In March we learned the National Weather Service was investigating a possible state 24-hour snowfall record following the epic February 8-9, 2013 blizzard. The old record of 30.0″ was set in 1969 in Falls Village. With this large swath of 30″+ snowfall totals it seemed almost a lock that one official weather station would break the record (note: public reports and Skywarn spotter reports are not acceptable for records).
The State Climate Extremes Committee established to investigate this record has determined that the 36.0″ measured by the Ansonia cooperative observer Michael Witek was a record breaker. The snow was measured at Witek’s home where observations have been taken since the mid 80s. Official records have been kept in Ansonia since 1941 and began at the Quillinan Reservoir to be used by the Weather Bureau and the water company that was located at the reservoir.
The remarkable snowstorm was one of the most significant in the last 100 years. In terms of impact only the 1978 storm and the October 2011 blackout storm are in the same ballpark.
The “official” state records are updated below. We’re still left with those bogus high temperature records (I don’t believe either is accurate) but it’s nice to see a recent and accurate record up there!
Ansonia was one of the towns to fall under the super-band of snow that delivered occasional lightning, thunder, and small hail during the storm’s peak. It was so intense snowfall rates approached 6″ per hour.
While Connecticut was hit hardest by the blizzard the extent of 24″+ of snow across southern New England and Long Island was impressive.
What makes this record so remarkable is that all of the snow that fell did so in a 24-hour period (many storms that drop so much snow are spread out over a longer period) and the fact this amount of snow fell near sea level in the Naugatuck Valley just miles from Long Island Sound and New Haven. Getting such an event near New Haven and not up on a hill top in an area that can receive an “assist” from an upslope component to the wind is impressive. The 36.0″ of snow had a water equivalent of 3.24″(!!!!!)… this snow was nearly 11:1 snow to liquid. This was not one of those lame fluff storms – this was an honest blizzard.
For those of you who are interested here are some interesting links about the Ansonia 24-hour snowfall record.
- Official record report from NCDC
- B-91 form from the Ansonia observer (part 1)
- B-91 form from the Ansonia observer (part 2)