It’s Official! Ansonia Smashes State 24-Hour Snowfall Record

Congratulations Ansonia!!!!!

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).

WVIT Blizzard 2013 Totals

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.

Location where record-breaking snow was measured.

Location in Ansonia where record-breaking snow was measured.

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.


2 thoughts on “It’s Official! Ansonia Smashes State 24-Hour Snowfall Record

  1. Hi Ryan,

    I really enjoyed the details concerning the Record 24 Hour Snowfall set
    at Ansonia Ct . I lived through the power and excitement of this storm and
    it was awesome . I am from Shelton Ct and i was very close to ground zero in this storm . It was exciting to finally get the big snowfall totals in our area.
    I have lived in Shelton Ct in all of my 51 years of life and i have been a weather buff since childhood . I have always measured these storms since my teen years and i can tell you that there has been no storm that has come close to this in the Shelton area . This storm exceeded the Blizzard of 1978 by at least 12 inches . I have done research on the Blizzard of February of 1934 in the Shelton Ct area and i know that this storm exceeds that one too by more than 6 inches . I feel that the reason that the Blizzard of 1934 had similar looking pictures locally is because before the storm started on February 19 1934 there was still six inches of snow on the ground . I always knew connecticut was capable of this type of of storm . I would always be a little disapointed when i would see storms in the past deliver more snow in New York City and New Jersey than Connecticut . I remember a few of them delivered 20-26 inches in New
    York City and Connecticut would only receive 18-20 inches of snow . I could not understand this since Connecticut at Least north of the Merritt Parkway is colder and should have a greater fluff factor and receive a higher amount than the New York and New Jersey area . It is great that we finally have the bragging rights we so justly deserve . The only thing that seemed different with this storm in the Shelton Ct area was that it seemed that the heavy band came from the south of us on Long Island and headed north . I think this made the storm different . I feel this set up the convective bands in our area and caused them not to dry out since the fetch was coming off the sound . I remember in past storms the heavy bands would set up in the Danbury Area and as they would move to the southeast going down in elevation that would dry out once they reached the shelton ct resulting in Lower snowfall totals . I believe this is called the foehn effect . I would see on a few occasions that Danbury would get 24-28 inches of snow in that metro area and Shelton would only get 20 inches max .

    Ryan , I really would like your comments on my post and i would like to know what set this storm appart . Why did the Bands come from the south and they were not allowed to dry out . Why did Danbury get a lower amount in this storm when they are usually the higher amount.

    Ryan , You are a class act and the best meteorologist in Connecticut

    Thanks, Mark

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