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wdrag

Winter 76-77... can it repeat before 2045?

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I've posted this not to defend against other winters for NYC or elsewhere, but to reshare, what in my lifetime was a wonderful winter of frequent snows and persistent cold. I'd like to experience this again in my lifetime (like Red Sox and Cubs fans were for the previously elusive World Series).  Some LCD material I was able to obtain for free on-line.  This below us for Central Park. If you look closely it was persistently cold with fairly frequent small snows from late Dec 76-early Feb 77.  This was even more impressive for the Boston area (couldn't easily find the Boston LCD's for Dec-76,Jan-Feb77) with frequent clippers redeveloping south of LI, as i recall.  Wikipedia has a nice summary of the pattern and I'm sure some herein can post the overall 500 mb pattern.  I am curious as to the MJO phases?  I think the NAO was generally negative, PNA positive. It was a dream that some of us can recall and probably thought should be the norm.  Maybe this occurs within 25 years, again? 823A/17

 

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I guess my 5th graders brain didn't register that winter as being terribly significant but the next winter sure made an impression. What is kind of floating around is this was the winter that the kids on my block developed our winter play regime with snow forts in the plow banks and because it was cold we were able to ice down some of them and make sled runs and crazy bike jumps and stuff. I guess it's the cold that has stuck with me rather than the snow but that could be because I was about as close to the coast on the South Shore of Long Island as you could get. The next winter we had a plan and things got built on a grand scale because we had real snows, twice in the space of a few weeks we had storms that nearly made it to the second rail on the front yard fences. It's that 77/78 winter that flipped my weather weenie switch.

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I was 4 years old and lived in New Hampshire, all I vaguely remember is it snowed all the time, or at least to a 4 year old it did, as much as they can remember anyway. I’d like to live 93-94 again around here, that’s still my favorite winter in the Hudson Valley. 

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I liked the next winter much better...less cold...more snow...77-78 was colder if you factor in March...the lack of a major snowstorm in 76-77 and the early exit in March go against it...There was record cold along the way...It started in late August 1976...NYC ties its all time lowest August minimum...October had two days within one degree of Octobers all time min...November had continued record cold...December 1976 and January 1977 are near the top of the coldest Dec and Jan combos...February started out quite cold but ended milder...March was warm...April 1976 and 1977 had record or near record cold and record heat a few days later...

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Hey Walt... didn't have time to play with the scaling but here are the 500 mb mean and anomaly maps for Dec 76 through Feb 77...

Drag 500 mean.png

Drag 500 anomaly.png

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Jan 77 had a -7sd ao for three days mid month...it was negative most of the winter months...lowest numbers for a neg ao on record...the nao was neg most of the winter also...pna was strongly positive most of the time...it was a dry el nino year with California in drouth conditions...

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I know 77-78 was famous for 3 storms in Jan, 20, 26-Feb 7-8 included an Appalachian rim extremely intense storm that buried the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley and no doubt it was a fabulous winter.

Still 76-77 was special for its cold and frequent snows with the patterns as described previously.  One might easily forget the May 9, 1977 snow storm in the interior that was quite special for heavy wet snow, tree damage and impact, especially Massachusetts.  

I wasn't there but the period of Jan 21-Feb 22, 2015 had to be quite special in New England with Bostons 94" and persistent cold.  

That's what I want to see return down here near 40N, one of these DJF winters.  

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2 hours ago, wdrag said:

I know 77-78 was famous for 3 storms in Jan, 20, 26-Feb 7-8 included an Appalachian rim extremely intense storm that buried the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley and no doubt it was a fabulous winter.

Still 76-77 was special for its cold and frequent snows with the patterns as described previously.  One might easily forget the May 9, 1977 snow storm in the interior that was quite special for heavy wet snow, tree damage and impact, especially Massachusetts.  

I wasn't there but the period of Jan 21-Feb 22, 2015 had to be quite special in New England with Bostons 94" and persistent cold.  

That's what I want to see return down here near 40N, one of these DJF winters.  

That May 9-10 1977 storm hit parts of the HV very hard. I remember the highest total recorded from that storm was 27 inches In the Catskills, it was in a town called Olivia at 2,500 feet near slide mountain NY. We had 2-8 inches around parts of Orange County but other  places above 1,500 feet in HV had a foot. Tannersville NY had 13 inches, Poughkeepsie 6 inches, NYC had a trace with a high temp of 44 that day.  Boston only had a half inch, Hartford an inch, Albany 2 inches, but I think Providence had almost seven and Worcester 12 inches. 

That and the October 3-4 1987 snow storm which dropped over a foot in parts of the HV, I remember the Taconic parkway trees in Dutchess carried those scars for years, are the two greatest storms I ever experienced In this area so late and early in the season. 

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10 hours ago, wdrag said:

I know 77-78 was famous for 3 storms in Jan, 20, 26-Feb 7-8 included an Appalachian rim extremely intense storm that buried the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley and no doubt it was a fabulous winter.

Still 76-77 was special for its cold and frequent snows with the patterns as described previously.  One might easily forget the May 9, 1977 snow storm in the interior that was quite special for heavy wet snow, tree damage and impact, especially Massachusetts.  

I wasn't there but the period of Jan 21-Feb 22, 2015 had to be quite special in New England with Bostons 94" and persistent cold.  

That's what I want to see return down here near 40N, one of these DJF winters.  

From mid January through early March 2015 was a respectable attempt at a synthesis between 76-77 and 77-78 on the north shore.  Less snow than BOS but the sound froze and we still had a 20" snowpack as late as March 8.  That stretch of winter ranks pretty high on my list.

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This thread brings up the old question that everyone has their own opinion on, lets says you're going to get 60" snow in a season, if you could split that up how would you?  I'm the type that would take ten 6" storms because to me that implies a long relentless winter and a built up snow pack.  I'm likely in the minority on that though as I'm sure many on this board would take two 30" storms.  Don't get me wrong, I love the monster storms as much as anyone but I like to enjoy the season as a whole.    

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On 2/17/2020 at 8:24 AM, wdrag said:

I've posted this not to defend against other winters for NYC or elsewhere, but to reshare, what in my lifetime was a wonderful winter of frequent snows and persistent cold. I'd like to experience this again in my lifetime (like Red Sox and Cubs fans were for the previously elusive World Series).  Some LCD material I was able to obtain for free on-line.  This below us for Central Park. If you look closely it was persistently cold with fairly frequent small snows from late Dec 76-early Feb 77.  This was even more impressive for the Boston area (couldn't easily find the Boston LCD's for Dec-76,Jan-Feb77) with frequent clippers redeveloping south of LI, as i recall.  Wikipedia has a nice summary of the pattern and I'm sure some herein can post the overall 500 mb pattern.  I am curious as to the MJO phases?  I think the NAO was generally negative, PNA positive. It was a dream that some of us can recall and probably thought should be the norm.  Maybe this occurs within 25 years, again? 823A/17

 

Screen Shot 2020-02-16 at 8.51.02 AM.png

Screen Shot 2020-02-16 at 8.55.30 AM.png

Screen Shot 2020-02-16 at 8.56.11 AM.png

Screen Shot 2020-02-16 at 8.50.34 AM.png

Sign me up for a repeat of 76-77!! The first "cold" shot came in August. And many more were to follow.

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1977 had the coldest 30 day period of my lifetime...it averaged 21.9 in Central park...it included most of January and the first few days of February..,.1980-81 was a close second with a 30 day average of 22.2 which came around Christmas 1980 to late January 1981...you have to go back to the 1930's for a colder 30 day period than 1976-77...1917-18 has the coldest with a 19.0 average from late December to late January...

winter......coldest 30 days...

1976-77...….21.9...

1980-81...….22.2...

2003-04...….22.5

1993-94...….23.5

2014-15...….23.9...

1969-70...….24.0...

1970-71...….24.2

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8 minutes ago, IrishRob17 said:

This thread brings up the old question that everyone has their own opinion on, lets says you're going to get 60" snow in a season, if you could split that up how would you?  I'm that type that would take ten 6" storms because to me that implies a long relentless winter and a built up snow pack.  I'm likely in the minority on that though as I'm sure many on this board would take two 30" storms.  Don't get me wrong, I love the monster storms as much as anyone but I like to enjoy the season as a whole.    

I like variety. A significant storm, a few moderate storms, and then several pack fresheners. Maybe like 18" (which is as big a storm as one needs, although I know I'll get tarred and feathered for that), four x 6", nine x 2".

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the greatest period of winter for me was from January 15th, 1961 to February 4th 1961...34" of snow and 16 straight days with a maximum 29 or lower...some close areas had temps in single digits just as long...

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6 hours ago, IrishRob17 said:

This thread brings up the old question that everyone has their own opinion on, lets says you're going to get 60" snow in a season, if you could split that up how would you?  I'm the type that would take ten 6" storms because to me that implies a long relentless winter and a built up snow pack.  I'm likely in the minority on that though as I'm sure many on this board would take two 30" storms.  Don't get me wrong, I love the monster storms as much as anyone but I like to enjoy the season as a whole.    

Yeah agree...As I get older those big 20 inchers have gotten too big to handle, so I like the smaller storms if I had to choose. Now that being said, I certainly will never turn down a whopper if offered.

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8 hours ago, uncle W said:

the greatest period of winter for me was from January 15th, 1961 to February 4th 1961...34" of snow and 16 straight days with a maximum 29 or lower...some close areas had temps in single digits just as long...

60-61 was quite a winter as well. Weatherwise writings on the ~3 big ones, got me fully committed for a weather career.  The first one in early Dec 60 was a Sunday snow storm for both Washington and New York pro football games with plows clearing the 10 yard markers, I think in DC. 

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11 hours ago, wdrag said:

60-61 was quite a winter as well. Weatherwise writings on the ~3 big ones, got me fully committed for a weather career.  The first one in early Dec 60 was a Sunday snow storm for both Washington and New York pro football games with plows clearing the 10 yard markers, I think in DC. 

January 1961 Poughkeepsie recorded their all time record low of -30. I had always heard that people were awakened during that cold snap in the HV by what sounded like gunshots, only to discover that it was the sap freezing in in the trees.

The coldest temperature I ever recorded in this area was -23 during the January 1994 cold snap. I believe a town in NWNJ set the all time state record of -34 for NJ on the same day.

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On 2/19/2020 at 11:41 AM, IrishRob17 said:

This thread brings up the old question that everyone has their own opinion on, lets says you're going to get 60" snow in a season, if you could split that up how would you?  I'm the type that would take ten 6" storms because to me that implies a long relentless winter and a built up snow pack.  I'm likely in the minority on that though as I'm sure many on this board would take two 30" storms.  Don't get me wrong, I love the monster storms as much as anyone but I like to enjoy the season as a whole.    

Great question. Number one on my list would be one “60 storm. Hard to make happen but not completely impossible. A powerful slowly occluding low in just the right spot could do it. Feb 13 in CT style rates.  
Other then that I agree on the 10, 6” storms. Maximum snow removal = maximum money. 6” is a great plowable number. Ideally falling from mid December to mid February for maximum pack retention. 

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On 2/19/2020 at 11:59 AM, Juliancolton said:

I like variety. A significant storm, a few moderate storms, and then several pack fresheners. Maybe like 18" (which is as big a storm as one needs, although I know I'll get tarred and feathered for that), four x 6", nine x 2".

Well yeah, if I really had control I would break it up further as you did but I felt lazy when I posted LOL

42 minutes ago, LongBeachSurfFreak said:

Great question. Number one on my list would be one “60 storm. Hard to make happen but not completely impossible. A powerful slowly occluding low in just the right spot could do it. Feb 13 in CT style rates.  
Other then that I agree on the 10, 6” storms. Maximum snow removal = maximum money. 6” is a great plowable number. Ideally falling from mid December to mid February for maximum pack retention. 

Well you can go some places to see 60” in one storm as you know but we won’t see it here. Agree on the timing for max retention. 

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