Snowtober: The First Snowtastrophe of the Year – Possibly Bigger than Hurricane Irene

By October 30, 2011 January 21st, 2013 Extreme Weather

Widespread one foot totals, even more widespread 2 foot totals, with peaks up to 32 inches fell in Jaffrey, New Hampshire. Eleven dead, 3 million without power. Heavy wet snow with leaves still on the trees. NJ Conn and New York – states of Emergency. The storm blanketed states from Virginia to Maine and its only October smashing October snowfall records. More than 800,000 power customers were without electricity in Connecticut alone – shattering the record set just two months ago by Hurricane Irene. 20 October daily records were set from West Virginia through New York. 

Trains were shut down in Connecticut, Vermont, Massachusetts and New York and New Jersey. States of emergency were declared in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, and 13 counties in New York state. We are still seven weeks away from winter and authorities say it will be a week before all power is back on.

From Capitol Climate: Reference: “Early American Winters”, David Ludlum

“The current October snowfall in the northeastern U.S. has certainly been impressive, particularly in the areal extent, but the historical record shows that autumn snowstorms were both earlier and more frequent in the mid-19th century. In his definitive history, “Early American Winters”, David Ludlum lists records of early season snowfalls in 21 of the 50 years from 1821 to 1870, including many in September and several in late August. The mid-1830’s were particularly prolific, with 3 events before the middle of October in 1836, including at least “some snow” as far south as South Carolina. 1821: Oct. 25-26, Salem MA: “sufficient to cover the ground” 1823: Sept. 29, Worcester County MA: “snow in several parts of the county” 1829: Sept. 3, Sherburne VT: “an inch and a half deep” 1832: Aug. 25-26, New Hampshire: “White Mountains covered by snow apparently several inches deep” 1833: Oct. 30, Somerset PA: “Two inches snow, the fourth fall of the autumn” Oct. 29-30, Philadelphia PA: “Houses whitened by snow” 1835: Sept. 30, northern New England: 6-12″ in Franklin County, Vermont; 6″ at Kilkenny New Hampshire 1836: Sept. 28: Hamilton NY 4″, Bridgewater NY 3″, Rochester NY 1″ October 5-6: Onondaga County NY 2 feet, Auburn NY 24-26″ Cortland NY 18″, Hollidaysburg PA 26″, Sideling Hills MD 10″, Loudoun County VA 5″, Yorkville SC “some snow” October 11-12: Hamilton NY 35″ “measured as it fell”, Madison NY 12″, Bridgewater NY 18″, Oxford NY 12″