NOAA Magazine || NOAA Home Page || Previous Story

BLIZZARD BURIES NEW ENGLAND IN RECORD SNOW

NOAA satellite image of snow depth totals throughout the Northeast USA for Jan. 24, 2005, as produced by the NOAA National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center.Jan 24, 2005 ó Sounds of snowplows, shovels and scrapers will echo through neighborhoods in New England on Monday in the wake of last weekend's historic blizzard. Excessive snowfall mounted to between one and three feet in most areas, but the Massachusetts towns of Salem and Plymouth topped the list with a total of 38 inches. Powerful winds built drifts of up to seven feet high in some places. (Click NOAA satellite image for larger view of snow depth totals throughout the Northeast USA for Jan. 24, 2005, as produced by the NOAA National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center. Click here for latest national snow analyses. Please credit “NOAA.”)

According to the NOAA National Weather Service office in Taunton, Mass., this storm is the second snowiest on record for Providence, R.I., with 23.4 inches, the fifth snowiest for Boston with 22.5 inches, and the fifth snowiest in Worcester, Mass., with 24.1 inches. Records for these cities date back more than 100 years.

Average Snowfall (in inches):

January/Annual
Boston, Mass., 13.5/41.8
Worcester, Mass., 15.9/60.8
Providence, R.I., 10.6/32.9
Hartford, Conn., 14.4/46.0
New York, N.Y., 8.1/22.4

Source: NOAA National Climatic Data Center

Many major cities also noted back-to-back days of record snowfall. On Sunday, records were set for the date in the following cities (previous record and year of occurrence): Worcester, Mass., 18.1 inches (12.5 inches in 1966); Providence, R.I., 16.4 inches (8.0 inches in 1965) Portland, Maine, 15.3 inches (9.0 inches in 1966); Boston, Mass., 13.4 inches (12.4 inches in 1935). This followed Saturday's record snowfall in Boston, Mass., 9.1 inches (5.3 inches in 1987); New York, N.Y., 8.5 inches (8.1 inches in 1987); Bridgeport, Conn., 7.0 inches (5.6 inches in 1987); Providence, R.I., 7.0 inches (5.5 inches in 1987).

Accumulations over the two-day period not only surpassed the average snowfall for the entire month of January but will also equal a great percentage of the annual average. For Boston and Providence, the 2004-2005 snow season is already above average with 48.8 inches and 46.2 inches (through January 23), respectively.

Official NOAA National Weather Service forecasts, watches and warnings, and current conditions are always available online and via the continuous broadcast on NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards.

Click here for accumulations of snow and ice, details on new precipitation records and wind data. Then click on a state and then click on the “Public Information” button. Statements listing weather observations from official NOAA National Weather Service observation sites, storm spotters and cooperative observers will appear.

High winds caused considerable blowing and drifting snow, producing blinding white-out conditions at times. Gusts were frequently in the 30-60 mph range as hurricane-force winds of up to 84 mph slammed Nantucket and Cape Cod in eastern Massachusetts.

Bitter cold temperatures put much of the East in the deep freeze, and the storm's gusty winds made it dangerous to be outside for an extended period of time or with unprotected skin. Several record lows were noted from New Jersey to northern New England. Saturday's low of minus 29 degrees F in Bangor, Maine, was the city's lowest temperature on record for the date and for the month of January.

Although the recent snowstorm has moved out into the Atlantic, there’s plenty of winter weather still to come. For the Northeast, even spring can bring a dose of snow as proven by the April Fool’s storm of 1997. Stay tuned to NOAA for the latest daily, monthly and seasonal forecasts.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of the nationís coastal and marine resources. NOAA is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Relevant Web Sites
Today's National Weather

NOAA National Winter Weather Forecasts

NOAA Weather Service

NOAA Operational Daily Snow Cover Analysis (Satellite Imagery)

NOAA Snow Water Equivalent

NOAA U.S. Snow Monitoring

NOAA National Climatic Data Center (Archived Weather Data)

NOAA Weather Service Suite of Official Weather Products

NOAA Winter Weather Safety/Wind Chill

NOAA Storm Watch

Media Contacts:
Chris Vaccaro, NOAA National Weather Service, (301) 928-8852
National Media: Carmeyia Gillis, NOAA Climate Prediction Center, (301) 763-8000 ext. 7163
NOAA Weather Service Eastern Region: Greg Romano, (301) 713-0622 ext. 169
NOAA Weather Service Southern Region: Ron Trumbla, (817) 978-1111 ext. 140
NOAA Weather Service Central Region: Pat Slattery, (816) 891-7734 ext. 621
NOAA Weather Service Western Region: Greg Romano, (301) 713-0622 ext. 169