Thursday-Friday February 13-14, 2014
Major Nor'easter: Heavy Snow

This was the fourth significant storm of the 2013-14 winter season and by far the strongest being the first classic coastal Nor'easter of the winter. Heavy snowfall came in two installments, the first during the late morning and afternoon on the 13th, and the second during the pre-dawn hours on the 14th.
Widespread storm total snowfall accumulations ranged from 12"-17" with a large area encompassing the eastern Catskills, Helderbergs, mid Hudson valley, as well as the higher elevations in Rutland, Bennington, and Berkshire counties where 17"-22"+ accumulated. Heavy snowfall of 6"-12" accumulated in the Mohawk valley and Adirondacks in a region displaced farther from the coastal storm track.


Photographer: WeatherNet 6 Spotter Tom Surprenant: Heavy snow falling on Cohoes Hill at 2:00am Friday February 14, 2014

Cohoes, Albany County 2am 2/14/2014

Photograph posted to Facebook by Michael Einarsson: Heavy Snow Accumulation in Averill Park, Rensselaer County 2/14/2014

Heavy Snow Accumulation in Averill Park, Rensselaer County 2/14/2014 

Set Up:
This storm primarily originated in the southern branch of the jet stream forming from a strong upper level short wave trough which gained energy and moisture from the nearby warm Gulf of Mexico. With cold air displaced far to the south across the nation, much of the Southeast was dealt a harsh winter hit from the system with heavy snow and ice which impacted portions east Texas to southern Arkansas and northern Louisiana on Tuesday the 11th. The wintry weather intensified from Wednesday through Wednesday night the 12th across northern Alabama, north Georgia and the Carolinas up through the Virginias as a combination of major icing and heavy snow brought much of the Southeast up through the mid Atlantic to a complete stand still with hundreds of thousands reported to have lost power from ice in north Georgia and the Carolinas. As much as a foot of snow fell on Washington DC with the system steaming to the north into the Northeast.

PHASE #1:
The storm redeveloped along the coast in classic fashion along the southern tip of the Delmarva Thursday afternoon and evening as a disturbance in the northern branch of the jet tracking south through the Midwest partially phased with the strong southern stream storm to help pull the system close to the coast and line it up well with the strong temperature contrast zone that's typically in place in the region due to the clash of the cold continental air with the much warmer maritime air due to the Gulf Stream. The coupling of the strong jet stream features and strong baroclinic zone (temperature gradient) allowed rapid deepening of the system and a subsequent strong period of overrunning into the Northeast which produced bands of heavy snow across eastern New York and western New England from the late morning into the afternoon. Snowfall rates within these bands generally ranged from 1"-2" per hour which produced snowfall accumulations ranging from 5"-9" on average from the Capital Region on south into the Catskills, mid Hudson valley, Berkshire and Litchfield counties with some localized accumulations up to 13" in the eastern Catskills by 6pm. Much lighter snow accumulations, ranging from 1"-4" on average, occurred in the western Catskills, Mohawk valley, Adirondacks and Rutland County, VT as the snow bands weakened considerably in those areas through 9pm. A lull period developed throughout much of the region with only very light snow from the late afternoon through approximately 10-11pm prior to the second phase of the storm getting underway. The radar images below chronicle the snow bands which contributed to the majority of the snow accumulation with this first phase of the storm.

Albany Doppler Radar (ENX) Reflectivity Image at 1:10pm Thursday February 13, 2014: The darker green and yellow banding shown in the imagery indicated moderate to heavy snowfall with rates of 1"-2" per hour in the Mid Hudson valley, Berkshire and Litchfield counties


Albany NWS Doppler Radar Image at 1:10pm 2/13/2014

Albany Doppler Radar (ENX) Reflectivity Image at 1:45pm Thursday February 13, 2014: The imagery shows two distinct bands of heavy snow, circled, as they progressed from southeast to northwest through the region during the afternoon. Visibility in downtown Albany dropped to below 1/4 of a mile in heavy snow at the time of this image.

Albany NWS Doppler Radar Image at 1:45pm 2/13/2014 

Albany Doppler Radar (ENX) Reflectivity Image at 4:26pm Thursday February 13, 2014: The imagery shows the moderate to heavy snow band lifting north of the Capital Region stretching from Rutland, Washington, and Saratoga counties on west through the Mohawk valley. Only very light snow was detected at this time across much of the remainder of the region as a lull period developed.

Albany NWS Doppler Radar Image at 4:26pm 2/13/2014 

PHASE 2: (Heavy snow from 11pm on the 13th to 6am on the 14th)
As part of the rapid intensification process, widespread thunderstorms erupted over the gulf stream east of the developing low. The widespread convection caused mid level warming to occur east of the system and a subsequent high pressure ridge aloft. This small scale ridging aided in pushing the storm very close to the coast causing a subsequent track over southeastern New England up past Providence Rhode Island to near Boston by early Friday morning. This track put eastern New York and western New England in the sweet spot for the heaviest snow directly related to the bombing storm.

The parent upper level low moved just south of New York City during the pre-dawn hours on Friday capturing the surface storm which caused explosive development leading to intense vertical velocities to develop on the western side of the circulation contributing to a zone of heavy snowfall which encompassed much of eastern New York and western New England from 11pm on the 13th through 6am on the 14th. After an initial period of heavy sleet in the mid Hudson valley, western New England and briefly into the Capital Region between 10pm and 1am, due to a brief surge of mid level warming being caused by the strong circulation around the surface low, temperatures aloft cooled to support heavy snow with snowfall rates of up to 2" and briefly 3" per hour. Thunder snow occurred over New Jersey, into the mid Hudson valley, and over central New England within this zone of heavy snow. In most cases snow accumulations were either matched or more than doubled what fell across the region with the first phase of the storm leading to the blockbuster amounts in excess of 20" in many higher elevation locations in the Catskills and across western New England with widespread amounts over 12" across most of the remainder of the region.

The 14.4" of snow that fell at Albany was the heaviest snowfall from a single storm in this season, and just missed the top ten list by two tenths of an inch of all time heaviest February snow storms on record at Albany.

A tight pressure gradient over the region through Friday supported frequent westerly wind gusts of 30-45 mph which caused blowing and drifting of the moderately wet snow. Temperatures generally ranged from the upper 20s to low 30s during the storm and climbed into the mid 30s in the wake of the system on Friday.

Surface Map around 9pm Thursday February 13, 2014 showing the position of the intensifying Nor'easter and subsequent zone of heavy snow breaking out over eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. This was the zone of heavy snow which translated north into eastern New York and western New England through the pre-dawn hours on Friday the 14th.

Albany NWS Doppler Radar Image at 4:26pm 2/13/2014 

 

WeatherNet 6 Observed Storm Total Snowfall Distribution for the February 13-14, 2014 Nor'easter

February 13-14, 2014 Snowfall Distribution 

WeatherNet Storm Total Snowfall Reports for February 13-14, 2014

Town County Snowfall Report Town County Snowfall Report
Pittsfield, MA Berkshire 11" Lanesborough, MA Berkshire 20.0"
           
Preston Hollow Albany 23.5" Guilderland Center Albany 24.5"
Coeymans Hollow Albany 24.0" South Berne Albany 27.0"
Latham Albany 16.0" Colonie Albany 14.0"
Glenmont Albany 15.8" Cohoes Albany 16.0"
Green Island Albany 17.1" Voorheesville Albany 14.5"
Knox Albany
15.0"
Newtonville Albany 16.1"
Ravena Albany 20.0"      
           
Kinderhook Columbia 20.3" Ancramdale Columbia 14.6"
Livingston Columbia 15.0" Hudson Columbia 17.3"
Chatham Columbia 19.5" Germantown Columbia 17.5"
Crayville Columbia 17.0" Claverack Columbia 16.5"
Taghkanic Columbia 17.1" North Chatham Columbia 19.8"
Austerlitz Columbia 16.5"      
           
Stamford Delaware 18.0" Roxbury Delaware 14.0"
Arkville Delaware 20.0"      
           
Pine Plains Dutchess 18.5"      
           
Perth Fulton 10.5" Broadalbin Fulton 14.0"
Gloversville Fulton 8.0" Johnstown Fulton 10.0"
           
Climax Greene 22.0" Durham Greene 17.0" to 23.0"
Athens Greene 16.5" Greenville Greene 21.5"
Catskill Greene 16.5" Halcott Center Greene 15.0"
Ashland Greene 15.5" South Cairo Greene 18.0"
Halcott Greene 14.0" Prattsville Greene 22.0"
           
Wells Hamilton 4.0" Hoffmeister Hamilton 6.0"
           
Fonda Montgomery 11.5" Hessville Montgomery 6.8"
Amsterdam Montgomery 12.5" to 14.3" Stone Ridge Montgomery 13.3"
Glen Montgomery 10.0" Palatine Bridge Montgomery 7.5"
           
Oneonta Otsego 6.2" Worcester Otsego 15.0"
Maryland Otsego 12.0" Cherry Valley Otsego 12.5"
           
Wynantskill Rensselaer 17.0" Grafton Rensselaer 18.0" to 19.5"
Center Brunswick Rensselaer 17.8" Lansingburgh Rensselaer 17.0"
Brunswick Rensselaer 14.0" to 17.5" Speigletown Rensselaer 18.0"
           
Mechanicville Saratoga 18.0" Charlton Saratoga 13.3"
Saratoga Springs Saratoga 14.4" Lake Desolation Saratoga 16.5"
Clifton Park (Oaks) Saratoga 12.5" Wilton Saratoga 13.5"
Corinth Saratoga 10.0" Milton Saratoga 12.0" to 14.0"
Malta Saratoga 13.0" Edinburg Saratoga 7.5"
Hadley Saratoga 12.0" Ballston Spa Saratoga 13.5"
           
Scotia Schenectady 15.0" Duanesburg Schenectady 12.5"
Princetown Schenectady 21.5"      
           
Gilboa Schoharie 24.0" Jefferson Schoharie 16.0"
West Jefferson Schoharie 17.5" Huntersland Schoharie 22.5"
Summit Schoharie 14.5" to 20.0" Middleburgh Schoharie 20.5"
Fulton Schoharie 21.0" Seward Schoharie 13.0"
Charlotteville Schoharie 15.8" Sharon Springs Schoharie 14.0" to 14.5"
Richmondville Schoharie 14.0"      
           
New Paltz Ulster 16.8" Phoenicia Ulster 20.5"
Highmount Ulster 16.0" Saugerties Ulster 15.5"
West Shokan Ulster 14.0" Kingston Ulster 18.0"
           
Queensbury Warren 12.3" Warrensburg Warren 9.0"
Brant Lake Warren 8.0" Lake Luzerne Warren 12.0"
           
Fort Edward Washington 17.0" Hebron Washington 18.0"
Hudson Falls Washington 13.0"      
           
Woodford, VT Bennington 25.0" Landgrove, VT Bennington 20.3"
Danby, VT Rutland 14.0" West Rutland, VT Rutland 12.0"

 

Photographer: WeatherNet 6 spotter Dan Hurley, Grafton, NY Friday February 14, 2014. A view from the basement door, 19.5" of snow Photographer: Bonnie Tanner, posting via Facebook from Grand Gorge, Delaware County. A typical street scene, 12" of snow reported here
Grafton, NY Rensselaer County Friday February 14, 2014, a view from the basement  Grand Gorge, Delaware County, typical street scene, Friday February 14, 2014 
Photographer: WeatherNet 6 spotters Eric and Nancy Utermark, Charlton, NY Saratoga County Friday February 14, 2014. 13.3" of snow Photographer: Selma Kastner, posting via Facebook from Kiskatom, Greene County. The town was buried under a reported 23" of snow
Charlton, NY Saratoga County Friday February 14, 2014, Heavy snow accumulation  Kiskatom, NY Greene County Friday February 14, 2014, Heavy snow accumulation