February 3, 2014 Snow
Continuing with the theme of surprise major snowstorms of the winter of 2013-14, a storm that three days earlier was anticipated to remain weak and well to the south ended up trending north in the short range to produce a significant heavy wet snowstorm across the area, bringing total winter snowfall above average for most locations. Snow totals ranged from 3-5″ in interior central CT to 6-9″ in coastal CT; 3-5″ in NW NJ/interior SE NY; and 5-10″ for the rest of northern NJ into NYC and Long Island.
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February 3, 2014 Storm Archive
A strong ridge was present off the southeast US coast during the first few days of February, with mild temperatures over the northeast US to start the month. A weak wave of low pressure tracked through southeastern Canada late on February 1, with the associated frontal boundary slowly sliding east through the region during Sunday, February 2, eventually progressing off the coast during the late evening hours, but failed to make significant progress offshore due to the offshore ridging.
As the cold front slowed down, a strong shortwave trough near Texas quickly tracked northeast towards the region on Monday, February 3, under a fast, progressive southwesterly flow in the upper levels, reflecting near the surface to a wave of low pressure developing near Louisiana, rapidly tracking towards the NC/VA border before continuing offshore with a relatively high minimum pressure, near 1009 mb. With the aid of strong mid level lifting and frontogenesis, along with some moisture originating from the Gulf of Mexico, a relatively narrow band of heavy precipitation spread into the Mid Atlantic region with the northern end of the banding reaching the NYC area. Due to a slow southeastward advancement of cold ahead of the wave of low pressure, temperatures were marginally favorable for snow with this system, resulting in rain in the central-southern Mid Atlantic and a heavy wet snow over the NYC area.
Forecasting The Storm
January 29 – Storm Potential Next Week
January 30 – Wintry Mix Expected Next Weds
January 31 – Snow Likely For Monday
January 2 – Three Storms Coming Up
February 3 Storm Updates
This section will be added soon.
Storm Timeline in the Northeast
Regional radar image from 10:18 AM EDT 2/3, from the National Weather Service, showing the heavy snow band over SE PA into the NYC area.
Precipitation spread into the area around 3am from the WSW; initially, surface temperatures were warm enough to support rain from NE NJ and NYC and further south/east, with the rain/snow line shifting southeast with a changeover to snow in NYC and Long Island by 5-6am. As this occurred, a band of heavy precipitation covered most of the area, leading to a heavy wet snow falling for most locations through 7-8am. Surface temperatures were initially too warm for snow to accumulate in NYC and the coast, while accumulations quickly increased just inland of NYC with up to 1-2 inches of wet snow.
The rain/snow line continued to slowly crawl south, ultimately stalling near northern Maryland into central NJ east of Philadelphia around 8am and only slowly advancing further south towards the end of the storm. In the cold sector, moderate to heavy snow banding set up between southern PA into central NJ up to at least I-80 in NJ, NYC and Long Island, which continued to fall at a steady rate through at least 2pm. The snow slowly spread north until reaching its northernmost extent just south of Albany, NY into southern VT/NH between 11am-3pm before the precipitation shield began to collapse southward. Light snow continued through at least 5-6pm across the NYC area before tapering off.