Did North Haven Break the Record?

30.0″ is the Connecticut record for a 1-day snowfall. The National Weather Service issued a statement full of observations that I am going to list below. The highest measurement in the state was North Haven at 30.5″. The measurement is not official and it didn’t even come from a trained spotter. We don’t know much about the measurement. For example, did the person include snow already on the ground? Was it in an area prone to drifting? Was 30.5″ the highest amount the observer could find rather than an average?

A spotter in Meriden came in with a 29.0″ amount and a meteorologist friend of mine in Wallingford said that he estimated somewhere near 30″. I suppose that it’s possible North Haven broke the record but it’s probably not likely. I am going to say that North Haven likely fell just short and the 30.5″ is on the high side based on neighboring reports.

This storm was still impressive. Bradley broke the Hartford area record with 24.0″ of accumulation and back where I grew up in Guilford my mom measured 24.5″ which made this the largest snowstorm in 33 years!

...FAIRFIELD COUNTY...
   NEW FAIRFIELD         28.0  1050 AM  1/12  PUBLIC
   NEWTOWN               27.0   840 AM  1/12  SKYWARN SPOTTER
   WESTON                24.5   800 AM  1/12  SKYWARN SPOTTER
   DANBURY               24.1   300 PM  1/12  SKYWARN SPOTTER
   RIDGEFIELD            22.0   645 AM  1/12  PUBLIC
   3 SSE BROOKFIELD      22.0   730 AM  1/12  COCORAHS
   DANBURY               21.8  1000 AM  1/12  NWS COOP
   WILTON                18.7   830 AM  1/12  PUBLIC
   NEW CANAAN            18.0   915 AM  1/12  SKYWARN SPOTTER
   DARIEN                17.5  1100 AM  1/12  CT DOT
   WESTPORT              17.4   815 AM  1/12  SKYWARN SPOTTER
   SHELTON               17.3   950 AM  1/12  PUBLIC
   BRIDGEPORT            16.0   100 PM  1/12  NWS COOP
   NORWALK               16.0   934 AM  1/12  PUBLIC
   GREENWICH             15.5   250 PM  1/12  PUBLIC
   STRATFORD             14.0   930 AM  1/12  PUBLIC
   STAMFORD              14.0   800 AM  1/12  SKYWARN SPOTTER

...MIDDLESEX COUNTY...
   HADDAM                22.0   214 PM  1/12  PUBLIC
   PORTLAND              22.0   800 AM  1/13  COCORAHS
   EAST HADDAM           21.5   335 PM  1/12  PUBLIC
   CLINTON               21.0  1200 PM  1/12  PUBLIC
   WESTBROOK             20.5   915 PM  1/12  PUBLIC
   DEEP RIVER            20.0  1100 AM  1/12  PUBLIC
   OLD SAYBROOK          17.5   300 PM  1/12  CT DOT

...NEW HAVEN COUNTY...
   NORTH HAVEN           30.5   630 PM  1/12  PUBLIC
   MERIDEN               29.0   120 PM  1/12  SKYWARN SPOTTER
   SOUTHBURY             28.0  1120 AM  1/12  PUBLIC
   CHESHIRE              25.5   300 PM  1/12  PUBLIC
   GUILFORD              24.5   300 PM  1/12  PUBLIC
   NORTH BRANFORD        24.0  1240 PM  1/12  PUBLIC
   BETHANY               21.0  1220 PM  1/12  SKYWARN SPOTTER
   SEYMOUR               20.0  1100 AM  1/12  PUBLIC
   WATERBURY             20.0   100 PM  1/12  CT DOT
   OXFORD                20.0   745 AM  1/12  PUBLIC
   BRANFORD              19.8  1230 PM  1/12  PUBLIC
   NEW HAVEN             19.0  1100 AM  1/12  CT DOT
   MILFORD               18.0  1100 AM  1/12  CT DOT
   BEACON FALLS          17.3  1100 AM  1/12  CT DOT

...HARTFORD COUNTY...
   MANCHESTER            27.0   554 PM  1/12  HAM RADIO
   GLASTONBURY           25.5   540 PM  1/12  HAM RADIO
   NEW BRITAIN           24.3   545 PM  1/12  HAM RADIO
   ELLINGTON             24.0   236 PM  1/12  HAM RADIO
   SIMSBURY              24.0   123 PM  1/12  HAM RADIO
   WINDSOR LOCKS         24.0   936 PM  1/12  BRADLEY AIRPORT
   BRISTOL               23.0  1120 AM  1/12  SPOTTER
   SOUTH WINDSOR         22.1   420 PM  1/12  NWS EMPLOYEE
   WEST HARTFORD         22.0   244 PM  1/12  HAM RADIO
   WETHERSFIELD          22.0   240 PM  1/12  HAM RADIO
   VERNON                21.6  1149 AM  1/12  HAM RADIO
   SUFFIELD              21.0   551 PM  1/12  HAM RADIO
   BURLINGTON            21.0   138 PM  1/12
   ENFIELD               21.0  1148 AM  1/12  HAM RADIO
   FARMINGTON            20.3   100 PM  1/12
   EAST HARTFORD         20.0  1158 AM  1/12  HAM RADIO
   BERLIN                18.0   159 PM  1/12
   EAST GRANBY           18.0   100 PM  1/12
   GRANBY                17.5  1150 AM  1/12  HAM RADIO
   SOUTHINGTON           17.0  1252 PM  1/12  HAM RADIO
   UNIONVILLE            16.2   139 PM  1/12
   GRANBY (2MI SW)       16.0  1245 PM  1/12  NWS EMPLOYEE
   NORTH GRANBY          14.8   730 PM  1/12
   AVON                  14.0   100 PM  1/12

...TOLLAND COUNTY...
   STAFFORDVILLE         29.0   726 PM  1/12
   TOLLAND               25.5   649 AM  1/13
   ELLINGTON             24.0   539 PM  1/12  HAM RADIO
   SOMERS                23.5   745 PM  1/12
   STAFFORD SPRINGS      23.3   755 PM  1/12
   VERNON                23.0   538 PM  1/12  HAM RADIO
   UNION                 19.0   300 PM  1/12
   STORRS                17.5   425 PM  1/12  SPOTTER
   MANSFIELD             17.0   100 PM  1/12

...WINDHAM COUNTY...
   POMFRET               22.0   825 PM  1/12  HAM RADIO
   EAST KILLINGLY        21.0   639 PM  1/12
   MOOSUP                21.0   620 PM  1/12  GENERAL PUBLIC
   ASHFORD               19.0   328 PM  1/12
   PUTNAM                17.0   300 PM  1/12
   DANIELSON             16.0   826 PM  1/12  HAM RADIO
   STERLING              15.7  1237 PM  1/12  HAM RADIO
   SCOTLAND              13.5   352 PM  1/12

...LITCHFIELD COUNTY...
   CORNWALL              28.0   450 PM  1/12  MOHAWK MTN SKI AREA
   WOODBURY              28.0   500 PM  1/12  WOODBURY SKI AREA
   CANAAN                27.0   506 PM  1/12  WEATHERNET6
   SHARON                24.8   443 PM  1/12  WEATHERNET6
   2 N SOUTH CANAAN      24.5   500 PM  1/12  CT DOT NORTH CANAAN
   1 SE WINSTED          24.0  1200 PM  1/12  COCORAHS
   BAKERSVILLE           22.2   645 AM  1/13  CO-OP OBSERVER
   NORFOLK               21.7   800 AM  1/13  CO-OP OBSERVER
   NEW PRESTON           21.0   230 PM  1/12  TRAINED SPOTTER
   LITCHFIELD            20.0   500 PM  1/12  CT DOT
   3 NNW WINSTED         20.0   200 PM  1/12  COCORAHS
   THOMASTON             18.0   500 PM  1/12  CT DOT
   TORRINGTON            17.0   324 PM  1/12  TRAINED SPOTTER
   WINCHESTER CENTER     17.0   500 PM  1/12  CT DOT
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16 thoughts on “Did North Haven Break the Record?

  1. Ryan,

    Just curious, but what’s the difference between “Ham Radio” and “Spotter” reports?

    Also, I’m a bit surprised — based on radar images, I thought western CT would easily have the highest snow totals, given the extremely heavy band of snow which was basically stationary there for hours. However, Tolland County seems to have some of the highest totals…

    Thanks!

    • The difference only comes from how the reports were submitted. Some came from HAM radio and others came from SKYWARN spotters.

      Western Connecticut did cash in at least initially but the snow bands were very persistent during the mid to late morning in central and eastern Connecticut allowing that part of the state to cash in with an additional 6″ of snow in some cases.

  2. I live in North Haven and in my driveway there was about 28-29 inches of new snow. My driveway had no snow the day before. In my grass it ranged from 33 – 36. This I would say is accurately measured and the town did break the record but it may range a few inches around the town. There was not much drifting because snow was wet and heavy and winds were too light.

    • Thanks for the comment, Alex. I heard from a meteorologist in Wallingford that he thought they were close to 30″. Unfortunately since the report didn’t come from an “official” source it will be hard to prove its validity. I doubt it will hold up against the current record even if 30.5″ did indeed fall.

      Pretty remarkable to have nearly 3 feet of snow in metro New Haven. That hasn’t happened in a long long time.

      • Yes I went down the street and my neighbor had 27 of new snow in his driveway and on the other side of town my cousin had 33 of new in her driveway. There is a little blowing but I would say about 30 inches fell. It shouldn’t be doubted that at least 30 inches fell here. Also there was 29 inches by a skywarn spotter in Meriden which makes the 30.5 seem valid or a very good estimate give or take an inch or two skywarn spotter or not. I went from East Haven to North Haven today where they only reported 19 or 20 inches and the difference in amounts is crazy. Way less in East Haven than North Haven by at least 7 or 8 inches or even more I would say.

      • Thanks, Alex. Yeah sometimes these things produce localized bands of much higher snowfall so yeah 30.5″ is definitely possible. For the greater New Haven area this was the biggest snowstorm since 1978. Very impressive!

        Do you have any pictures you could share?

      • Yes I do, snow was over the mailbox and up to my waist. I am only 5 foot 3. I will try to get the pics on here as a reply or do you have an email I can send them to you?

  3. Ryan,
    Historically, in terms of amounts, where does this storm stand in relation to the Blizzard of ’78? In my mind that storm resulted in 3-4 feet of snow if I remember correctly.

    • What truly set 1978 apart was the incredible wind. The actual snowfall totals form the 1978 storm were similar to this storm but the wind whipped the snow in ’78 into incredible drifts that reached the second floor of some homes. There was also more snow on the ground prior to the 1978 blizzard.

      That said, in northeastern Connecticut, 30″-40″ of snow fell in the 1978 storm so in that area the storm was indeed worse in terms of total snow and snow drifts. For central and western Connecticut the amounts were not as high.

  4. The 29.0″ amount reported from Staffordville seems a bit high to me. I live 10 minutes from there, and received at least 5 inches less…

  5. I measured every hour or so to keep track, but I didn’t clear away the snow until we were up to 20″. Does the snow depth change much after being out there for 12 hours, verses measuring and clearing every couple hours?

    • Hey Joey, it depends. A lot of times the snow will settle after sitting for a while so you can record say 12″ for a snowstorm total while the maximum snow depth is only 9″ or 10″. Your totals wind up being a bit higher when you clear every 6 hours.

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