Thursday, November 29, 2007

Maximum snowfall or ice accretion The Blizzard of 2006 was a nor'easter that began on the evening of February 11, 2006. It dumped heavy snow across the Northeast United States from Virginia to Maine through the early evening of February 12 and ended in Atlantic Canada on February 13. The major northeast cities from Baltimore to Boston received at least a foot of snow, with an all-time largest amount of 26.9 inches (68.3 cm) in New York City, the most since at least 1869, the start of record keeping.

North American blizzard of 2006 Impact
For the most part, Connecticut managed to avoid major problems, despite the enormous snowfall amounts. Hartford received a total of 21.9 inches (55 cm) of snow- the second largest snowfall since 1906. A total of 18 inches (46 cm) fell in the small Sandy Hook village. West Hartford totaled 27 inches (69 cm) and Fairfield saw 27.8 inches (70.6 cm) of snow. Despite the large amounts of snow, there were only isolated individual power outages.

New Castle County and Wilmington felt the brunt of this storm with 14-15 inches (35-38 cm) of snow. Kent and Sussex counties to the south mixed with rain for a while, and saw significantly less snow accumulations, mostly in the 6 inch (15 cm) range.

The city of Washington, D.C. missed the worst of the storm. The city received about 9 inches (22 cm) of snow, far less than in the suburbs. Approximately 3,000 people lost electricity in the District of Columbia. However, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (just across the Potomac River) was closed.

District of Columbia
The heaviest snow in Maryland fell from the northern suburbs of Washington, D.C., to the Baltimore area. These areas overwhelmingly saw over a foot of snow. Snowfall rates of 2-3 inches (5-8 cm) per hour were common, and thundersnow occurred. Snowfall amounts of up to 21 inches (53 cm) were reported in Columbia, 13.1 inches (33.3 cm) in Baltimore, 17 inches (43 cm) in Catonsville, and a foot (30.5 cm) in Potomac. This was the area's heaviest snow in three years. Lesser amounts occurred in western and southern parts of the state.
Maryland was hardest hit by power outages. In the Baltimore area, more than 62,000 people lost electricity, plus another 16,000 in Montgomery County and 37,000 in Prince George's County.

The most serious coastal problems were in Massachusetts. The heaviest snow was in the central part of the state, where snow amounts of up to 20 inches (50 cm) were reported. Coastal areas, particularly around Nantucket saw lesser amounts (approximately 12") as it was mixed with sleet at times, but winds of up to 60 mph (95 km/h) whipped up the ocean with storm surges of 2 to 3 feet (60 to 90 cm) and led to some coastal flooding, plus offshore waves of up to 25 feet (8 m). Logan International Airport in Boston and flights into and out of Barnstable municipal airport in Hyannis on Cape Cod saw over 90% of their flights cancelled at the peak of the storm.
There were no power outages despite the conditions.

The impact of the blizzard in northern New Jersey was strong enough to stop the New Jersey Transit bus service between 7:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., although trains continued to run (with some delays). Many roads remained closed. Businesses were closed for most of the day. 16,000 people were without power in the state. Northeastern New Jersey saw the brunt of the storm; 21" (53.3 cm) of snow fell at Newark Airport, with higher amounts reported around North Central NJ due to heavy banding through the night.nmi

New Jersey
The Greater New York City Area received the brunt of the February Blizzard of 2006. All three of the airports in the New York City area (LaGuardia Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport) were closed during the record blizzard, for the first time since the September 11, 2001 attacks. Like the Blizzard of 1996, this winter storm does not meet the criteria to be called a blizzard, however. The winds were not strong enough, and visibility was not poor enough. Thundersnow, which is an extremely rare occurrence, especially in New York, happened for about a 4 hour period in parts of Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Rockland and Westchester during the height of the storm early Sunday morning.
Central Park received 26.9 inches (68.3 cm) of snow, the largest amount for a single storm since records began, breaking the record of 26.4 inches (67.1 cm) that fell on December 26, 1947. By comparison, the blizzards of 1996 and 2003 dropped 20.2 and 19.8 inches (51.3 and 50.3 cm) in Central Park respectively. The smallest amounts of snowfall were recorded in the beginning of Nassau County some towns are Oceanside, Lynbrook, Rockville Centre and Island Park. The snow removal cost in New York City alone is estimated at about $27 million.

New York
Cars left overnight in Manhattan street parking were generally immobile by morning.
North American blizzard of 2006 New York City Hall as the snow began to fall on Saturday (February 11, 2006).
Prospect Heights, Brooklyn on February 12.
A loader clears snow in New York City during a lull in the snowfall on Sunday, February 12.
Near Whiteout Conditions in Yonkers, New York.
Riverside Drive, New York City.

New York photo gallery
Snowfall totals were measured at 12 inches (30 cm) at Philadelphia International Airport, but 35 miles (56 km) to the west in West Caln Township there were 21 inches (53 cm). Philadelphia International Airport remained open throughout the storm, although about 50% of flights were cancelled. There were also power outages in the Philadelphia area, with about 10,000 customers losing power. But in contrast, in Western Pennsylvania most got 1" (2.5 cm) or less of snow.

The Governor of Rhode Island, Donald Carcieri, declared a statewide state of emergency due to the blizzard conditions.

Rhode Island
According to Dominion Power, over 64,000 people in Northern Virginia lost power in the storm, primarily in the suburban areas adjacent to Washington, D.C. Many locations in the extreme Northeastern portion of the state recorded 10-15" (25-38 cm) of snow, with Falls Church and Fairfax coming in at 13.5" (34.3 cm) and 14.0" (35.6 cm) respectively. Fairfax County and eastern Loudoun County were generally the start of the 12+" (30+ cm) accumulations, which spread north towards Massachusetts.

While the snowfall amounts diminished somewhat (to about 6 to 12 inches or 15 to 30 cm) by the time the storm tracked east into Atlantic Canada, the winds increased substantially. The worst of the storm was felt along the Atlantic coast, particularly in a swath around the Bay of Fundy, the Northumberland Strait and the south coast of Newfoundland. Hurricane-force wind gusts were reported in several communities, peaking at 156 km/h (97 mph) in Grand Etang, Nova Scotia (equal to a Category 2 hurricane) and 133 km/h (83 mph) in Cape Race on the east coast of Newfoundland. Some damage was reported as a result of the strong winds, particularly downed power lines but also some roof damage to buildings.

Atlantic Canada
Only accumulations of 8 inches (20 cm) or greater are listed. Not all observations are listed due to space limitations; only major communities and notable reports are listed.
Sources: National Weather Service local offices - Sterling, VA, Mount Holly, NJ, Upton, NY, Taunton, MA, Caribou, ME, Gray, ME


Extratropical cyclone

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