Tale of Two Storms

We were live in Old Saybrook this morning standing in 20″ of snow. What a storm! The trip down route 9 at 4 a.m. was really tough especially south of Middletown with significant snow accumulations. The area around Norwich and southern Windham county picked up 20-26″ of accumulation!! For many areas in southeastern Connecticut (Clinton to Willimantic and points southeast) this storm rivaled the 1996 snowstorm (exceeded 2005 and 2003) and may have been the biggest since 1978. Several dedicated weather watchers on the shore east of New Haven say this is the biggest storm they’ve seen since 1978!!

Further north, the snowstorm underperformed. Hartford picked up 6″, Bradley 3.5″, and Waterbury 8″. Mesoscale banding and dry air to the north (funneling down the CT River Valley) lead to dramatic snowfall gradients across the state.

In general my 8-14″ forecast was OK. New Haven, Middletown, Bridgeport, Stamford, Danbury, and Waterbury all fell into that range. Metro Hartford was just below that (5-8″) while areas east of Hartford and New Haven had more and in some cases significantly more. Litchfield County really got screwed in this storm (but they always do well, so it’s time to share the wealth!).

As it turned out the models were too generous in spreading QPF north and west. The 700/850mb low track was awfully far southeast and the sfc low passed south of 40/70. That said, we’ve seen time and time again, deformation zones overperform on the northwest fringe of storms so I’m not sure I would have made a different call given the same data in the future.

Hope you enjoyed the snowstorm! Time to get some sleep.

Ryan

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