DIGGING OUT AFTER POWERFUL AND
Feb. 13, 2006 — A classic nor'easter, the first major storm of the 2006, moved into the North Atlantic waters on Monday, after lashing the mid-Atlantic and Northeast over the weekend with heavy snow, high winds, coastal flooding and beach erosion, according to the NOAA National Weather Service. (Click NOAA image for larger view of scene from Falls Church, Va., just outside Washington, D.C., after a powerful storm roared through the mid-Atlantic and Northeast leaving behind record snowfall in many areas. Click here for high resolution version. Please credit “NOAA.”)
Accompanying the heavy snow was lightning and thunder ("thundersnow") from Maryland through New York into southern New England, with snowfall accumulation rates of 2 inches to 4 inches per hour occurring along the I-95 corridor.
It was a record snowfall for New York's Central Park where 26.9 inches was measured, the most ever for a single storm in the park's climate records. In Connecticut, 30.2 inches of snow fell at Fairfield, and 27 inches at West Hartford. Snowfall amounts of 8 inches to 15 inches fell over a large area from northern Virginia to southern New England.
The NOAA National Weather Service issued watches up to 48 hours in advance of the approaching storm, and warnings up to 24 hours, giving residents and road crews up and down the East Coast ample time to prepare.
Meteorologists had predicted the potential intensity of this storm for several days despite the difficulty in forecasting it due to lack of agreement between many computer models. The primary issue was determining exactly where and when the polar jet stream from the north would merge with the subtropical jet stream from the south. That would determine where this nor'easter would form, what track it would take and how strong it would be.
Nevertheless, "The storm behaved very well, just as predicted", said Brian Korty, meteorologist with the NOAA Hydrological Prediction Center in Camp Springs, Md. "The axis of heavy snow was right on."
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