According to the National Weather Service, a “blizzard” is defined as “sustained winds or frequent gusts to 35 mph or greater and considerable falling and/or blowing snow for at least a period of 3 hours or longer”. Much of the New England coast experienced those conditions Friday into Saturday as a historical nor’easter snow storm barreled up the coastline and prompted the NWS to issue many blizzard warnings across those areas days in advance. Long Island to New York City, all the way up through Boston and Providence, Maine experienced transportation shutdowns, electricity outages, and even a few mandatory curfews. Again the northeastern U.S. experienced a “historical” storm, this time a potent nor’easter and not a hurricane. This coastal storm started out as a small disturbance in Texas and trekked up the coastline gradually gaining strength. Another disturbance, part of an Alberta Clipper, was diving down into the northern and central plains and marched across the great lakes region. As Friday afternoon approached, these two disturbances merged over the New York area, rapidly intensifying the coastal storm into a wild winter monster. Pressure within the core of the storm dropped quickly allowing for strong winds, especially on the coast. Heavy snow squalls began to set up, in particular over Connecticut where 3-4” per hour were observed. Thunder and lightning was reported in some of the heavier snowbands which shows how intense those bands were. As the storm departed, a white wintry wonderland was left in its wake providing fun for some, and unnecessary work for others. Snowfall totals were impressive with many locations reporting between 1-3 feet of snow. The highest total was reported in Hamden, CT where 40 inches was observed. Boston officially reported just over 2 feet. Hurricane strength wind gusts were reported in Massachusetts as this storm moved through. A little over a dozen deaths have been reported in association with this storm. What was forecasted to be a historical storm definitely lived up to its hype. The Blizzard of 2013 will be remembered for a long time.
Cool time lapse of the blizzard in Hartford, CT
Check out the NWS Boston Snowfall & Wind Gusts Reports HERE!