Note: The Storm Updates page is in the process of being redesigned, and I am attempting to get this done as quickly as possible. In the meantime, this relatively brief summary of today’s blizzard has been posted. Once the page’s updates are completed, which I hope to get done within this week, more detailed summaries and overviews of Hurricane Sandy, the 11/7 storm, and this blizzard will be posted, with more summaries of other past storms to be posted by the originally planned time frame of completion in March or April.
10:45 AM: Blizzard Ends Across Area
As of early this morning, the storm has ended across most of the area except for parts of Connecticut and Long Island, where light snow continues to fall. For most of the area, this was the most significant storm since either October 29, 2011 or January 26-27, 2011, both of which dumped over a foot of snow in parts of the area. Despite relatively moderate snow totals from NYC and further west, the worst of the storm took place over Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, where widespread 20-30 inch totals were reported, with as much as 38 inches in isolated locations.
Regional radar image from 5:18 PM, from the National Weather Service
Snow initially developed in the early to mid morning hours across the area; this was mostly snow in northern NJ and southern CT, but a wintry mix of rain, snow and sleet in NYC, Long Island, and most of New Jersey south of I-80. As the low pressure continued to intensify and track up the coast, snow intensified across the area, with heavy bands moving onshore into Suffolk county, where very heavy snow rates developed in some areas with sleet in others. The track of the coastal low pressure was a little too far east for most of the area to receive heavy snow, and the precipitation shield shifted far east enough by the afternoon so that aside from far northeastern NJ, almost the entire state of NJ was dry by the evening.
Regional radar image from 11:38 PM, from the National Weather Service
Since yesterday evening, heavy snow continued to fall across portions of Long Island and Connecticut with a heavy band of snow stalled overhead, especially through central Connecticut into parts of Suffolk county, Long Island, with snow rates up to, or in some cases over, 3 inches per hour. After the dry slot that initially covered most of New Jersey around 7 PM, heavy snow quickly redeveloped across the state, with moderate to heavy snow continuing through the rest of the evening, while heavy snow spread across the rest of Connecticut into Long Island, including parts of coastal Long Island that had seen primarily sleet until that point. Towards 1-3 AM, a narrow but intense band of snow moved southeast across the area, from northwestern NJ towards the immediate NYC area; while this band was quick moving, snow rates up to 3-4 inches per hour were reported, dropping a quick inch of snow within only 15-20 minutes. The snow gradually ended afterwards through the rest of the overnight and morning hours as the storm shifted into New England.
Storm Totals: The worst of the storm took place in Connecticut, where this storm is likely to end up as one of the biggest snowstorms on record. Snow totals over 16-18 inches have been recorded across all of southern and central Connecticut, with up to 30 inches in Bridgeport, CT. The most significant totals were in New Haven county, where widespread 30+ inches have been observed under the stationary snow bands throughout the evening and early overnight hours. The highest report to come out of the area so far is 40 inches in Hamden, CT. Totals were more variable across Long Island; locations in the southern and western parts of the island, which had mixing with sleet lowering snow totals, ended up with at least 8 to 16 inches of snow. Towards NE Nassau and northern Suffolk counties, where the heaviest snow fell last night in the island, totals of at least 16 to 30 inches have been recorded, with a maximum of 30.9 inches in Upton, NY.
From NYC and further west, snow totals were generally on the moderate side, relatively moderate compared to other parts of the region. Snow totals of about 8 to 15 inches have been reported across northern New Jersey, NYC, and interior SE NY (Rockland/Orange counties); Central Park, which has seen little snow since the November snowstorm, reported a total of 11.4 inches. Westchester county, on the edge of the heavy snow bands in Connecticut, recorded snow totals between 10 and 23 inches of snow. A more detailed storm summary will be posted late this week or next weekend, along with summaries for Sandy and the 11/7 nor’easter, which will also include a snow map for total reports.
Northern NJ, interior SE NY, NYC: 8-15 inches
Westchester county, NY: 10-23 inches
Long Island (NE Nassau and north Suffolk counties): 16-30 inches
Long Island (everywhere else): 8-16 inches
Southern Connecticut: 16-38 inches
Forecast Update: From current indications, there are more storm possibilities coming up within the next two weeks. After a warmer storm with some rain on Monday with highs returning into the 40s briefly, which will accelerate the melting of snow across the area, temperatures will return into the 30s for highs next week, with more storm potentials along the way; the first potential is towards Wednesday and Thursday, and is more uncertain at this time as some of the model guidance hints at another storm while others keep it well to the south. There is no high confidence on the storm getting far north enough to affect the area, and if it does so, it will not be nearly as significant as last night’s storm, but the possibility is there for some impacts from this storm. Another potential for a storm exists towards February 16-17; both of these potentials will be discussed in more details with the next forecast update tonight or Sunday morning.