Winter storm dumps over 20 inches of snow on Virginia

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:02 PM GMT on March 07, 2013

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The heaviest snows are now over for the very wet Winter Storm Saturn, which dumped 6+" of snow on fourteen states this week, from North Dakota to Virginia. The deepest snows fell in the Appalachian Mountains of western Virginia and eastern West Virginia, where a number of locations received over twenty inches. The top snow-getter was Franklin, West Virginia, with 24". At least three more states will join the 6+" snow club on Thursday, as Boston, MA, Providence, RI, and New London, CT are all expected to get 4 - 8" of snow. A mere 0.2" of snow fell at Washington D.C.'s Reagan Airport, despite predictions early in the morning that the city would receive 8 - 10" of snow. The storm, dubbed "Snowquester" by the Washington Post, is now being called "Noquester" after the forecast bust. Western suburbs of D.C. just twenty miles from the city got up to 6" of snow, though, with 3.3" recorded at Dulles Airport.


Figure 1. MODIS satellite image of Winter Storm Saturn/Snowquester at 2:55 pm EST March 6, 2013, from NASA's Aqua satellite. Image credit: NASA.

According to NOAA's latest storm summary, here are the top snowfall amounts for the fourteen states that received 6+" of snow:

...IOWA...
NEW HAMPTON 8.6

...ILLINOIS...
LA GRANGE PARK 11.0

...INDIANA...
NORTH WEBSTER 11.0

...MARYLAND...
FROSTBURG 12.5

...MICHIGAN...
SAWYER 9.5

...MINNESOTA...
BIGFORK 13.2

...MONTANA...
ROCKY BOY 24.0

...NORTH CAROLINA...
BRYSON CITY 6.0

...NORTH DAKOTA...
LANGDON 15.0

...OHIO...
BELLEFONTAINE 9.0

...PENNSYLVANIA...
NEW KENSINGTON 12.0

...VIRGINIA...
FISHERSVILLE 20.3

...WISCONSIN...
INDEPENDENCE 9.0

...WEST VIRGINIA...
FRANKLIN 24.0

Coastal flooding in Delaware floods Highway 1; flooding in Massachusetts a concern
The storm brought high winds and a storm surge of 2 - 4' to the shores of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and New York, causing moderate flooding to many of the beaches battered by Hurricane Sandy in October. The top wind gust was 64 mph at Tuckerton, NJ. The streets of Sea Bright and Highlands in New Jersey flooded during high tide Wednesday, and a 4.1' storm surge hit the Delaware coast near Lewes, driving water levels to 2.8' above the high tide mark. The storm surge, topped by high, battering waves, caused severe erosion and broke through a barrier dune north of the Indian River Inlet Bridge, inundating the coastal highway, Route 1, between Dewey Beach and Bethany Beach. As the storm moves eastwards, it will bring moderate flooding during the Thursday evening and Friday morning high tide cycles along large portions of the Eastern Massachusetts coast. Sandwich Harbor and Nantucket Island are both predicted to receive major coastal flooding on Friday morning, with storm surges of up to 3.8' and waves offshore of up to 29'. Winds gusts of 68 mph were observed at Hyannis and Harwichport on Massachusetts' Cape Cod this Thursday morning.


Figure 2. Coastal flooding on Wednesday, March 6, 2013, in Norfolk, Virginia, thanks to Winter Storm Saturn. Image credit: Martin Cornick.


Figure 3. Coastal flooding prediction made at 5 am EDT Thursday March 7, 2013 for the Friday morning high tide cycle. Sandwich Harbor and Nantucket Island are boost predicted to receive major coastal flooding, with storm surges of up to 3.8' and waves offshore of up to 29'. NWS Boston.

We'll have ongoing coverage this week of Winter Storm Saturn in our Winter Storm Section. You can track current storm surge levels using our wundermap with the storm surge layer turned on.

Jeff Masters

Lots of Action! (Kennebunker)
Wave after wave was pounding against the seawall at high tide, so I just kept backing up the car. Sure didn't want to go to work and miss all this fun, though!
Lots of Action!
pristine (peajayveee)
pristine

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517. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
JeffMasters has created a new entry.
It just never ends! It seems like there is an endless, unlimited stream of moisture pouring in off the Atlantic Ocean. Extremely heavy band passing over Boston and the coast now, moving west.
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alot of moisture with this next front coming.......
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42264
Chicago area get ready for the next one..whew.....
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42264
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
this is pretty scary..why waste money like that building on there?

+ 10....at least..:)
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512. VR46L
Quoting Neapolitan:
I was on board with the writer for some point until she veered off into her silly diatribe against the naming of winter storms. Gripe about TWC's forays into "reality" programming, sure; there are times of the day that every cable TV channel is indistinguishable from every other channel due to a sad overreliance on such cheesy and cheaply-produced shows. But conflating that issue with TWC's very helpful winter storm naming convention seems like a completely unnecessary digression.

(I'm still waiting for someone to tell me why they're okay with the oft-despised UN both naming, and retiring the names of, tropical cyclones, yet they seethe with rage at a US corporation doing the same with winter storms in a completely non-authoritative way. Anyone?)


I will bite, little to do for a few minutes !

1) The NWS/NHC is the offical weather service of your Country ! Therefore the lead should be taken from them !
2) with only one large corporate Business naming the storms leads to confusion .. Some folk will think because its named they have the equivalent to a hurricane /tropical storm ... Ask anyone from DC what they think of the storm naming hype right now!

3) Boy who cried wolf syndrome ! The chances are people with less weather knowledge may start taking Tropical storms and hurricane more lightly because every puff of cloud that headed towards D.C /NY got named by TWC this winter .

4 The fact they didn't name some more severe storms in more isolated areas means they did not have an established criteria except to hype and attract ratings figures in populated areas !

5 Hurricanes and TS are more dangerous and therefore a way to point out they are is via naming them.

There are other reasons that if I sat down and thought futher I could come up with . I really Don't get why you are in so much favour of the naming of them as they make so little sense to so many people . Apart from you and some like minded folk the only people who like the idea are the young met storm trackers as its a name they can apply to the storms . But most of them question why some storms are named and others are not..


Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6998
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


why not? The GFS began bringing the now here...certainly not the EURO, it kept it south of NYC

GFS was doing pretty well until about a day before the storm- it shifted way east, kept most of the moisture offshore, and I don't think it showed anyone getting double digit snowfall. Euro was too far offshore, I agree with that, but it got plenty of snow into eastern MA, just not into central MA. NAM was excellent, it was the only model to consistently get the moisture in here. GFS finally caught on again yesterday morning, but that's too late in my book, the storm was already well underway by then.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
I was on board with the writer for some point until she veered off into her silly diatribe against the naming of winter storms. Gripe about TWC's forays into "reality" programming, sure; there are times of the day that every cable TV channel is indistinguishable from every other channel due to a sad overreliance on such cheesy and cheaply-produced shows. But conflating that issue with TWC's very helpful winter storm naming convention seems like a completely unnecessary digression.

(I'm still waiting for someone to tell me why they're okay with the oft-despised UN both naming, and retiring the names of, tropical cyclones, yet they seethe with rage at a US corporation doing the same with winter storms in a completely non-authoritative way. Anyone?)


Naming for tropical systems was adopted to avoid confusion for mariners and for other such purposes, in case there were two at the same time. Retiring was done for emotional reasons.

It is an inter-governmental decision on how and what to name tropical storms.

What TWC does with winter storms looks and feels more like a joke or a marketing ploy.

Non-authoritarian is the biggest problem with it, because they don't have any real standards or significance, and the vast, vast majority of these storms are in no way comparable to tropical cyclones destruction anyway, so it's just completely out of place.

NWS can be held to some form of accountability. A corporation typically cannot, for example, advertisement agencies can tell just about any lie imaginable about their product on television, and the government never does anything to stop it. So who's going to hold TWC accountable for their "cry wolf" syndrome BS with storms that aren't even noteworthy, when it desensitizes people to the "named storms" during the tropical season?


There'll end up being some screw-up and a law suit out of it eventually. Just wait for it and give it a few years.

You'll get:

"I thought it was just another named storm. I had no idea it was going to destroy . They didn't tell us it was going to be worse than Winter Storm Saturn. Oh wait, you mean those weren't officially named storms from the NWS and the global community? Who made that call? Let's sue..."
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Lol on TWC there having too march fun
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Sandra's trying to get its inner core together, not bad but still a bit of work to do:

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this is pretty scary..why waste money like that building on there?

Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
As that second disturbance began phasing with our storm, it resulted in an oblong mid-level circulation shaped somewhat like a football. Because the length of this "football" extends so far back to the coast, forcing is occurring on the backside of our storm just like a storm much closer, which can be seen on 700 mb vertical velocity.

Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 47 Comments: 11709
Hey Masters, the Front Range gets snow dumped on it, too. Why does so much attention go to analyzing the Atlantic Coast storms, while the west goes unmentioned? I understand there are more people there, but the Rocky Mountain storms are generally much more impressive in terms of statistics. How about some love?
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:

Where for? Certainly not the NE.


why not? The GFS began bringing the now here...certainly not the EURO, it kept it south of NYC
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
just keep snowing

Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9760
snowing heavily here...

2 snowplows came by few hours ago bumped lots of salt, some streets clean..for now


last night
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
GFS won this battle over NAM and ECWMF....not out to sea like the ECMWF wanted.

Where for? Certainly not the NE.
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Quoting RTSplayer:


People who grew up in generational fishing communities on bayous, lakes, or the sea pretty much have always lived like that.

It's mostly outdated and irrational in modern times, but now people often live like that in retirement towns on barrier islands and such, where their selfish choices serve to bankrupt FEMA and the insurance agencies foolish enough to insure them.
That's what happens when the politicians end up having taxpayers assume risk. You get even more risk. In the case of barrier islands, it was in the form of federally-backed insurance that no private carrier would offer for that price. We saw this in the aftermath of the financial meltdown as well - when the taxpayers assumed the burden of bad decisions, financial wizards kept right on making more of them, to where derivative trading volume is estimated to be at least 50 percent higher than in 2007 when the financial crisis came forth.

And the irony is, FEMA is doing a better job at working to curtail risk - by redrawing flood maps and requiring elevation of homes to qualify for insurance, in the face of homeowner opposition to such - than politicians and financial regulators have done in the aftermath of the financial crisis. We now have codified into law the concept of too big to fail. And banks' balance sheets are screwier and more opaque than ever.
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
GFS won this battle over NAM and ECWMF....not out to sea like the ECMWF wanted.


yep...that is true. Although at first I thought the GFS was nuts.
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
GFS won this battle over NAM and ECWMF....not out to sea like the ECMWF wanted.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9760
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


now that one matches with mine...very cool..
I was waiting for them to update it..
I'm up to 11".
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Quoting Chucktown:
An open letter to The Weather Channel.

Link
I was on board with the writer for some point until she veered off into her silly diatribe against the naming of winter storms. Gripe about TWC's forays into "reality" programming, sure; there are times of the day that every cable TV channel is indistinguishable from every other channel due to a sad overreliance on such cheesy and cheaply-produced shows. But conflating that issue with TWC's very helpful winter storm naming convention seems like a completely unnecessary digression.

(I'm still waiting for someone to tell me why they're okay with the oft-despised UN both naming, and retiring the names of, tropical cyclones, yet they seethe with rage at a US corporation doing the same with winter storms in a completely non-authoritative way. Anyone?)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
snow has been picking up in intensity here, could get 1-2" more out of this... but the overall coverage is weakening,
Some breaking up north meaning weakening, as well as the sun warming it

Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
Regarding the models, the NAM nailed this storm for up here as much as it failed on DC's snow, it absolutely had the right idea with getting the heavy moisture in here. Euro was not bad, it had the right idea in keeping this a mostly snow event, only problem was it didn't bring the heavy snow far enough west. GFS was awful. Too warm and too weak. It's had a rough winter, I can only recall one storm from a couple weeks ago that it beat the rest of the field on. CMC and UKMET did not get enough moisture in here, and CMC was way too warm. The short range/high resolution models did quite well, as did the SREF.
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Amazing- these are the estimated final tally's from this storm by the Taunton NWS. Never imagined we'd have anything close to this, this really turned into a monster storm. Not quite on level with the blizzard, but big nonetheless:



There's a report of 15" from my town on the NWS storm report page, I measured a bit less than that at my house, more like 13".

Highest amount I can find so far is 18", and there's more to come, radar remains very impressive and temperature is only 30F.


now that one matches with mine...very cool..
I was waiting for them to update it..
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
I did this map earlier this morning...
Significant snow accumulations for New England


click image for larger picture

it's also in my blog...click on my handle if you want
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
Amazing- these are the estimated final tally's from this storm by the Taunton NWS. Never imagined we'd have anything close to this, this really turned into a monster storm. Not quite on level with the blizzard, but big nonetheless:



There's a report of 15" from my town on the NWS storm report page, I measured a bit less than that at my house, more like 13".

Highest amount I can find so far is 18", and there's more to come, radar remains very impressive and temperature is only 30F.
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42264
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42264
another front coming Monday/tuesday..................
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42264
Wind seems to be picking-up here in Stamford CT. but, the snow has all but stopped. Temp. up to 32.5F
Member Since: January 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 8010
Quoting AussieStorm:
It's after 2am here so I better get to bed. Night Mate! Night all. Stay warm.


sweet dreams...count sheep!
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
zonal flow, no severe wx
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9760
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
Those of you that take the Route 15..aka Merritt Parkway in CT or Hutchinson River Pkwy in NYC...

It's after 2am here so I better get to bed. Night Mate! Night all. Stay warm.
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Quoting ILwthrfan:


Looks like that heavier band that has been sitting across most of Mass and Connecticut is finally edging close to you. Sun angle will trump temperatures around 30-32, but your rates look to be every bit of 1"/hr, especially if that band moves over you.


yep I'm carefully watching that one
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
Quoting RTSplayer:


People who grew up in generational fishing communities on bayous, lakes, or the sea pretty much have always lived like that.

It's mostly outdated and irrational in modern times, but now people often live like that in retirement towns on barrier islands and such, where their selfish choices serve to bankrupt FEMA and the insurance agencies foolish enough to insure them.


We soon will be reaching the pendulum, everything is eventually gonna cave in on a global scale economically
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Quoting 900MB:


Good article, I agree completely!

Chucktown is WeatherMom??
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Those of you that take the Route 15..aka Merritt Parkway in CT or Hutchinson River Pkwy in NYC...

Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9760
THE GFS IS THE AGGRESSIVE
SOLUTION...DEVELOPING AN MCS FROM TN SWD TO THE FL PANHANDLE LATE
MONDAY AFTERNOON. IF THIS WHERE TO PAN OUT...THEN A SEVERE THREAT
COULD DEVELOP ACROSS PARTS OF TN...MS AND AL ON MONDAY
WHERE SFC
DEWPOINTS ARE FORECAST TO BE FROM THE MID 50S F TO THE LOWER 60S F.
THE ECMWF IS LESS AGGRESSIVE...KEEPING THE CONVECTION CONCENTRATED
ACROSS SRN AL AND THE FL PANHANDLE WHICH WOULD NOT BE AS FAVORABLE
FOR SEVERE STORMS. ON TUESDAY/DAY 5...THE MODELS VARY MARKEDLY WITH
THE ECMWF KEEPING THE UPPER-LEVEL TROUGH OVER THE OH AND TN VALLEYS
AND THE GFS MOVING THE SYSTEM ACROSS THE NERN STATES. A LOT OF
UNCERTAINTY EXISTS ON TUESDAY DUE TO MODEL DIFFERENCES. ON
WEDNESDAY/DAY 6...MODEL DISCREPANCY CONTINUES BUT BOTH THE ECMWF AND
GFS SHOW A DRY AIRMASS IN PLACE ACROSS MOST OF THE CONUS. AT THIS
POINT...A POTENTIAL FOR SEVERE STORMS COULD EXIST MONDAY
AFTERNOON/DAY 4 IN THE CNTRL GULF COAST STATES AND TN VALLEY BUT
PREDICTABILITY CONCERNING THE TIMING AND MAGNITUDE OF THE THREAT
APPEAR LOW.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9760
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


actually that is not a stupid question at all Keeper

Here in my town there is a restaurant that is half build on water and half on land..
It's about 10' from the water level to the ground, a little steep slope in between


IDK WHY PEOPLE DO THIS


People who grew up in generational fishing communities on bayous, lakes, or the sea pretty much have always lived like that.

It's mostly outdated and irrational in modern times, but now people often live like that in retirement towns on barrier islands and such, where their selfish choices serve to bankrupt FEMA and the insurance agencies foolish enough to insure them.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Snow totals: 13" in Stafford Springs, CT; 14.3" in Mansfield, Mass.; 12.5" in Taunton, Mass; 8.5" in South Windsor, CT
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9760
Already widespread 10" amounts with several 15" amounts being reported in Eastern Conn. and Mass. No surprise that warnings have expanded a bit. 8" totals near you already trHUrrIXC5MMX

Live Snow Totals
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
yeah but a million dollar view can turn into a million dollars worth of damage as soon as the first big storm comes along

but it is true what ya say
people like to take there chances i guess
always have always will


Insurance companies getting ready to cut em off too, they're not gonna keep taking risks with these people and start dropping them. Pretty soon people are gonna lose it all.
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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


nope... more to come
for as long temps remain below 32 or at 32 we could get more and more




Looks like that heavier band that has been sitting across most of Mass and Connecticut is finally edging close to you. Sun angle will trump temperatures around 30-32, but your rates look to be every bit of 1"/hr, especially if that band moves over you.
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MODEL SOUNDINGS INDICATE MAIN
INHIBITOR FOR HIGHER CAPE IS A FAIRLY STRONG MID LEVEL WARM NOSE
NEAR 800MB...WHICH WOULD REQUIRE SIGNIFICANT SFC WARMING TO
OVERCOME
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9760
471. 900MB
Quoting pcola57:


Very well done Chuck..
You outlined very well what has been done and your position on it..
By the way, NBC is owned by GE, just like this website is,..They gobble up anything deemed profitable by their financial guru's..


Actually, Comcast just completed the purchase of NBC Universal from GE. Maybe the new owners will listen to you, but highly doubt it, unfortunately.
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Quoting tbonehfx:


Yes. As well, in an actively eroding area, what is 100+ feet from shore this year, can be far closer in a decade or two. People want the million dollar view though, so I doubt this will stop, just like people are unlikely to stop building on river flood plains because the landscape is so darn pretty.
yeah but a million dollar view can turn into a million dollars worth of damage as soon as the first big storm comes along

but it is true what ya say
people like to take there chances i guess
always have always will
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I keep having repeated dreams of a tornado visiting D.C.This has been going on way to long now!.I follow the same precedure running to the basement every dream.
We here in D.C don't have sirens(sad yes)but we are capable of getting one.I work downtown and that is a really bad place to be during server weather because people out and about have no idea whats coming and are caught off gaurd.There is a lot of glass down here and over millions of people work/visit here in the city everyday.I would hate to see a worst case scenario happen like that :(.
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Quoting barbamz:


Be cautious, temperatures will fall much below freezing O Celsius, especially in the nights, so the beer bottles may burst ;-)


Doubt they last long enough for that to happen!
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But that's the point Max, the Temp. IS rising and will soon be over 32F. In Stamford now, despite being in the snow shield, it has almost stopped, and the temp. at my house is 32F and going up.
Member Since: January 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 8010

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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