January 18, 2014 Snow
A relatively weak system tracked through the region on January 18, producing areas of moderate to locally heavy snow across the region, especially in southeast New England and the northern suburbs of NYC, where thundersnow was reported along with up to locally 5-10 inches of snow. Elsewhere, snow totals were generally in the 1-4 inch range across the region with scattered areas of higher totals up to 6-8 inches.
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January 18, 2014 Storm Archive
A strong shortwave initially tracked south into the Midwest before reaching the Ohio Valley region, producing an area of light to moderate snow but with a lack of a well defined surface low pressure. As the shortwave approached the coast and lifted northeast, a weak low pressure developed near southern New Jersey on Saturday, January 18, tracking east and staying just south of New England. The low then began to track northeast as it reached Cape Cod’s longitude while steadily deepening, reaching a minimum pressure near 994mb on Saturday evening while south of Nova Scotia and below 980mb as it crossed through Newfoundland.
Forecasting The Storm
Storm Timeline in the Northeast
Regional radar image from 9:18 AM EDT 1/18, from the National Weather Service, showing the snow squalls developing over north NJ/SE NY and the developing heavy precipitation near southeast New England.
Snow initially spread into the region late on Friday night, 1/17, into early Saturday morning, 1/18, with a narrow band of moderate to heavy snow moving through western Pennsylvania. By Saturday morning, two main precipitation shields were present, the first over northeast PA with snow squalls developing and tracking north-NNW into the Syracuse, NY region, where the snow bands continued to train in place, leading to snow totals exceeding 4 inches, with the other precipitation shield off the Mid Atlantic coast, quickly tracking northeast towards southeast New England.
As a weak low pressure developed near southern New Jersey, the precipitation shields connected around 8am with widespread moderate to heavy snow squalls developing over central New Jersey and tracking north-NNE; some of these squalls contained thundersnow, with multiple reports of thundersnow in NE NJ and thunder with a rain/snow mix in NYC. One such squall set up over Sussex and Orange counties. Further east, an axis of heavy snow set up from Bergen county in NJ into Rockland/Putnam counties and western CT; the squalls contained high radar reflectivity values up to 35dbz, and despite warm surface temperatures just north of NYC, very large snowflakes and intense snowfall rates resulted in some accumulations. Further north, where temperatures were colder, snow quickly accumulated with over 4 inches of snow observed.
By 11am-12pm, the snow squalls weakened as heavy precipitation developed over eastern Massachusetts into southeast New Hampshire; further south, this was largely in the form of rain and thunderstorms, but with heavy snow setting up mostly west and north of Boston. Precipitation weakened after 2-3pm as the heavy precipitation shifted offshore and scattered snow showers from central NY to coastal Maine slowly dissipated.