrey, NH, followed closely by 30.8 inches at Plainfield, Massachusetts.  On the other end of the scale, but a record in and of itself, is Central Park in New York City with 3 inches:

This was the first time in history that 1 inch or more of snow has been measured at Central Park in the month of October (since records began in the late 1800's).  The last time measurable snow (of any amount) took place in New York City in October was back in 1952, when just one-half of an inch fell.  La Guardia and JFK airports also set October snowfall records yesterday, with 1.7 and 1.5 inches reported, respectively.

All-time October snowfall records were also set in Hartford, CT with 12.3 inches (the former record was 1.7 inches in 1979), Worcester, MA with 11.4 inches (the former record was 7.5 inches in 1979), and in Newark, NJ with 5.2 inches (first time ever for measurable snowfall in the month of October).

Philadelphia did not receive the 2.3 inches needed to break their former October snowfall record, but they did receive 0.3 inch of snow, which broke the old daily record of a trace set way, way back in 1902.

The snow was beautiful, but also destructive.  Due to the heavy, wet nature of the snow, trees and power lines were vulnerable.  Indeed, over 2 million people are reportedly without power across the impacted region this morning.  The image below shows the estimated water content of the snow that's on the ground:

The purple colorations indicate more than 1 inch of water equivalent, with the darker purple shadings indicating over 2 inches of water equivalent.

Whenever you get a snow this heavy and wet, you're bound to have some tree trouble.  But as we pointed out this week, the real danger (and uniqueness) in this particular situation was the fact that many trees were still full of green leaves, which collect even more snow (and add more weight), and are even more vulnerable as a result.

Below is just a small sampling of some of the impressive pictures that have come in via facebook and twitter during the last 24 hours:

New York City

New York City

North Jersey


Dutchess County, NY


Queens, NY

Central Park, NY

Pittsburgh, PA

Greenwich, CT

Some impressive videos are also coming into view on YouTube.  Here is a sampling of some of the better ones so far:

Clear or clearing skies across the region this morning are allowing the snow cover to be seen by visible satellite imagery as well.  Take a look at the visible satellite image below.  Can you pick out the Hudson and Susquehanna Rivers thanks to the snow lining their banks?

I've marked them on the identical image below; the Hudson with the red arrows and the Susquehanna with the white arrows:

Here are some additional visible satellite images with a little higher resolution, so you can take a look at the snow blanketing the region from this unique perspective.  We'll move from South to North, starting in Virginia:

Melting is already underway, as temperatures have risen above freezing across much of the region this morning.  Those with heavier accumulations are likely to see snowcover linger into Halloween evening, but regardless it will be a sloppy time for trick or treater's for sure...not to mention the fact that many are likely to still be in the dark at that time as well...

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