Snowy winter

2011-01-26 22:05:29.000 – Mike Carmon,  Staff Meteorologist

Snow Depth as of 1/26/11

Snow, snow, everywhere! At least along the eastern seaboard.

Before the added snowfall that this latest Nor’easter will dump has been tallied, here are the seasonal totals so far during the 2010-2011 winter season for some of the northeast megalopolis’ most notable hubs, with their seasonal average totals in parentheses:

Hartford, CT: 59.1″ (46.0″)
Boston, MA: 50.4″ (41.8″)
Newark, NJ: 42.9″ (25.9″)
NYC (Central Park), NY: 37.1″ (22.4″)
Providence, RI: 31.9″ (32.9″)
Atlantic City, NJ: 30.4″ (13.5″)
Philadelphia, PA: 22.7″ (19.3″)

So, ranking these cities by the greatest departure from average, we have:

Hartford, CT: +17.3″
Newark, NJ: +17.0″
Atlantic City, NJ: +16.9″
NYC, NY: +14.7″
Boston, MA: +8.6″
Philadelphia, PA: +3.4″
Providence, RI: -1.0″

While these numbers might look impressive, and they certainly are noteworthy, they are not completely out of the ordinary. After all, averages imply that some years contain higher snowfall totals, and some years harbor lower-than-average seasonal totals, which, when averaged together, produce the figures you see in parentheses above. Rarely does a certain location experience the average seasonal snowfall total on the nose during a given winter stretch. So don’t start talking “Snow-mageddon” just yet.

Probably the most compelling fact to take away from these numbers is that the averages are for the winter season in its entirety, and the spouted totals are simply cumulative to this point in the current winter season. We still have plenty of winter to go (no matter what the groundhog has to say next week), and for many of these locations, February is (on average) their snowiest month. More nor’easters could plague the eastern seaboard during the month of February, but then again, a quieter pattern could take hold, stunting the growth of these impressive figures. We can only wait and see.


Mike Carmon,  Staff Meteorologist

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