December 29, 2013 Storm Summary

December 29, 2013 Rain

1858A deepening low pressure tracked along the coast of the eastern US, producing widespread precipitation over the region; due to unseasonably mild temperatures, precipitation type was rain over the Mid Atlantic into the NYC area and southern New England, with at least 1-2 inches of rain, while heavy wet snow fell in the higher elevations of the Northeast, peaking over Maine with up to 12-16 inches of snow.

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December 29, 2013 Storm Archive

NWS Regional Radar
WPC Surface Analysis


Storm Synopsis

dec29trackTwo low pressures were present over the eastern US at this time; the first low tracked into the Midwest on Saturday, December 28, with a minimum pressure near 1007 mb. A mild air mass was initially present over the northeast US with the frontal boundary extending into Canada while a high pressure was centered over the Mid Atlantic. Later in the day, the high pressure shifted east as a low pressure developed near southern Alabama, tracking northeast, while the frontal boundary associated with the northern low pressure shifted north, stalling near coastal Maine, separating the warm air mass to the south from very cold temperatures to the north.

On Sunday, the southern low began to steadily deepen as it quickly tracked northeast through Richmond, VA and Washington DC, reaching Long Island by the evening with a minimum pressure near 993 mb, while the northern low, remaining separate from the southern low, reached a minimum pressure of 1000 mb while over southern Ontario before tracking further northeast. The southern low continued to deepen as colder air filtered into the system, reaching a minimum pressure of 988 mb while over Nova Scotia.



Forecasting The Storm

December 25 – Cold Start to New Year Expected
December 26 – Nor’easter Expected Sunday Night
December 27 – Rain Sunday, Then Cold
December 28 – Coastal Low, Heavy Rain Tomorrow

December 29 Storm Updates


Post-Storm Analysis

This section will be added soon.



Storm Timeline in the Northeast

Regional radar image from 1:58 PM EDT 12/29, from the National Weather Service, showing heavy rain over the area; moderate-heavy wet snow began to fall over northern PA and south central NY.

1858Light rain initially began to spread into the NYC area around 8-10am from SW to NE, while covering most of the Mid Atlantic. With the lack of cold air initially in place, precipitation type was rain across the region with temperatures generally in the upper 30s to mid 40s. Steadier moderate to heavy rain entered NYC by 11am, covering the rest of Long Island and CT by 12pm, with widespread heavy rain continuing to cover the area through at least 4pm with rainfall rates near or slightly over 1/4 inch per hour.

Meanwhile, cold air began to slowly filter southward along with the precipitation shield expanding into New England, leading to the development of wet snow over north central PA by the early afternoon hours, extending northeast into central NY and central NH/VT by the mid afternoon hours. Rain moved out of NYC and north NJ/SE NY by 4-5pm and Long Island/CT by 6-7pm, with the heavy precipitation then spreading into Maine, where precipitation type changed to heavy snow with the presence of cold air.



Storm Impact and Precipitation Totals

12.29.13_snowThe storm produced widespread heavy rain from the Mid Atlantic into the south-central Northeast region, with moderate to heavy wet snow from the higher elevations northern Pennsylvania into central NH/VT, generally in the 1-4 inch range in the former location and 4-10″ in the latter locations, while Maine, under much colder temperatures, observed a drier snow with the highest snow totals in the region with an axis of 12-16 inches setting up inland of the coast.

In the NYC area, the main impact from this system was heavy rainfall in a short period of time, as the low pressure brought significant moisture from the Gulf of Mexico into the region with heavy precipitation rates for the time of the year. Rain totals of at least 3/4 to 1.5 inch were observed across the area, including 1.20 inch in Central Park. The highest official rain total was 1.56 inch in Islip, NY.

Below is a list of rain totals from airport observations across the area from the National Weather Service:

Northern NJ:
1.32″ – Newark, NJ (Essex)
1.09″ – Teterboro, NJ (Bergen)
0.87″ – Caldwell, NJ (Essex)

Southeast NY:
1.07″ – White Plains, NY (Westchester)
0.74″ – Montgomery, NY (Orange)

New York City and Long Island:
1.20″ – Central Park, NY (Manhattan)
1.20″ – LaGuardia, NY (Queens)
1.18″ – JFK airport, NY (Queens)

Long Island:
1.56″ – Islip, NY (Suffolk)
1.42″ – Westhampton Beach, NY (Suffolk)

1.13″ – Farmingdale, NY (Nassau)

Southern CT:
1.29″ – Bridgeport, CT (Fairfield)
1.14″ – New Haven, CT (New Haven)
1.13″ – Meriden, CT (New Haven)
1.01″ – Danbury, CT (Fairfield)
0.72″ – Groton, CT (New London)


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