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CoastalWx

SNE snowstorm memories.

1,324 posts in this topic

2 hours ago, ORH_wxman said:

No, he was saying you could see how bad the tree damage was from the Oct '87 storm during his April '88 trip. I'm sure it took a couple years for it not to be really noticeable. (though for a tree expert like tamarack, he can probably notice that stuff a decade later)

Yeah, I'm pretty anal about that stuff, have no problem spotting damage from the 1998 ice storm in central Maine, though it's getting harder to do when the leaves are full. 

And there was an "event" for the April, 1988 trip, though the above is right on target, of course.  We were leaving early on 4/16, and the evening before, Altitude Lou was calling for perhaps 2-4 inches "but only sticking on grassy surfaces."  As we headed out, on highway tires (our studded snows would've been illegal by then in VA/DC) there was 4-5" OG with SN+ that we did not escape until south of PWM, and those "grassy surfaces" included I-295, though many vehicles were actually out on the grass.  :o   We hit 8 different states on the way to a friend's place in NJ near the Delaware Water Gap, and saw falling snow in 7, all but the short stretch of NH.  One more bit of April fun involving NJ - we visited this same friend in 1983, just in time for the 11" on 4/19.  Three years later, she had moved to the place near the Gap, and we had 13" of NW-wind deformation band paste on 4/23.  We began to wonder if we'd ever be allowed back into NJ during April.

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11 hours ago, Cold Miser said:

October 4, 1987

Not SNE, but a great event from 30 years ago today when I lived south of Albany, next to I-90 just over the border from Mass. in Old Chatham, NY.  Cars were stranded and I was going back and forth up the hill with gas for people.  One of my all time favorite events as it occurred less than 2 weeks after summer ended and we ended up having no school for the entire week (storm was Saturday into Sunday).  Although, that winter was fairly crappy after that, and since then never wanted to see another October snow storm, thinking that it meant there would be minimal snow for the remainder of the year. 

Video:

http://wnyt.com/news/steve-scoville-report-on-october-4-1987-snowstorm/4623650/

 

It affected western New England too.  As you climbed west of the CT River Valley the snow picked up.  I know the pike was mess just west of Westfield and Norfolk, CT had close to a foot.  Even here the rain was mixed with snow for a good portion of the day.  Outside of the early nature of the storm, the fact that there was also a late April event meant there was a very short window between the last snowfall and the first one.

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This was a fun one. Big positive bust and some of the heaviest snow I've ever seen. Jan '11 was great. Never thought I'd see it exceeded, especially not just four years later.

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28 minutes ago, codfishsnowman said:

where were you for that one and how much?

New Haven area. Picked up a quick 15 or 16 on top of the already robust pack, but had blinding thundersnow for a few hours overnight. Probably more memorable because the models failed so badly and were projecting 4-8 sloppy inches.

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2 hours ago, Hoth said:

New Haven area. Picked up a quick 15 or 16 on top of the already robust pack, but had blinding thundersnow for a few hours overnight. Probably more memorable because the models failed so badly and were projecting 4-8 sloppy inches.

That was a great bust...it had been big on the models about 3-4 days out but then starting trending SE to the point where it looked like just a scraper. Then on January 26th in the morning, we started noticing the RUC and HRRR showing much more robust look at the end of their runs...it looked like we'd get crushed if extrapolated out another 6-10 hours...but it was still easy to be a bit skeptical since those models can often be overamped after 6 hours....but when they didn't back off through the afternoon and the satellite/water vapor and radar loops started supporting them by late afternoon, we were thinking "oh man, this might be real". I remember the 18z NAM jumped like 100 miles northwest that afternoon and I knew we were probably in good shape...that finally a non-nowacast model had made a jump...the 18z GFS followed suite an hour or two later.

 

This had been the NAM run the night before at 00z....almost all the models looked like this. GFS was slightly better, but they were all way SE.

 

 

f30.gif

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3 minutes ago, CoastalWx said:

Yeah that was a great event. Had about 12 where I was in Dorchester on top of a deep pack already. That also caused DC's commuter nightmare too.

I think ginxy over to N Foster RI had like 18 inches in that one...most of it fell in 6 hours. That deathband over E CT and into NW RI I remember. 4" per hour stuff and thundersnow. That was actually one my toughest nowcasts...I was getting bombarded with calls/emails all day about what we might get.

I had about 12 inches in ORH as well in that one. We actually had a little predecessor band of snow late afternoon on the 26th...I think most of us got about 1-2 inches from it. That season seemed to have predecessor snows in multiple events (Feb 1-2 was a classic one where the predecessor snows were better than the main event).

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1 hour ago, ORH_wxman said:

That was a great bust...it had been big on the models about 3-4 days out but then starting trending SE to the point where it looked like just a scraper. Then on January 26th in the morning, we started noticing the RUC and HRRR showing much more robust look at the end of their runs...it looked like we'd get crushed if extrapolated out another 6-10 hours...but it was still easy to be a bit skeptical since those models can often be overamped after 6 hours....but when they didn't back off through the afternoon and the satellite/water vapor and radar loops started supporting them by late afternoon, we were thinking "oh man, this might be real". I remember the 18z NAM jumped like 100 miles northwest that afternoon and I knew we were probably in good shape...that finally a non-nowacast model had made a jump...the 18z GFS followed suite an hour or two later.

 

This had been the NAM run the night before at 00z....almost all the models looked like this. GFS was slightly better, but they were all way SE.

 

 

f30.gif

Great post. Thanks for the rehash.

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7 minutes ago, ORH_wxman said:

 

Do you have any maps of January 23, 2005?  Still in my top 3 behind 2/78 and 4/97.  Over 30" in Cambridge/Somerville death banding.  Entire cars covered up and down snow choked streets.  Glad I was still in Boston for that one because iirc W MA did not do nearly as well.  I just remember people walking around monday morning shaking their heads at how they would dig their vehicles out that had been buried by plows and drifting.  Sidewalks in the city were a complete disaster and some side streets were not plowed for hours after the last flakes.

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11 minutes ago, HIPPYVALLEY said:

 

Do you have any maps of January 23, 2005?  Still in my top 3 behind 2/78 and 4/97.  Over 30" in Cambridge/Somerville death banding.  Entire cars covered up and down snow choked streets.  Glad I was still in Boston for that one because iirc W MA did not do nearly as well.  I just remember people walking around monday morning shaking their heads at how they would dig their vehicles out that had been buried by plows and drifting.  Sidewalks in the city were a complete disaster and some side streets were not plowed for hours after the last flakes.

I don't have model forecasts of that event....but there's a good thread on remembering that storm:

https://www.americanwx.com/bb/topic/42533-january-2223rd-2005-blizzard-recap/

 

That storm did have a quick movement northwest on the models in the final 48 hours. The Cape was always going to get slammed and same with SE MA....but back in ORH was sweating it out a bit, but that final push NW got us in the 2 foot range. It was definitely one of the best "true blizzard" condition storms in the old school sense (meaning temps included)...temps were frigid as I'm sure you remember...even right in Boston. Most of the storm was in the teens....maybe low 20s at the peak there and back here we had hours of the storm around 10F. Huge winds and hours of near white-out conditions. It was definitely a blizzard's blizzard...not a marginal blizzard or just a heavy dump of snow with meh winds...ala Feb 2003 or even January 2011 which had better winds than '03, but still not overly exciting.

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Ugh Jan 05, another painful memory.

Speaking of painful memories, I was looking back at Mar 01 charts and I still dont understand the “weaker” amounts south of pike. 500mb and 700mb both look like it should of put 2-3’ down from nyc northeast. What am I missing?

 

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7 minutes ago, RUNNAWAYICEBERG said:

Ugh Jan 05, another painful memory.

Speaking of painful memories, I was looking back at Mar 01 charts and I still dont understand the “weaker” amounts south of pike. 500mb and 700mb both look like it should of put 2-3’ down from nyc northeast. What am I missing?

 

The initial burst on the night of the 5th into the 6th was a little far north on the setup for your area. 700mb low is almost over like POU or SW CT...it does redevelop into the larger circulation further south and southeast later one, but by the time that happens, the best frontogenesis has already occurred and the storm is more occluded. So you got a lot of lighter snows during the 2nd half of the storm...there was one decent deform band, but it was mostly to your east and went over central/E LI as well. During the early part of the storm where the best ML frontogenesis was occurring, you had to be up further N into maybe far N CT, MA, and NH/VT.

 

Here's a couple snapshots of the early part of the storm when the max intensity snowfall was occurring in SNE (mostly MA and maybe far N CT)....you can see the 700mb low is kind of elongated E-W but it's fairly far north which is going to put the best ML fronto north of your area:

 

 

030600.png

030603.png

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8 hours ago, Hoth said:

New Haven area. Picked up a quick 15 or 16 on top of the already robust pack, but had blinding thundersnow for a few hours overnight. Probably more memorable because the models failed so badly and were projecting 4-8 sloppy inches.

That was an Epic storm, what I remember best is my 8 per hour burst, no one here believed me at the time even though I posted pics, that was until Feb 13 rolled around, time when I got smoked captured in this radar grab

Capture.JPG

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1 minute ago, RUNNAWAYICEBERG said:

For example: Mar 17 had the 500 low traverse over nw ct and points ne so it makes sense why amounts busted south of there. But Mar 01 had the 500 low traverse pretty far south. 

If that initial spoke of energy out to the east of the main 500 low in the lakes hadn't been there, then it would have been a much better storm further south...but the whole baroclinic zone set up along that spoke, so you had to be pretty far north where the spoke was to get max snowfall. The whole thing eventually congeals further south....but again, by the time that happens, the storm is occluding, so the dynamics have weakened somewhat. So your area prob had like 8-12" instead of 18-24.

You'll often hear that the storm "didn't phase cleanly" and that's what is really mean by that....that leading piece of energy kind of outran the main 500 low just a little bit. Here's a view of that energy when it's further south still...you can see it's over MS/AL down south...things are looking good....but by the time we get to the next morning, it's starting to outrun the lakes 500 low a little too much and you can see the 850mb front is already over LI (look at the kinks poking east in the isoheights) and the storm isn't really organized yet...finally, the sequence reaches Tuesday evening and that's the plot I showed once already above where the storm is finally starting to really organize well and the 700 low is trying to redevelop, but at this point, it's pretty far north, so you're missing out on the best initial frontogenesis...you still end up getting decent snow eventually as everything congeals south/southeast, but you probably cost yourself at least 10 inches with the missed opportunity early in the storm...that was intense ML fronto snow:

 

 

030421.png

030512.png

030600.png

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Ooooh, I see it. Of course ORH still cashed in. I was in CNJ at the time and recall it being a major forecasting fail but never really understood why, scientifically. I berated twc and local news channels mets until PD2. 

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12 minutes ago, RUNNAWAYICEBERG said:

Ooooh, I see it. Of course ORH still cashed in. I was in CNJ at the time and recall it being a major forecasting fail but never really understood why, scientifically. I berated twc and local news channels mets until PD2. 

Is this what NE snow weenies do after a forecast bust? :lol:

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5 minutes ago, LoveSN+ said:

Is this what NE snow weenies do after a forecast bust? :lol:

Yea, up until I somewhat learned how to read a nam snow map and based my forecasts off it. Then, it’s no ones fault but the stupid computers.

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13 minutes ago, RUNNAWAYICEBERG said:

Ooooh, I see it. Of course ORH still cashed in. I was in CNJ at the time and recall it being a major forecasting fail but never really understood why, scientifically. I berated twc and local news channels mets until PD2. 

It was def a huge bust by a lot of big name outlets. I think it would be unlikely to happen again because we have better ECMWF data now and it also runs twice a day. Back then, we only got one run of the Euro per day and it was crappy graphics and the one run (12z) didn't even come out until 7-8pm. The Euro was not gung ho on huge mid-atlanitc snows once we got inside of about 72 hours...it was even iffy at 96 hours. When it trended way north into a New England storm at 72 hours...I recall DT on ne.weather saying it was completely over for the M.A....citing the EE rule...the old ETAx (which was the ETA out to 84 ours) had a similar solution. I think way too much weight was probably placed on the GFS (AVN model back then), UKMET, and Canadian around 48-72 hours...and it was probably because there was much better access to that data and it was more timely. Also the AVN had been performing well that winter, so folks didn't have a huge reason to doubt it again....except for the fact that the ECMWF was against it.

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Will is right, the January 05 Blizzard was a "Blizzard" in its truest nature.  Even on Cape Cod we had winds gusting between 75-85mph, on Nantucket the winds gusted to 86mph and the island lost power, its quite possible that Nantucket experienced Category two hurricane force wind gusts over 95mph as they couldn't confirm with their power out.  The blizzard was the worst wind/snow combination I have ever experienced.  The fun thing is I remember making and drooling on snow maps I made during high school classes and showed my friends what was coming for that weekend.  The awesome thing is, I was right for once, and accuweather was right in hyping the storm.  Man that was a fun winter, 98" of snow.

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Some old March 2001 stuff...the airplanes are Sterling, MA airport that I remember grabbing online not too long after the storm...and there's a late February map from HPC on the threat:

 

 

March10_2001_2.jpg

March2001a.jpg

March2001b.jpg

March2001-longrange-prog.gif

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18 hours ago, ORH_wxman said:

Some old March 2001 stuff...the airplanes are Sterling, MA airport that I remember grabbing online not too long after the storm...and there's a late February map from HPC on the threat:

I don't know spring 2001 just seems like psychological warfare to me now. 

I would be gearing up for golf season and 3/31 there is still 32" on the ground at GYX. More than 20" on the ground until 4/9, and there were still patches of snow until 4/21.

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1 minute ago, OceanStWx said:

I don't know spring 2001 just seems like psychological warfare to me now. 

I would be gearing up for golf season and 3/31 there is still 32" on the ground at GYX. More than 20" on the ground until 4/9, and there were still patches of snow until 4/21.

I had to drive back to ORH twice that semester from Cornell...once right before the March 2001 blizzard to see my sister's college recital (she went to Boston Conservatory of music)...experiencing the storm was fun at least (and I felt bad because there was like a crowd of 20 people around me during the reception asking about the storm...at this point the forecast was literally 30-40" for a lot of MA)...and then again in early April around the 10th...there was still about 10-12" of snow on the ground the 2nd time. It was bizarre in that it wasn't the typical "fresh snow pack on April 10th from a big storm on April 7th" type pack you would normally see that late. It was clearly layered snowpack and looked more like mid March than April 10th. It definitely would have been a horror show for golfers ready to get out and start the season.

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