March 18-19, 2013 Storm Summary

March 18-19, 2013 Snow/Rain

2358A late season snowstorm affected the area on March 18-19, the latest snow event with widespread accumulating snow for the area since March 24, 2011, and the last significant snowstorm of the winter. Widespread accumulations were reported across the area, generally ranging from 1 to 4 inches in most of Long Island and NYC, 2 to 5 inches in the north/west  suburbs of NYC, 3 to 6 inches in southern CT, and 4 to 7 inches towards NW NJ and southeastern NY.



March 18-19, 2013 Storm Archive

March 13 – Cold Pattern Begins
March 15 – Cold, Stormy Pattern; Snowy For Some
March 16 – More Snow, Rain For Monday Night
March 17 – Rain, Snow, Ice Tomorrow Night
March 18-19 – Storm Updates

Radar Archiveto be added soon


Storm History

mar18track2Three areas of low pressure were associated with this system, the first originating in the Midwest on Sunday-Monday, March 17-18. This low pressure then became negatively tilted as another weak low pressure formed near the Ohio Valley and tracked NNE towards Michigan, enhancing rainfall in that region, before merging with the original Midwest low pressure overnight on Monday. Meanwhile, a secondary low pressure developed off the New Jersey coast on Tuesday, March 19, slowly tracking northeast off the coast towards Nova Scotia, but did not become the primary low until Wednesday as the original low pressure stalled north of Michigan while slowly weakening.


Forecasting The Storm

This section will be added soon.


Storm Impact in the Northeast

Regional radar image from 7:58 PM EDT 3/18, from the National Weather Service. Heavy snow fell over northern NJ, with rain to the south and light to moderate snow in NY state into Connecticut.

2358Temperatures up to the storm were unseasonably chilly, peaking in the low to mid 30s for highs on Monday, March 18. An initial band of light snow moved through around 2 PM EDT, which shifted north of the area until more widespread light snow and sleet covered the area between 4-6 PM. Heavier precipitation then began to spread from east to west, covering the entire area by 8 PM. This fell as sleet initially for parts of the area, but later on changed to heavy snow across most locations except for parts of Long Island and coastal NYC where occasional mixing with sleet continued.

Heavy snow continued falling for another few hours, accumulating at rates near and over 1 inch per hour, until about 10 PM-12 AM, when the mixing line began shifting north, with NYC and Long Island, and later on the rest of northern NJ changing over to rain while interior areas changed over to freezing rain and rain. Steady precipitation continued for another few hours before ending towards the mid overnight hours. As the coastal low pressure developed off the coast, a second and shorter band of rain affected the area on Tuesday, March 19, with NW NJ and interior SE NY briefly changing over to heavy rain at the back end of the storm.


Storm Snow Totals

This graphic shows estimated snow totals across the region, based on storm reports from the National Weather Service. At the bottom of this post is an estimated snow map for the NYC area.


Storm totals exceeded the forecast across the area, as totals of 2-5 inches were only forecast to be limited to interior areas, with 1-3 inches for the north/west suburbs and little to no accumulations from NYC and further east; in reality, however, snow lasted longer and heavier than expected with a shorter duration of rain after the changeover. Based on storm reports from the National Weather Service, snow totals ranged from 1 to 4 inches in most of Long Island and NYC, 2 to 5 inches in the north/west suburbs of NYC, 3 to 6 inches in southern CT, and 4 to 7 inches towards NW NJ and southeastern NY.

Elsewhere in the region, light accumulations of 1-2 inches were observed in parts of northern Virginia with a primary wave of light snow on Sunday, March 17, ahead of the main event. The main axis of heavier snow focused from northeast PA into the rest of the Northeast, where widespread 4+ inches of snow fell, with the axis of 8+ inches from north Massachusetts into northeast NY extending into the rest of northern New England. Totals were as high as 12-20 inches in NE Massachusetts, SE New Hamsphire, and central Maine, with locally higher totals in the higher elevations.

Below is a list of selected snow reports across the area from the National Weather Service, listed by highest total from each county:

Northern NJ:
5.9″ – West Milford, NJ (Passaic)
5.3″ – Ridgewood, NJ (Bergen)
3.5″ – Cedar Grove, NJ (Essex)
2.3″ – Harrison, NJ (Hudson)

Southeast NY:
6.5″ – Yonkers, NY (Westchester)
6.2″ – New Windsor, NY (Orange)
6.0″ – Suffern, NY (Rockland)
4.5″ – Kent Cliffs, NY (Putnam)

New York City:
4.4″ – Bedford Park, NY (Bronx)
4.0″ – Central Park, NY (Manhattan)
3.0″ – Astoria, NY (Queens)

Long Island and South CT:
5.4″ – New Canaan, CT (Fairfield)
3.7″ – Bayville, NY (Nassau)
3.5″ – Wolcott, CT (New Haven)
3.5″ – Gilman, CT (New London)
2.2″ – Stony Brook, NY (Suffolk)



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