A Trick or Treat of a Storm

2011-10-30 18:54:40.000 – Ryan Knapp,  Weather Observer/Meteorologist

Snowfall map of the October storm.

When you’re a kid, tomorrow (Halloween) was kind of a big deal ’cause it meant you got to dress up as your favorite character, persona, or hero and go door to door to collect free candy. You’d map out where you think you’d get the best and most candy then plead with your parents to take you there. You’d collect your booty then head home to bask in the piles of candy you just collected. Sometimes there’d be an apple or raisins in the mix (note to parents out there, fruit is not a Halloween treat!) but overall it was a pile of sweetened gold. But never content with your own pile, you start looking at your siblings or friends piles of candy and start asking “what’d you get?” And that’s kind of how I look at last nights Nor’easter.

Last night, meteorologists up and down the coast started dressing up the storm with names like “Snowtober”, the “Trick or Treat Nor’easter”, “It’s the Great Nor’easter (Charlie Brown)”, the “Halloween Nor’easter”, etc. then as night fell, it went city to city. They (meteorologists) mapped out where they thought the best and most snow would fall then pleaded with the public to take their word for it and prepare or plead with their bosses to take them there (for a live feed). A few areas would be seeing rain or sleet in the mix (note to Mother Nature, freezing rain or sleet before expected snow is not a treat!) but overall it was piles of the white stuff. But never content with how much snow fell at your house, you start turning to the internet and comparing your totals to the totals on your friends Facebook page or on the NWS page and then start asking “what’d you get?”

So, what’d we get? Well what we got up here on the summit was 10.1 inches of snow in the past 24 hours. While it may sound impressive, it wasn’t record breaking or really too impressive by Mount Washington standards. For October standards, “impressive” for us came in 2005 when 25.7 inches of snow fell in a 24 hour period and for the entire month, 78.9 inches fell and not the roughly 19.7 inches that has fallen so far for this month. But, while this Nor’easter was “average” by summit standards, it was anything but average for the rest of the east coast.

As this storm barreled up the coast, it wasn’t being seen as average or as a treat by several communities as several inches and upwards or 1 to 3 feet of wet snow fell. Roads became icy or snarled by several accidents. Trees knocked out power or smashed personal property, leaving a lot of people in the dark as they woke up this morning. Several New Englanders weren’t admiring the piles of snow but viewed it all like the day after Halloween when you’d find your house was egged and toilet papered. But regardless of your feelings about the storm, today people are shoveling out, repairing, and moving on as New England always does with storms like this. And whether you enjoyed the early snow or were cursing it the entire time, one thing for sure is it’s one for the history books as several areas not only broke but obliterated past daily and monthly snowfall records in October. So, as you get older you can relate stories of the historic October Nor’easter that forced you to walk to school (work, or the store) uphill both ways in 1 to 2 feet of snow.


Ryan Knapp,  Weather Observer/Meteorologist

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