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Nice List of Great Snowstorms in the NE USA - Eastern US Weather Forums

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Nice List of Great Snowstorms in the NE USA

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#1 Logan11

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 08:24 PM

History of Significant Snowstorms in the Northeast U.S.
Reprinted from: Snowstorms Along the Northeastern Coast of the United States: 1955 to 1985, Kocin and Uccellini, American Meteorological Society EIGHTEENTH CENTURY

27 February – 7 March 1717. "The Great Snow of 1717." A series of four snowstorms, two relatively minor and two major, left depths in excess of 90 cm (3 feet) to 120 cm ( 4 feet) across most of southern New England, with drifts exceeding 750 cm (= 24.6 feet!!). The effects of these storms were so impressive that local historical accounts still singled out this storm period as the "The Great Snow" more than 100 years following the event.

24 March 1765. This storm affected the area from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts. From Philadelphia came this report: On Sunday night last there came on here a very severe snowstorm, the wind blowing very high, which continued all the next day, when it is believed there fell the greatest quantity of snow that has been known for many years past; it being generally held to be two feet [(60 cm)], or two feet and a half [(75 cm)], on the level, and in some places deeper."

27-28 January 1772. "The Washington and Jefferson Snowstorm." George Washington n Mount Vernon and Thomas Jefferson in Monticello were marooned by this storm. Snowfall was estimated at 90 cm on a level across Virginia and Maryland. Washington wrote,". . . the deepest snow which I suppose the oldest living every remembers to have seen in this country."

26 December 1778. "The Hessian Storm: was a severe blizzard accompanied by heaving snows, high winds, and bitter cold from Pennsylvania to New England, with drifts reported to 500 cm in Rhode Island. The storm was named for troops occupying Rhode Island during the Revolutionary War.

28 December 1779 – 7 January 1780. Three storms during one of the coldest winters of the past three centuries produced deep snow sin much of New England. The first storm produced rain from New York City southward, but snow occurred in New England with 45 cm at New Haven, Connecticut. The second system was a violent snowstorm with extremely high tides from the Carolinas northward. The third storm was confined primarily to eastern New England. Snow depths in the wake of the three storms ranged between 60 and 120 cm from Pennsylvania to New England.

4 – 10 December 1786. This period featured another succession of three crippling snowstorms. Estimates in the local press placed snow depths form Pennsylvania to New England at 60 to 120 cm… In describing the third storm, a Boston newspaper notes, "snowstorm equally severe and violent with that we experienced on Monday and Tuesday preceding. The quantity of snow is supposed to be greater, now, than has been seen in this country at any time since that which fell seventy years ago, commonly terms. ‘The Great Snow.’"

19 - 21 November 1798. "The Long Storm: is described by Ludlum as the heaviest November snowstorm in the history of the coastal northeast from Maryland to Maine. Forth-five cm of snow reportedly fell in New York City.

26 - 28 January 1805. This cyclone brought a very heavy snowstorm to New York City and New England. Snow fell continuously for 48 hours in New York City, where 60 cm reported accumulated.

23-24 December 1811. Temperatures fell from well above freezing on 23 December to -15ºC on 24 December, while a storm intensified explosively off Long Island, New York. Snowfall in New York City, Long Island, and southern New England averaged 30 cm, as severe blizzard conditions prevailed. Strong winds and high tides caused extensive damage to shipping.

5 – 7 January 1821. An extensive snowstorm spread form Virginia to southern New England, leaving 30 cm at Washington, D.C, 35 cm at Baltimore, Maryland, 45 cm at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and 35 cm in New York City.

14 – 16 January 1831. "The Great Snowstorm" produced the heaviest snowfall over the largest area of any storm studied by Ludlum. Accumulations exceeded 25 cm from the Ohio Valley across much of the Atlantic cast north of Georgia. Washington, D.C., reported 33 cm, with 45 cm at Baltimore, Maryland, 45 to 90 cm near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 37 to 50 cm at New York City, and 50 to 75 cm over southern New England.

8-10 January 1836. This event became known as "The Big Snow" for interior New York, northern Pennsylvania, and western New England, where 75 to 100 cm fell. The storm also buried the coastal plan, with 37 cm at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 37 to 45 cm at New York City, and 60 cm across southern New Jersey.

18-19 January 1857. "The Cold Storm" combined snowfall in excess of 25 cm with temperatures near or below -15ºC and high winds to produce severe blizzard conditions from North Carolina to Maine. Snow totals ranged from 37 cm near Norfolk, Virginia, to 45 to 60 cm in Washington, D.C., and 60 cm at Baltimore, Maryland, with 30 cm at New York City, and 35 cm at Boston, Massachusetts.

11 – 14 March 1888. The "Blizzard of 88" produced severe blizzard conditions over a 2 – to 3-day period across Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and central and western New England. Perhaps the most legendary of all historic snowstorms, it generated depths of 75 to 125 cm across sections of New York and New England, with extremely high winds and temperatures falling below -15ºC. New York City was particularly hard hit, with widespread destruction of shipping and communications. See Kocin (1983) for a meteorological analysis of the storm and Werstein (1960) and Caplovich (1987) for descriptive and photographic accounts of the storm.

26 – 27 November 1898. The "Portland Storm" was a rapidly developing system that yielded record early-season snowfalls from the Middle Atlantic States to New England, accompanied by high winds. New York and Boston received about 25 cm, which New London, Connecticut, measured 68 cm. The event was named for the S.S. Portland, which sand offshore of Cape Cod during the storm.

12 – 14 February 1899. The "Blizzard of ‘99" formed along the leading edge of one of the greatest outbreaks of Arctic air ever experienced in the central and eastern United States. Snow fell from central Florida to Maine with 25- to 50-cm accumulations common from the Carolina to New Engalnd. See Kocin et al. (1988) for a meteorological account of this episode.

25-26 December 1909. The Christmas night storm produced heavy snow, high winds, and high tides throughout the Northeast. The snowfall of 53 cm in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was the greatest in modern records until 1983.

1 – 2 March 1914. This intense storm resulted in 30 to 60 cm of snow in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, along with high winds. The sea level pressure fell to 962 mb at New York City at the height of the storm, with near-hurricane-force winds and snow accumulations of 35 cm.

3 – 4 April 1915. A spring snowstorm produced accumulations of 25 to 50 cm throughout the Middle Atlantic States and southern New England with 48 cm at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

4 – 7 February 1920. This was a great snow and sleet storm tat left an accumulation of 37 to 50 cm of ice, sleet, and snow in New York City and Boston, Massachusetts, stalling traffic for weeks.

27 – 29 January 1922. The "Knickerbocker Storm" affected the Middle Atlantic States on the 150th anniversary of the "Washington and Jefferson Storm." Exceptionally heavy snow fell in Virginia and Maryland. Seventy centimeters buried Washington, D.C., contributing to the collapse of the roof of the Knickerbocker Theatre where more than 100 people were killed.

19 – 20 February 1934. During the coldest February on record, this rapidly developing storm produced severe blizzard conditions throughout southern New England. This snowfall was one of Connecticut’s worst in modern times, with 50-cm accumulations, strong winds, and temperatures that dropped from near 0ºC to -15ºC during the course of the storm.

22 – 24 January 1935. This was a widespread storm that left snow accumulations of 30 cm or more from Pennsylvania northward through New England.

14 – 15 February 1940. The "St. Valentine’s Day Storm:" was a rapidly developing system that paralyzed Boston and the rest of New England with snow depths exceeding 30 cm and very high winds.

26 – 27 December 1947. A surprise snowstorm brought 65 cm, the heaviest 24-hour accumulation of snow in New York City’s modern records. Most of the snow actually fell within a 12-hour period. At White Plans, New York, 15 cm piled up in just 1 hour with 49 cm over a 6-hour span.
* During the years from 1955 through 1985, a number of winter storms have also attained historic stature in the Northeast. The blizzards of February 1958 and January 1966, the triple snowstorms of the 1960/1961 winter, the great New England wind and snowstorm of February 1978, the "Presidents’ Day Storm" of February 1979, and the paralyzing urban storm of February 1983 are the most notable events of this period.

18-20 March 1956. Event Accumulations – southeastern New Hampshire – 10-15". The heaviest snow occurred across the densely populated sections of eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, southeastern New York, and South New England.

14-17 February 1958. Event Accumulations – southeastern New Hampshire to 20" – western and central New Hampshire accumulations to 33". The "Blizzard of ‘58" was a widespread storm that produced snow accumulation in excess of 25 cm form Alabama to Maine. Intense cold and high winds persisted after the snow ended, prolonging the severe effects of the storm. Regions with snow accumulations exceeding 50 cm; eastern Pennsylvania, western and eastern New York, southern Vermont, eastern Massachusetts, and scattered areas of New Hampshire, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Maryland.

18-21 March 1958. Event Accumulations – up to 22" in south central New Hampshire and up to 24" in west central New Hampshire. Elevation played a very significant role in the snow fall distribution. Regions with snow accumulations exceeding 50 cm: sections of north-central Maryland, eastern Pennsylvania, western New Jersey, and scattered areas of northern Virginia, northern Delaware, southeastern New York, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.

2-5 March 1960. Event Accumulations up to 25" in south central and south eastern New Hampshire. Severe blizzard conditions occurred in eastern Massachusetts, as snow accumulations exceeded 50 to 75 cm and near-hurricane force winds battered the coast. * Regions with snow accumulations exceeding 50 cm: eastern Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and scattered areas of northern New Jersey, southeastern New York, Connecticut, and New Hampshire.

10-13 December 1960. Event Accumulations up to 17" in south eastern New Hampshire. This early-season storm was the first of three big snowstorms during the 1960/1961 winter season. Temperatures falling below -7º C created blizzard conditions across parts of the Middle Atlantic and New England States.

18-20 January 1961. Event Accumulations up to 25" in south eastern and south central New Hampshire. The "Kennedy Inaugural Snowstorm" was the second of three major East Coast winter storms during the 1960/1961 season. Blizzard or near-blizzard conditions developed across the northeastern United States as the cyclone deepened rapidly offshore. Regions with snow accumulations exceeding 50 cm: scattered parts of eastern Pennsylvania northern New Jersey, southeastern New York, northwestern Connecticut, northeastern Massachusetts, and southern New Hampshire.

2-5 February 1961. Event Accumulations up to 18" across southern New Hampshire. The third major snowstorm of the 1960/1961 winter season occurred at the end of one of the more prolonged cold spells experienced across the northeastern United States. It produced near-record snow cover in the major metropolitan areas since snow fell on unmelted accumulations from the previous storms. This storm also produced paralyzing gale- to hurricane-force winds on the coast, with wind gusts of 43 m s –1 at Blue Hill Observatory, Milton, Massachusetts. Temperatures rose to near freezing during the storm, producing heavy, wet snow accumulations along the cost.

11-14 January 1964. Event Accumulations up to 12" in southern and central New Hampshire. This system was a large, slow-moving storm that produced severe winter weather through much of the central and eastern United States. Blizzard conditions prevailed throughout the Middle Atlantic States and southern New England, as temperatures fell below -7º C and winds speeds increased to greater than gale force.

29-31 January 1966. Event Accumulations up to 10" across central New Hampshire. This storm is referred to as the "Blizzard of ’66" The storm was the third and most severe in a series of three snowstorms that occurred over a 10-day period along the Middle Atlantic Coast.

23-25 December 1966. Event Accumulations up to 15" in western central New Hampshire. This case is notable as a Christmas Eve snowstorm, which deposited heavy snow over a wide area extending from the southern Plans states to New England. An intriguing aspect of this storm was the numerous reports of thunderstorms with heavy snow from the Middle Atlantic States to New England.

5-7 February 1967. Event Accumulations up to 13" in southeastern New Hampshire. Snowfall was produced from two separate low-pressure systems. The first cyclone produced a narrow band of snow across the northern Middle Atlantic States and southern New England, with accumulations generally less than 10 cm. It also ushered very cold air into New England and the Middle Atlantic States. The second storm produced heavy snowfall rates, but for a relatively short duration. As this storm moved rapidly northeastward along the Eat coast, blizzard conditions developed across the middle Atlantic and southern New England states.

8-10 February 1969. Event Accumulations up to 27" in southeastern New Hampshire and up to 42" in northeastern New Hampshire. The rapid development and deceleration of the storm brought paralyzing snow and increasing winds from northern New Jersey through most of New England. Regions with snow accumulations exceeding 50 cm: parts of the New York City and Boston metropolitan areas, western Connecticut, western and eastern Massachusetts, southern Vermont, northern Rhode Island, eastern New Hampshire, and southern Maine.

22-28 February 1969. Events Accumulations to 98" in Western Central New Hampshire, 34" in coastal areas and 2 to 3’ across New Hampshire generally. This was an unusual storm due to its slow movement, long duration, moderate intensity, erratic intensification, lack of large thermal contract at the surface, and chaotic upper-level geopotential height patterns. The storm produced excessive amounts of snow across New England with accumulations of greater than 75 cm across large sections of eastern Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine.

25-28 December 1969. Event accumulations to 41" in Western Central New Hampshire and 12–18" generally. This storm was a near-miss for the large cities of the northeastern United States as heavy snow turned to rain (and back to snow in many areas). This system is one of the heaviest snowstorms on record for eastern and northern New York. Accumulations of greater than 50 cm covered a wide area of central and eastern New York into northwestern New England.

18-20 February 1972. Event accumulations to 21" in southeastern New Hampshire 14-19" in southern New Hampshire and 15-19" in Northeastern New Hampshire. This storm was another near-miss for the major cities as the heaviest snow fell immediately to their west and north. This storm was one of the few to pose a threat of heavy snow in the Northeast urban corridor during the early and middle 1970s. Strong easterly winds and rough seas caused significant damage along the Middle Atlantic and New England costs.

19-21 January 1978. Events accumulations to 16" in southern and central New Hampshire. For many of the urban centers that span the northeastern United States, this was the most debilitating snowstorm since 1969. This storm was the last in a series of three during a week that produced a variety of winter weather conditions across the Northeast. The storm was accompanied by wind gusts exceeding 20 m s from New Jersey to the New England coast.

5-7 February 1978. Events accumulations to 28" in northeast New Hampshire, 25" in west central New Hampshire and 33" along coastal New Hampshire. Hurricane-force winds and record-breaking snowfall made this storm one of the more intense to occur this century across parts of the northeastern United States. Despite accurate predictions, many people were stranded on the roads in the New York City areas, because the onset of heavy snow occurred slightly later than predicted during the Monday morning rush hour. People were generally skeptical of the warnings issued by operational weather forecasters following a series of inaccurate forecasts of winter weather during the preceding month. The most severely affected regions were Long Island, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, where business and schools were shut down for a week or more. Regions with snow accumulations exceeding 50 cm: sections of northeastern Pennsylvania, northern New Jersey, western and southeastern New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, southern Vermont, and parts of New Hampshire and Maine.

5-7 April 1982. Event accumulations to 22" in coastal New Hampshire and to 18" over southern and central New Hampshire. This unusual late-season storm produced near-blizzard conditions over much of Pennsylvania, New York, and New England. Thunderstorms with frequent lightning were reported in New York City during the heaviest snowfall. The storm was followed by one of the coldest air masses on record for April. The temperature at Boston, Massachusetts, remained near -10ºduring the afternoon of 7 April. Regions with snow accumulations exceeding 50 cm: scattered portions of New York, southern Vermont, northeastern Massachusetts, and southeastern New Hampshire.

10-12 February 1983. Event accumulations to 20" in extreme southeastern New Hampshire. This snowstorm was one of many cyclones to affect the eastern United States during a winter that was unusually warm and storm, but it was one of the few storms accompanied by temperatures cold enough for snowfall. The 24-hour snowfalls at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Allentown, Pennsylvania, and Hartford, Connecticut, were the greatest on record. For many other cities, this was one of the heaviest snowstorms on record. Accumulations reach 75 cm in parts of northern Virginia, western Maryland, and the panhandle of West Virginia. Winds were still high enough to create blizzard or near-blizzard conditions from eastern Pennsylvania and north Delaware to Massachusetts.

#2 Nickysixes

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 08:36 PM

Nice read except I'm not in the UK or Canada! What's w/the metric crapola? :rolleyes:

#3 Logan11

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 08:46 PM

View PostNickysixes, on Nov 19 2005, 08:36 PM, said:

Nice read except I'm not in the UK or Canada! What's w/the metric crapola? :rolleyes:

That is all pulled from the Kocin book. He gave inches and cm in the book though if I recall correctly.

For conversion purposes... 10cm = 3.9" or say 4"

#4 Turtle

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 09:08 PM

View PostNickysixes, on Nov 19 2005, 08:36 PM, said:

Nice read except I'm not in the UK or Canada! What's w/the metric crapola? :rolleyes:


I believe that, because the Kocin/Uccellini book is an AMS monograph, they use both metric and English units for the international members.

Just my 2 cents worth.

--Turtle ;)

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