Wednesday-Early Thursday November 26-27, 2014
Early Season Heavy Snow Storm (Thanksgiving)

Following a two week period of early season cold and then a brief pop in temperatures to 70° on Monday November 24, a moderate Nor 'easter ramped up to bring a widespread moderate to heavy snowfall across the entire Northeast corridor with some snow as far south as Washington and Baltimore (light.) The main thrust of the accumulating snow with the storm impacted areas from central and eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, through upstate central and eastern New York and much of New England from Wednesday morning November 26 through the pre-dawn hours on Thanksgiving November 27. Temperatures hovered right around the freezing point through the duration of the storm supporting a heavy wet snowfall which brought down some trees and power lines across eastern New York with scattered power outages reported. The greatest concentration of power outages locally occurred in the mid Hudson valley with approximately 15,000 customers out at the height of the storm. Across New Hampshire, an estimated 200,000 lost power at the height of the storm with a large number of those outages continuing into the weekend. In Maine, an estimated 100,000 lost their lights with long duration outages lasting into the weekend.

A uniform snowfall distribution occurred across eastern New York and western New England of 9"-12" on average with small variances in a few locations. Albany came in with 10.4" of snow, ranking the storm as the fifth largest November snow storm on record to date.

Photographer: WeatherNet 6 Spotter Jim Meehan, Sheffield, MA, Thursday (Thanksgiving Day) November 27, 2014

A post card scene in Sheffield, MA, representitive of the landscape throughout eastern New York and western New England 

Set Up:
There was nothing altogether remarkable about the storm itself. It was a Miller A type storm, originating from upper level energy in the southern branch of the jet stream swinging through the gulf of Mexico, then riding north up the Atlantic seaboard in a strong southwest flow which was in place as a large scale trough of low pressure at the jet stream level had set up across the Midwest. Ample moisture along the coast was tapped with initially weak low pressure forming in the Gulf of Mexico, west of Florida, Tuesday afternoon/evening November 25.

Meanwhile, across the Northeast, relatively mild air remained in place, after the record 70° warmth on the 24th, with temperatures topping off in the lower to mid 50s on the 25th, and only dropping into the upper 30s to low 40s through the pre-dawn hours of the 26th in advance of the storm. Cooling commenced as the leading edge of the storm's precipitation shield moved into the Northeast from the early to mid morning on the 26th as the combination of dewpoints in the 20s and dynamic cooling, in an environment of air cold enough aloft already in place to support snow, allowed boundary layer temperatures to drop to 32° and hold there through the duration of the storm.

The storm strengthened through the afternoon and evening on the 26th spreading a solid precipitation shield into the region, with the event briefly beginning as a bit of a rain/snow mix in valley location during the early to mid morning across the Catskills, mid Hudson valley, Berkshire and Litchfield counties. Light snow developed in the Capital Region and points north from 11am on, rapidly picking up in intensity. Considerable small scale banding of locally moderate to heavy snow occurred within the larger area of lighter snow through the duration of the event as the sequence of radar images below shows. Snowfall rates of 1" to occasionally 2" per hour occurred within the small scale (mesoscale bands).

Albany Doppler Radar (ENX) Reflectivity Image at 2:37pm Wednesday November 26, 2014 showing three distinct small scale bands of moderate to heavy snowfall with the northern snow band remaining narrow but quite persistent across the southern Adirondacks, Mohawk valley and western Catskills and was largely responsible for the bulk of the 9"-12" snow accumulation across that part of the region.

Albany NWS Doppler Radar Image at 2:37pm 11/26/2014

Albany Doppler Radar (ENX) Reflectivity Image at 4:38pm Wednesday, November 26, 2014. The image shows two distinct heavy snow bands at this time producing moderate to heavy snowfall rates

Albany NWS Doppler Radar Image at 4:38pm November 26, 2014 

Albany Doppler Radar (ENX) Reflectivity Image at 6:39pm Wednesday, November 26, 2014: Small bands and bandlets of moderate to locally heavy snow remained in progress at this time as some significant drying had worked into the Catskills

Albany NWS Doppler Radar Image at 6:39pm November 26, 2014 

Albany Doppler Radar (ENX) Reflectivity Image at 10:21pm Wednesday, November 26, 2014: This image shows the last bands of snow of the storm moving into the Capital Region with snowfall rates picking briefly to 1" per hour with their passage.

Albany NWS Doppler Radar Image at 10:21pm November 26, 2014

The storm's timing was unfortunate, the day before Thanksgiving, historically an extremely busy travel day. And travel was certainly disrupted across the Northeast with less traveled secondary roads snow packed at times. The mild nature to the storm, however, with temperatures hovering around freezing through the event, coupled with the advanced warning which lead road crews to pre-treat main roads, meant wet road conditions prevailed (especially on highways) through much of the storm. Helping with the moderate impact to roads was the fact that the periods of moderate to heavy snow were generally of relatively short duration at any one location (1-2 hours as bands moved through) which meant much lighter snow in between allowing relative ease for road crews to keep up with the accumulations.

The heavy wet nature of the snow, however, did bring down some tree branches resulting in scattered power outages throughout the region, some of which in mainly the mid Hudson valley and rural areas, lasted into the day on Thursday.

The majority of the snow accumulation occurred on the 26th with the last of the snow lingering through the pre-dawn hours of the 27th when approximately a 1/2" to 2" of the storm's total snow, mainly in the Hudson valley and western New England, accumulated before the snow ended.

WeatherNet 6 Observed Storm Total Snowfall Distribution for the November 26-27, 2014 Snow Storm

November 26-27, 2014 Snowfall Distribution 

WeatherNet Storm Total Snowfall Reports for November 26-27, 2014

Town County Snowfall Report Town County Snowfall Report
Pittsfield, MA Berkshire 10" Lanesborough, MA Berkshire 11.0"
Canaan, CT Litchfield 10"      
Guilderland Albany 9.5" South Berne Albany 10.0"
Latham Albany 9.5" to 10.2" Colonie Albany 9.0"
Cohoes Albany 9.5" Knox Albany 10.5"
Glenmont Albany 6.5" Ravena Albany 9.0"
Taghkanic Columbia 10.7" Livingston Columbia 8.0"
Ancramdale Columbia 10.0" Chatham Center Columbia 9.0"
Kinderhook Columbia 8.4" to 11.0" Hudson Columbia 9.0"
Millbrook Dutchess 11.4" Pine Plains Dutchess 11.0"
Perth Fulton 9.5" Fish House Fulton 9.5"
Caroga Lake Fulton 9.8" Gloversville Fulton 7.0"
Catskill Greene 8.0" Ashland Greene 10.0"
Halcott Center Greene 8.5" Greenville Greene 9.0"
Halcott Greene 8.0"      
Wells Hamilton 11.5" Piseco Hamilton 10.0"
Amsterdam Montgomery 10.2" to 11.5" Palatine Bridge Montgomery 9.5"
Canajoharie Montgomery 10.0" Fonda Montgomery 9.2" to 12.0"
Hessville Montgomery 10.3"      
Oneonta Otsego 8.0" Worcester Otsego 9.0"
Cooperstown Otsego 11.0" E. Worcester Otsego 10.0"
Cherry Valley Otsego 9.5"      
Wynantskill Rensselaer 9.5" Center Brunswick Rensselaer 9.0"
Hoosick Falls Rensselaer 8.5" Lansingburgh Rensselaer 8.5"
Grafton Rensselaer 12.0" Brunswick Rensselaer 9.5"
Speigletown Rensselaer 9.0"      
Wilton Saratoga 10.0" Saratoga Springs Saratoga 8.0" to 11.2"
Clifton Park (Oaks) Saratoga 9.5" Ballston Lake Saratoga 9.3"
Mechanicville Saratoga 7.0" Milton Saratoga 9.8"
Duanesburg Schenectady 12.0" Scotia Schenectady 8.2" to 9.0"
Middleburgh Schoharie 10.8" Fulton Schoharie 9.5"
Summit Schoharie 10.0" Jefferson Schoharie 10.0"
Gilboa Schoharie 9.0" Charlottteville Schoharie 8.8"
Whiteport Ulster 4.8" Saugerties Ulster 6.5"
Phoenicia Ulster 7.9" Kingston Ulster 4.5"
West Shokan Ulster 6.0"      
Warrensburg Warren 12.5" Brant Lake Warren 11.0"
Lake Luzerne Warren 10.0" Warrensburg Warren 11.8"
Salem Washington 5.0" Cossayuna Washington 7.0"
Hudson Falls Washington 7.2" Hebron Washington 9.0"
Manchester, VT Bennington 8.0" Woodford, VT Bennington 14.5"
Danby, VT Rutland 10.0" W. Arlington, VT Bennington 8.0"