December 26-27, 2012 Snow, Rain, Wind
After a warmer and drier than average start to December, two winter storms affected the region. The first was on December 26-27 as a strong low pressure tracked through the Ohio Valley with a secondary low developing further east and moving up the coast, producing widespread heavy snowfall in the interior Northeast up to 8-16 inches, and a mix of heavy snow, rain and strong wind gusts in the NYC area.
December 26-27, 2012 Storm Archive
December 21 – Winter Begins With 2 Snow Potentials
December 23 – Three Storms Coming Up
December 24 – Two Storms, Then Cold
December 25 – Final Storm Forecast
December 26 Storm Updates
Radar Archive – to be added soon
The low pressure system originated in the Gulf of Mexico region on December 25, producing widespread heavy rain and some interior snowfall. The low slightly intensified on Wednesday, 12/26, as it tracked to the northeast through Tennessee and eastern Kentucky, with a minimum pressure near 996 mb. During the afternoon and evening hours, a secondary low pressure began to develop over South Carolina, tracking northeast towards the Virginia coast where it became the dominant low pressure. The low continued to track northeast just off the coast throughout Thursday, 12/27, passing near the eastern tip of Long Island and Cape Cod on Thursday afternoon while its minimum pressure fell to near 988 mb. The storm exited the region on Thursday night, tracking towards Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.
Forecasting The Storm
This section will be added soon.
Radar image from 4:58 PM 12/26, from the National Weather Service, showing a band of heavy snow over the northern suburbs of NYC, which fell as rain over Long Island, as precipitation started to fall over CT.
Precipitation initially spread into NYC and northern NJ on 1-2 PM on Wednesday, 12/26 and Long Island/CT by 4-6 PM. With temperatures cold enough, precipitation at the start of the storm fell as snow from NYC and further northwest, but as rain in Long Island. The snow was light and short lasting in NYC, quickly changing to rain in the mid afternoon hours with little accumulations. The rest of the area, meanwhile, saw snow steadily intensify through the afternoon hours. A band of heavy snow moved through northern NJ and SE NY by 4-5 PM and southern CT in 5-7 PM, which is when most of the accumulations in the north/west suburbs took place.
Radar image from 11:18 PM 12/26, from the National Weather Service, showing snow covering most of the interior Northeast, with heavy rain spreading into New Jersey, falling as snow/sleet in far NW NJ. Thunderstorms can be seen over south NJ.
The coastal low pressure continued to develop and track towards New Jersey in the afternoon and evening hours, with warmer temperatures slowly spreading in from the south. Behind the band of heavy snow in the late afternoon, the north/west suburbs began to change over to sleet/freezing rain and later on rain in the evening, with the transition mostly complete by 10 PM. By then, except for interior locations, the rest of the area observed a steady moderate to heavy rain with increasing winds. Northwestern locations over NW NJ and interior SE NY continued to see heavy snow in the evening, lightening up around 10-11 PM with another round developing after midnight, but this time with sleet and freezing rain occasionally mixing in. The steady precipitation mostly ended by 3 AM, with additional scattered showers continuing through Thursday morning when the low pressure tracked over eastern Long Island.