Long Duration Heavy Snow Storm - Bitter Cold
January 1-3, 2014

A long duration heavy snow storm running, from Wednesday night January 1 through Friday morning January 3, 2014 (roughly 36 hours of accumulating snow) left a general 8"-12" accumulation across the region with a pocket in Schoharie County and the Helderbergs, as well as across southern Vermont getting up to 17" where local terrain enhancement occurred. Snowfall rates through the majority of the event generally ranged from 1/4" to 1/2" per hour, with a period from Thursday evening into early Friday morning, when migratory pockets of heavier snow developed, lead to brief periods of 1" per hour snowfall rates. The real story with the event, however, was not so much the snow, as 8"-12" of snow accumulation spread out over 36 hours amounts to a fairly low impact storm, but rather the intensely cold air that was drawn into the region with temperatures Thursday and Friday generally in the single digits above and below zero, and wind chills as low as -20° to -25° at times. Although not unprecedented, snow storms accompanied by air this cold are not all that common in the Northeast, at least in the past twenty years.

Set Up:
An arctic cold front passed through the region during Wednesday January 1 allowing very cold air to initially filter into the region. Weak areas of low pressure developed along the temperature contrast zone which set-up over the Ohio Valley to southern Pennsylvania as full latitude synoptic scale trough at the jet stream level migrated into the eastern half of the country. Essentially, a steady state overrunning pattern of warmer moist air (temperatures south of the boundary ranged through the upper 30s to mid 40s) being forced to rise over the increasingly cold surface dome of air being drawn south into the Northeast. This overrunning of the warmer air over the very cold surface air produced lift in the atmosphere which produced the light snow.

As waves of low pressure passed south of the region, a northerly wind was induced and the Hudson and Champlain valleys effectively channeled the bitter cold air south so prior to daybreak on the 2nd, with light snow falling, temperatures had fallen to near 0° and hovered between 0° and 5° through the day, with the surrounding higher terrain in the Catskills and Berkshire County seeing temperatures ranging from 10° to 15°. With an absence of strong forcing for lift across the region, a generally very light snow began falling between 8pm and midnight on the 1st and continued through the day on the 2nd. Snowfall rates picked up at times from later Thursday afternoon into early Friday morning with the approach of the large scale trough. Eventually a stronger area of low pressure formed south of New Jersey in response to the advancing trough. This storm intensified and put down a strip of heavy snow across New Jersey, coastal New York, Long Island, and southern and eastern New England with a period of blizzard conditions at the coast. The coastal system, however, was too far south and east of the local area to contribute to any of the local snow accumulation. Snowfall ended through the early to mid morning on Friday with sunny skies prevailing through the day and bitterly cold temperatures.

With such intense cold in place, the snow was very light and fluffy, easy to move, and easy for road crews to keep up with due to the slow accumulation rates.

WeatherNet 6 Snowfall Distribution Map
January 1-3, 2014

Storm Total Snowfall January 2-3, 2014 

WeatherNet 6 Storm Total Snowfall Reports
January 2-3, 2014

Town County Snowfall Report Town County Snowfall Report
Lanesborough, MA Berkshire 5.0" Pittsfield, MA Berkshire 7.0"
Alford, MA Berkshire 5.0" Savoy, MA Berkshire 10.0"
Clarksburg, MA Berkshire 7.0"      
           
Latham Albany 11.7" South Berne Albany 12.0"
Guilderland Center Albany 11.5" Preston Hollow Albany 10.5"
Colonie Albany 11.0" Voorheesville Albany 12.0"
Cohoes Albany 11.2" Coeymans Hollow Albany 12.3"
Knox Albany 11.5" Glenmont Albany 11.3"
           
   
     
Livingston Columbia 6.0" Hudson Columbia 9.5"
Chatham Center Columbia 9.0" Kinderhook Columbia 7.6"
Ancramdale Columbia 7.0" North Chatham Columbia 10.5"
Germantown Columbia 9.5" Craryville Columbia 6.5"
Taghkanic Columbia 5.9"      
           
Harpersfield Delaware 8.0"      
           
Ephratah Fulton 11.5" Perth Fulton 9.1"
Broadalbin Fulton 8.0" Caroga Lake Fulton 8.0"
Fish House Fulton 8.0" Gloversville Fulton 10.0"
           
Greenville Greene 12.3" Catskill Greene 8.5"
Jewett Greene 12.0" Durham Greene 10.0"
Ashland Greene 11.5" Halcott Center Greene 9.0"
Purling Greene 12.0" Cairo Greene 11.0"
Norton Hill Greene 12.3" Athens Greene 10.0"
Halcott Greene 9.3"      
           
Hoffmeister Hamilton 11.5" Wells Hamilton 10.0"
Piseco Hamilton 10.0"      
           
Amsterdam Montgomery 10.5" to 11.3" Fonda Montgomery 9.1"
Hessville Montgomery 8.3" Stone Ridge Montgomery 10.3"
Glen Montgomery 8.5" Palatine Bridge Montgomery 8.5"
           
Worcester Otsego 11.5" Oneonta Otsego 9.7"
East Worcester Otsego 11.0" Maryland Otsego 14.0"
           
Center Brunswick Rensselaer 9.5" Schaghticoke Rensselaer 9.6"
Grafton Rensselaer 10.0" Lansingburgh Rensselaer 11.0"
           
Wilton Saratoga 8.5" Charlton Saratoga 10.3"
Malta Saratoga 10.0" Hadley Saratoga 11.0"
Saratoga Springs Saratoga 7.9" to 8.0" Clifton Park (Oaks) Saratoga 9.0"
Gansevoort Saratoga 12.0" Clifton Park Saratoga 10.2"
Lake Desolation Saratoga 9.4"      
           
Duanesburg Schenectady 9.5" to 14.0" Princetown Schenectady 11.3"
Duanesburg Schenectady 11.0" to 12.0"      
           
Summit Schoharie 15" to 16" to 17.5" Jefferson Schoharie 15.0"
Charlotteville Schoharie 15.5" Sharon Springs Schoharie 15.0"
Gilboa Schoharie 15.0" Huntersland Schoharie

11.0"

Fulton Schoharie 15.0" Seward Schoharie 12.5"
Middleburgh Schoharie 16.5"      
           
Phoenicia Ulster 10.2" Whiteport Ulster 7.0"
Kingston Ulster 4.5" New Paltz Ulster 5.3"
           
Brant Lake Warren 9.0" Warrensburg Warren 9.3" to 10.5"
Queensbury Warren 12.0"      
           
Salem Washington 8.0" Hebron Washington 7.0"
           
West Arlington, VT Bennington 10.0" Landgrove, VT Bennington 12.0"
Woodford, VT Bennington 17.0" Pownal, VT Bennington

11.0"

Danby, VT Rutland 9.0" West Rutland, VT Rutland 12.0"

 

 

 

 

 

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