Northeast Weather Blog

Top 20 Northeast Weather Events of the last 25 Years.

By: sullivanweather, 8:38 AM GMT on October 23, 2007

Over the last 25 years the Northeastern states have seen their fair share of extreme weather events. In this blog I will attempt to create a top twenty list of the most memorable weather events from the years 1983-2007. Although there's still two months left until the end of this year I am fairly confident that the top 20 events are out of reach. I also want to try and get this blog out before the end of the month. I still have to complete my 2007/08 Winter Forecast and compose the October in review blog.

Due to the length this blog will be I will only be adding 4 or 5 events a day, so this blog will be under construction for the next 2 or 3 days. Comments are encouraged as well as any stories related to any of the events that will be summarized below.

As with any top list there is always an honorable mention. The honorable mention for this list with be my personal account of a severe thunderstorm which tore through Middletown, New York on a hot August afternoon back in 2002.

Honorable Mention: Friday August 16th, 2002 Severe Thunderstorm - Middletown, New York.


The heat wave was extending into its second week. For 8 straight days high temperatures not only reached 90°F, but on most days reached into the mid and upper 90's. This Friday was no exception. The forecast called for a mix of sun and clouds with a chance of afternoon thunderstorms and a high around 92°F. By 11am the temperature had already risen to 93°F under full sun and mid 70's dewpoints. This wasn't a good sign as a weak mid-level disturbance was forecasted to move into the region during the afternoon and act upon this hot and humid airmass.

As the 2pm hour rolled around a vail of cirrus clouds appeared on the northwestern horizon as the temperature had now risen to 97°F. I was at the grocery store and didn't have the luxury of going to a radar to see the beast that was on its way. I stepped outside the store to observe what was happening, somehow knowing this was going to be a particularly intense storm. The cirrus deck seemed higher than usual and moved across the sky faster than clouds at such a high level of the atmosphere normally would. Within ten minutes they had moved half way across the sky and now covered the sun. This created a golden hue at the cloud edge which spread across the sky directly overhead. At the horizon however, the clouds were growing dark and a distant rumble of thunder could be heard. A thunderstorm was on its way.

As the clouds continued to envelop the sky the sun gradually became more dim and the clouds on the horizon were almost black now. Lightning was now streaking across the sky overhead, which is something I had never seen before, especially since the storm was still quite a ways away. One thing was becoming apparent - this was not going to be a run of the mill thunderstorm, but something much more intense. As the dark clouds moved over the sky a lowered cloud deck, light grey in colour, advanced towards my area very quickly from the northwest. This lowered cloud deck was in association with the gust front from the thunderstorm. As this lowered cloud deck advanced towards the area the dark sky above this band of clouds turned an eerie shade of olive green. This told me that there would be hail falling very shortly.

It hits...
The gust front blows through overhead and the breezy conditions immediately turn for the worse. A downburst hit and the winds began to blow over 50mph sustained with gusts, I would estimate, to almost hurricane force. The lightning was nearly constant, more than one strike every second, with continuous, loud, cannon-fire like thunder which set off every car alarm in the parking lot.

The grocery store I was at was recently built. All the parking lot islands had new saplings planted which were being bent to the ground by the force of the wind. Not only were the trees taking a beating but so were cars and shopping carts. Every shopping cart in the lot were either flying through the air or tumbling over rows of cars in the parking lot. There were a few carts I remember that hit crubs at breakneck speeds and thrown 30-40 feet through the air as they were pushed by the wind. This period of very strong 50-65kt winds lasted about one minute before relaxing some, but then the hail began to fall. There wasn't much hail, but they were marble-sized which did put some dents and dings in cars, I'm sure.

After the brief period of hail the rain began to fall in sheets, all the while cloud-to-ground lightning continued to flash along with the ear piercing thunder. Lightning struck the store next to the one I watched the storm from and then a utility pole across the street, blowing the transformer up in a brilliant blue-green flash of fire, knocking out the power. This borrage continued unabated over the next half hour before the rain began to taper.

After the storm was over shopping carts lay strewn across the parking lot and in a big pile behind one row of cars at the far end of the lot. Strangely, lightning still flashed overhead as it shot out of the side of the thunderstorm. The sun came out and the immense size of the storm could now be seen in the southeastern sky after it had passed. Even an hour after the storm had passed lightning still flashed overhead, true bolts from the blue. With each lightning that flashed overhead, loud rolling thunders would follow that lasted for minutes at a time.

Truly a storm to remember and worthy of an honorable mention in my top 20 list.

I wanted to add a personal flare to this list, hence the story behind this localized event. I don't feel as though this was a top 20 event, or even a top 50 event, for it wasn't far reaching. However anyone in Middletown, New York on that day will surely tell you it was a storm to remember.

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#20. February 3-12, 2007; Lake Storm "Locust"

Lake Storm

For a 10 day period in February an unusual combination of events lead to one of the most significant lake effect snow events on record.

An unusually warm November, December and first half of January had combined to create water temperatures much above normal in the Great Lakes. As February rolled in, an extremely cold arctic outbreak had moved down into the northern United States. Low pressure in southeast Canada became vertically stacked with the polar vortex creating a deep stationary area of low pressure. The air flow of bitterly cold arctic air hardly deviated course over a 10 day timespan. As these winds crossed the Great Lakes tremendous amounts of snow were deposited down wind helped along by the strength of the cold air passing over the above average water temperatures of the Great Lakes.

This storm was historic in many facets. It was long lasting (10 days), dropped over 100" of snow in many locations and was associated with a bitterly cold airmass with temperatures throughout the event low than 20°F and at time below zero.

Tug Hill Plateau snowfall amounts:

Redfield, NY - 141"
Parish, NY - 121"
Mexico, NY - 106"
North Osceola, NY - 106"

Although this was a localized event, the sheer magnitude of this event makes it worthy to be considered in the top 20 list. Some communities were cut off for over 2 weeks as DOT workers struggled to clear roads of the massive amounts of snow. To make matters worse a powerful nor'easter moved up the coast on Valentines' Day dropping over a foot of snow on affected areas and was followed by another modest lake effect event, "Mealworm".

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#19. Sunday October 4th, 1987 - Early Season Snowstorm

October 4th, 1987 snowstorm - satellite pic

An unprecedented early season snowstorm stuck the Northeast on October 4th, 1987 dropping up to 2 feet of snow on higher elevations in the Catskills, Berkshires and southern Green Mountains of Vermont. Even lower elevations in the Hudson Valley weren't spared as up to 6 inches of snow fell. The situation was compunded by the extremely wet nature of the snow and trees in full leaf which caused extensive power outages lasting up to 2 weeks. If the surprise of an early season snowstorm wasn't enough the storm was also poorly forecasted and not handled well by models.

Rain was initially forecast, but an unusually cool upper atmosphere combined with dynamic cooling due to melting snow aloft which cooled the column allowing for a changeover to snow. Mesoscale banding on the backside of the storm kept the precipitation heavy and in the form of snow on during the afternoon of the 4th resulting in widespread heavy accumulations despite snow-liquid ratios around 4:1.

As far back as records go there are only 2 other comparable events. One in 1925 and another even worse storm in 1836.

There was heavy tree damage throughout the Northeast as teh weight of the snow brought down numerous trees and power lines. Over a quarter million people lost power with States of Emergency declared in 4 states.

A very good paper on this storm can be read here: AMS report on October 4th, 1987 snowstorm.

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#18. September 2004 Flooding

The flooding of September 2004 was due to a series of 5 remnant tropical systems: Gaston, Hermine, Francis, Ivan and Jeanne. Each one of these systems produced some level of flooding and created wet antedecent conditions for the following systems, exacerbating the flooding problems.

Gaston

Gaston rainfall amounts

Although Gaston affected the region in late August, it layed the groundwork to what the pattern would be like the the rest of the month, remnant tropical systems interacting with cold frontal boundaries to produce copious amounts of rainfall.

Gaston made landfall as a category 1 hurricane along the South Carolina coast. The storm then turned northward, then northeastward and exited the coast near Ocean City, Maryland and continued out to sea. Although the storm never made a direct impact on the Northeast, the moisture from this system became entrained into a cold front to produce localized rainfall amounts of 3-6 inches causes numerous flash floods.

Major flash flooding took place in Westbrookville, NY, a small village along the Sullivan County/Orange County border in southeast New York. Large sections of US route 209 were washed away along with many mobile homes in a trailer park. Further north in upstate New York the counties of Onondaga, Cayuga, Madison and Steuben all received significant flash flooding.


Hermine

Hermine was a weak tropical storm which moved ashore Massachusetts on the last day of August. For the most part Hermine was a non-entity, producing up to 2 inches of rain over eastern Long Island and southeastern Massachusetts. There were some reports of minor basement flooding but that was the extent of her damage. Hermine formed from the same trough of low pressure that formed Gaston and oddly enough made landfall in the general vicinity as Hurricane Carol did 50 years prior.


Frances

Hurricane Frances

Frances was a long-lived Cape Verde hurricane that made 2 U.S. landfalls in Florida. One as a category 2 hurricane and another as a tropical storm in the Panhandle. The storm then turned towards the north and rode the west side of the Appalachian Mountains along a cold front before moving up the St. Lawrence River Valley.

Most of the rainfall from Frances that fell on the Northeast fell across the western half of the area with a few localized spots in southeast New York receiving heavy amounts of rain as well. Across western sections of New York and Pennsylvania 3-6" of rain fell, which brought sharp rises to areas rivers and brought some flashier creeks and streams out of their banks.

For the rest of the Northeast Frances brought a soaking rainfall which prepped the ground for Ivan, which followed one week later. There was one other area of heavy rainfall from training convection ahead of the cold front in southeast New York State which hit Orange, Putnam, Dutchess and Ulster counties hard, bringing flash flooding.

Rainfall amounts from Frances in my local area.
National Hurricane Centers' tropical cyclone report on Frances


Ivan

Northeast rainfall totals from Ivan

Ivan was another long-lived Cape Verde hurricane which reached category 5 on 3 different occasions and accumulated the 2nd highest ACE for any Atlantic hurricane on record. Ivan made landfall on the Gulf Coast of the U.S. moved northward to the central Applachians before turning east, moving offshore the Delmarva. Ivan lost tropical characteristics overland, but once offshore the East Coast, moved southward before looping back towards the west. The remnants of the system then moved over Florida where it gradually regained tropical characteristics before becoming a tropical storm yet again in the Gulf of Mexico, making its final landfall in Louisianna.

For the Northeast, Ivan brought widespread heavy amounts of rain. Almost the entire state of Pennsylvania received 3 inches of rain or more, with several locations getting as many as 7 inches. With wet antedecent conditions from Gaston and Frances, flooding became a major issue. Many small streams and creeks as well as main stem rivers were brought out of their banks due to the excessive amounts of rain on saturated soil.

NWS Local forecast office links:

NWS Binghamton, NY

Radar rainfall estimates
Flooding photos
Damage reports/spotter reports

NWS Albany, NY

Multi-sensor precipitation estimate

NWS Upton, NY (NYC)

Spotter rainfall reports

NWS Tuanton, MA

24 hour rainfall 9/18/2004
24 hour rainfall 9/19/2004

NWS Mt. Holly, NJ (Philadelphia area)

Ivan rainfall page
Includes a plotted rainfall map and Public Information Statement

NWS State College, PA

Ivan Storm Summary
-This is a very informative link on the impacts of Ivan on central Pennsylvania. This link includes an in depth storm summary(text), plotted rainfall map, individual spotter reports, satellite and radar imagery, tornado reports and river stage charts for many gauge locations including river crests from Ivan, historical record crests and a comparison to the January 1996 flood.


Jeanne

Northeast rainfall amounts - Jeanne

Jeanne developed from a tropical wave just east of the Lesser Antilles and eventually became a category 3 hurricane, striking Florida in the same spot as Hurricane Frances 3 weeks prior. Jeanne followed an unusual path, seemingly headed out to sea after turning north, north of Hispainola. However, a strong high developed to Jeannes' north, blocking this cyclone from recurving and eventually turning her towards the U.S. East Coast. Jeanne, after making landfall, stayed inland moving up the Floridian Peninsula and up the east side of the Appalachian Mountains before moving offshore the Delmarva Peninsula.

In the Northeast rainfall from Jeanne was not as widespread as Ivan or Frances, but with saturated ground areas that did recieve rainfall quickly flooded. For the most part rain was confined to the southeastern half of the Northeast with the Philadelphia-New York City metro area hardest hit with totals of 4-7". This stripe of heavy rain continued eastward across Long Island, Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard and Cape Cod.

Jeanne related links:

HPC Jeanne Rainfall synopsis

NWS WFO State College, PA
Another very informative look into Jeannes' impacts across central Pennsylvania.

NWS WFO Mt. Holly, NJ
Includes a radar estimated precipitation map, tornado information and storm damage photos.

NWS WFO Upton, NY
Pubilc Information Statement detailing spotter reported rainfall amounts.

NWS WFO Taunton, MA
24 hours rainfall 9/29/2004
24 hour rainfall 9/30/2004

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#17. April Fools' Day Storm - March 31st/April 1st, 1997

April Fools' Day Nor'Easter 1997


No foolin'. The Nor'easter which sturck the Northeast on April Fools' Day in 1997 will be remembered as one of the most intense spring snowstorms in Northeast weather history. This storm also has special meaning to me, personally, for my grandmother passed away the day before this storm.

What initially began as a weak surface low pressure in the Mid-Altantic states was energized by a potent upper level disturbance and quickly developed into a strong Nor'easter. The storm bottomed out around 980mb at its peak southeast of Long Island and spread a swath of heavy wet snow on its Northwest side from central Pennsylvania to southern Maine. The blizzard also produced fierce winds over 50mph up and down the Northeast Coast, drifting snow to 5ft in some spots.

Many mountainous locations from the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania to the southern Green and White Mountains of Vermont and New Hampshire received 2 feet of snow with some localized areas in the Catskill Mountains picking up as much as 3 feet. Valley locations weren't spared either with up to 2 feet of snow falling in these areas. The snow fell at the rate of 3 to 4 inches an hour in some locations with thundersnow reported up and down the coast. The very wet heavy nature of the snow ripped down many trees and powerlines and left up to 500,000 people without power. Many records were broken for April snowfall throughout the Northeast. At Logan Airport in Boston 25.4" of snow fell, not only shattering the city's single storm snowfall record for April, but also their highest April monthly snowfall total.

This is one storm that I will never forget. I clearly remember the ferocity of this storm in terms of snowfall rate and high winds. Our power was knocked out for a day and I remember going outside the night of the storm in pitch-black darkness to watch the traffic aimlessly drive by our house. Due to the sheer dark of night it was impossible to gauge how hard the snow was falling from sight alone. However I do remember shoveling our front walkway every hour, clearing off 2-4 inches of snow each time. At the time of this storm I had a newspaper carrier route that I had to complete by foot. There were many trees down along my route with some that had fallen on powerlines which layed across streets and front yards of peoples home. Other powerlines simply sagged down to the point one could reach them, if they dared try.

As mentioned above my gradmother passed away the day before this storm. Because of the storm her funeral got pushed back a day and her burial had to be posponed until they could clear the gravesite of snow. Two days after the storm was her funeral and on the drive from Middletown down to New York City I clearly remember almost every tree sustaining damage alongside the highway. Some trees just had branches and limbs that had fallen while others were completely torn down. My grandfather had also died the day before a massive snowstorm in February a few years earlier. Both of my grandparents loved snow and it seemed fitting for them to pass on during two memorable snowstorms.


Snowfall totals - April Fools' Day blizzard

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#16. Twin Nor'easters - December 25-26th, 2002 (Christmas Day Blizzard) and January 3-4th, 2003

Christmas Day Blizzard

When composing my list of the top 20 Northeast weather events of the previous 25 years the Christmas Day Blizzard was a sure bet. However, this storm is inevitably tied to the major Nor'easter which sturck merely one week later, which on its own would have been a close call to making this list. So I tied them together as 'Twin Nor'easters' to give each an equal shake.

The Christmas Day blizzard was a particularly intense Nor'easter with a central pressure of <970mb. The storm produced widespread snowfall totals in excess of one foot with over two feet falling in a stripe across the Mohawk River Valley. Along the coast there were sustained gale force winds with occasional gusts up to hurricane force and coastal flooding to go along with the heavy rain and snow.

The snow that did fall had a high moisture content along the coastal plain which fell many trees and branches with heavy damage to pines in particular. Those dreaming of a white Christmas got more than they bargained for as snow fell at the rates of 2-4 inches per hour.

In my neck of the woods 19" of snow had fallen and did much damage to pines, junipers, abborvates and cyresses which sagged and remained limp for years afterwards.

Snow totals - Central New York/Western New England

State of Pennsylvania snowfall totals - Christmas Day Blizzard
New York City area snowfall totals - Christmas Day Blizzard
Southern New England snowfall totals - Christmas Day Blizzard
Central New England snowfall totals - Christmas Day Blizzard
New Jersey/Eastern Pennsylvania snowfall totals - Christmas Day Blizzard

Not to be outdone, just one week later another massive Nor'easter tore up the East Coast depositing another heavy dump of snow. These two nor'easters were bridged by an ice storm on January 1st and 2nd making for an extremely active 10 day period of winter weather.

Once again snowfall totals exceeding one foot were widespread across the Northeast with several locations in the Catskills, Berkshires, and southern Green and White Mountains picking up over 2 feet. For only the second time in over 150 years of record keeping Albany, NY received over 20" of snow from two seperate snowstorms in one winter season. The main difference being that this time around, both storms came in close sucession whereas the previous event in the winter of 1887-88 occured months apart (Great Blizzard of 1888 being one of those events).

The January 3-4th Nor'easter was not as intense as the Christmas Day Blizzard, but due to the short time period that passed in between storms (and the amount of snow leftover from the Christmas Day Blizzard) conditions were just as bad.

The snow total from the January 3-4th storm at my house was 14". There was still snow and ice on many evergreens leftover from both the Christmas Day Blizzard and the January 1-2nd ice event which became exacerbated by the January 3-4 Nor'easter helping to keep many of these trees and shrubs weighed down. The snowpack at my location after these events stood at 31" which had only been surpassed 4 times in my record keeping. Once was after the Superstorm in 1993, the second was after the Blizzard of 1996, the third was during the brutal winter of 1993-94 and the fourth just a month and a half later after the Presidents' Day Blizzard, which is the next event on the top 20 list.

State of Pennsylvania snowfall totals - Jan 3-4th Nor'easter
Northern New York/Vermont snowfall totals - Jan 3-4th Nor'easter
Central New York/Western New England snowfall totals - Jan 3-4th Nor'easter
New York City area snowfall totals - Jan 3-4th Nor'easter
Southern New England snowfall totals - Jan 3-4th Nor'easter
New Jersey/Eastern Pennsylvania snowfall totals - Jan 3-4th Nor'easter

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#15. Presidents' Day Storm #2 - February 16-18th, 2003

Presidents Day Storm - 2/17/2003

Not to be confused with the Presidents' Day Storm of 1979 the Presidents' Day Storm of 2003 was a long-lived 2 stage snowstorm which dumped over 2 feet of snow on many locations in the Northeast. This storm had a long track history of producing heavy snow from Colorado to the Ohio Valley and was very well forecasted by long range computer models.

For the Mid-Atlantic states this was one of the most crippling storms in recorded history with some mountainous locations in Maryland and West Virginia accumulating over 4 feet of snow.

For the Northeast this storm came in two stages. The first stage mainly affected the southern areas of Pennsylvania and New Jersey as a strong confluent flow over the Northeast kept the storm at bay. The initial band of snow dropped over a foot of snow across these areas with a sharp cut-off to the accumulating snows across central New Jersey and Pennsylvania. This first band of snow dissapated during the afternoon of the 16th. As the storm slowly gathered itself it began to spread a second shield of snow northward into most of the rest of the southern half of the Northeast.

By the morning of the 17th most of the southern half of the Northeast was in the grips of this immense snowstorm which produced snowfall rates of 2-3" per hour under the heaviest bands. Areas that didn't find themselves in the heaviest bands of snow still received snowfall rates of an inch per hour. Due to the slow movement of the storm snow fell for a period of 24-36 hours stright, giving municipalities as much as they could handle. However this wasn't nearly as bad as the situation in the Central Appalachians where snow fell for 60 hours stright in some extreme cases. None-the-less the storm deposited a widespread 12-30" snowfall before slowly weakening and pulling offshore the morning of the 18th.

Across northern New York and New England this storm was a non-entity as the strong confluent flow over the region held the storm to the south and left merely a dusting to a few inches. Truly a storm to remember as the megalopolitan area from Washington to Boston all received copius amounts of snow.

On a personal note...

This was by far and away one of my best forecasted winter storm events. Eight days before this storm sturck not only did I forecast how much snow would fall accurately, but also the start and end times of the snow in my local area.

The day of the storm itself I remember vividly. It was brutally cold the morning of Sunday the 16th with a low grey overcast shrouding the entire sky. A stiff northeasterly breeze blew all day long creating a biting wind chill. My girlfriend, her father and I race remote control cars on Sunday's in Honesdale, PA and that entire day everyone was talking about the oncoming storm.

As day progressed into evening and eventually night the storm agonizingly trudged northward. Radar echos from the storm eventually moved overhead our area around 8pm, but all of this precipitation was falling aloft and evaporating. We had to travel that evening to my parents' house in Middletown and decided to leave just after 11pm. On our way down we ran into light snow falling in very tiny flakes as we reached Port Jervis. The wind was blowing the snow around the road creating the strange effect of low drifting snow. As we reached Middletown around midnight the snow hadn't reached there yet. However within 15 minutes of getting home the snow began to fall. I stood up that entire night into the next day keeping tabs on the storm and taking regular snowfall measurements. By the time the storm was over 21" of snow had fallen in Middeltown with the small city shut down for 2 days afterwards. An incredible event for anyone that has had the pleasure of living through it and as far as I'm concerned a top 20 weather event.

Presidents Day Storm 2003 links:

State of Pennsylvania snowfall totals
Eastern Pennsylvania/New Jersey/Deleware snowfall totals
Northeast New Jersey/Southeast New York/Southern Connecticut snowfall totals
Central New York/Western New England snowfall totals
Southern New England snowfall totals
Northern New York/Vermont snowfall totals
Central New England snowfall totals

Binghamton, NY Case Study - Presidents' Day Storm 2003

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#14. East Coldenham Elementary School Disaster. - November 16th, 1989

A strong cold front in the fall of 1989 spawned a severe weather outbreak with close to 40 confirmed tornados reported on November 15-16th, 17 of which occured in the Northeast, all on the 16th.

One possible tornado (officially an F1 tornado, but later reviewed as a downburst) struck the East Coldenham Elementary School just after noon, collapsing a cafeteria wall, killing 8 students and injuring 18.

To date this is the most fatal severe weather related disaster in the Northeast. Governor Mario Cuomo ordered an offical inquiry into the disaster which changed ways the State of New York handles weather related disasters at schools in the state.

The inquiry into the disaster later revealed that design flaw led to the subsequent collapse of this wall when 100mph+ winds slammed into the school. The results of the inquiry resulted in a 6.75 million dollar lawsuit settlement to be paid to the victims of this disaster and a reassesment of school building codes.

As mentioned above this event is officially recorded as an F1 tornado. However, a team summoned to survey the damage left by the storm led by tornado expert Ted Fujita later revealed that the damage associated with this storm was more consistant with damage from a downburst, rather than a tornado. This assesment still sparks controversy to this day.

I clearly remember this disaster for it was a mere 15 miles away from where I grew up in Middletown and made local headlines for weeks to come. We held fundraisers at our school to help the victims of this disaster and practiced tornado drills for years to come because of this disaster.


#13. Tropical Storm Floyd - September 16-17th, 1999

Floyd - Rainfall totals

Floyd was a classic long-lived Cape Verde hurricane, which almost reached category 5 status on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. Floyd weakened to a category 2 hurricane upon landfall on the North Carolina coast near Cape Fear and continued up the Eastern seaboard producing flooding rains in its wake. Before Floyd moved up the Northeast Coast in 1999 as a Tropical Storm the Hurricane version of Floyd prompted, at the time, the largest evacuation in United States history. A record since broken by Hurricane Rita in 2005.

The impacts from Floyd in the Northeast were wide ranging but mainly focused on flooding. Record river flooding, flash flooding, coastal flooding, beach erosion and minor wind damage can all be attributed to Floyd in the Northeast.

In New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania 12 river gauges recorded record flood crests, including 4 gauges along the Raritan River at Blackwell Hills, Raritan, Hanville and Bound Brook. This was due to extremely heavy rainfall which fell at the rates of 1-2 inches perhour for several consecutive hours. Widespread rainfall totals of 5-8" were common throughout the Northeast. Sixteen deaths from inland flooding can be attributed to Floyd in the Northeast, with 56 total U.S. fatalities.

Wind damage was minor from Floyd and was mainly confined to fallen trees and branches which fell power lines. Beach erosion was rated as being minor to moderate, about the same as what would be expected from a strong Nor'easter.

I had just gotten my drivers license a few months prior to Floyd striking the Northeast. I will never forget my drive to work that day as many roads were flooded with several creeks and streams along my way to work coming out of their banks. For many locations in the Northeast Floyd was a drought-buster as the large amounts of rainfall quickly made up for months long rainfall deficits.

Floyd links:

National Hurricane Center Tropical Cyclone Report
Wikipedia Hurricane Floyd page
NWS Mt.Holly, New Jersey WFO Floyd page
NWS Albany, NY WFO Floyd page

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#12. "Megalopolitan Snowstorm" - February 11-12th, 1983


This storm is a little before my time, sort of.

A severe Nor'easter which struck during the 2nd week of February dropped up to 2 feet of snow across the entire 'megalopolitan' corridor from Washington to New York leading to the storm being dubbed "The Megalopolitan Snowstorm".

As mentioned above, this storm is a little bit before my time. I was only 21 months old when the snowstorm struck. So those that went through this storm I would love to hear from.

When I was little, growing up in the Bronx, I used to watch all the snowstorms from my apartment window. I LOVED the snow, still do. I clearly remember one instance, perhaps some of my earliest memories, when I was real little of a snowstorm which covered the cars and this is the only storm that qualifies. So perhaps, at the age of 21 months, this is the storm I remember and could also explain my early fascination with the weather.

Looking for some info on this storm I found this very interesting paper which explores the isotopic composition of the snow and an associated gravity wave associated with the snowstorm which produced thunderstorm and intense snowfall rates.

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#11. "Downslope Nor'easter" - December 10-14th, 1992

Despite being one of the most potent and long-lasting Nor'easters of the last half century, this storm does not get the credit it deserves. Partially because it was overshadowed by the Superstorm later that Winter season and partly because most of the large urban areas hardly were spared significant snowfall.

Nonetheless, the storm ranked as a category 2 (Significant - 3.10; 1999 census) on the Kocin-Uccellini Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale (NESIS). This storm is also a billion dollar weather disaster, resulting in up to 2 billion dollars in damage.

This storm will be remembered most for the toll it inflicted on the coast with major breach erosion and coastal flooding. Hardest hit was the New York City area where storm tides of up to 12 feet higher than normal flooded into neighborhoods and the subway system. What contributed to the extremely high tidal departures was the slow movement of the storm, combined with the long fecth of easterly winds due to a sprawling high pressure over Nova Scotia and the long W-E occlusion, extending to the parent frontal boundary well off to the east. The storm itself wasn't particularly strong but still managed to produce high winds due the the large pressure difference between the low and the strong high to the northeast.

Also battered by this storm was coastal Massachusetts where severe coastal flooding occured as well as coastal Maine which received heavy damage due to high surf up to 30ft.

The winter side of this storm affected mainly areas inland where heavy snow fell to accumulations of 1-2 feet. Some upslope areas of the Catskills and Berkshires saw upwards of 3-4 feet. Along the coastal plain snow accumulations were tempered by a changeover to sleet and freezing rain but even these areas saw 4-10 inches. This storm became known as the 'downslope nor'easter' for the extreme difference in snowfall between upslope and downslope areas across the Northeast. Upslope mountainous areas of the Berkshires and Catskills saw over 2 feet of snow were downslope areas in the Connecticut and Hudson Valleys a mere 40 miles away saw very little snowfall (2-4").

This storm dropped a total of 9" of snowfall at my house in Middletown with an additional 1/2-3/4 of an inch of sleet and freezing rain. The precipitation didn't last nearly as long as some coastal areas and the wind wasn't as harsh. However there was still tree damage due to the constant 20-30mph wind and freezing rainfall.

Figure 4 in this paper illustrates the development of the 1992 "Downslope Nor'easter"

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Okay...halfway through

That's quite an impressive collection of extreme weather events and we haven't even gotten into the top ten. A few of the comments have mentioned the events that will appear in the top ten events. There will be more blizzards and hurricanes on the way, but what about ice storms are severe weather? There's some of that too, including 2 seasonal events which brought some of the most extreme temperatures yet recorded.

What events will they be? Can anyone name any of them? We'll find out...

Now that I'm halfway through I'm projecting that this list should be finished by the 28th.

November 1st I will review October for my location.

November 4-5th I will issue my 2007-08 Winter Forecast.

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#10. Winter of 1993/94 (Arctic Outbreak/Snow)

For many throughout the country, not just the Northeast, the Winter of 1993-94 was one of the coldest snowiest Winters of all time. The Winter of 1993-94 featured large snowstorms on a weekly basis and perhaps one of the most brutal arctic outbreaks on record with many cities breaking all time record lows/low maximums/daily mean temperature records.

The month of January 1994 is one of the coldest in the last 25 years as a severe arctic outbreak griped most of the eastern half of the country. On January 19th, 1994 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania set their all-time record low (-22°F), tied their all-time record low maximum (-3°F) and set their record coldest daily mean temperature (-13°F). January of 1994 also marked the last time Albany, New York saw temperatures of -20°F of lower (-23°F on 1/27/94). Cold air was not just limited to the Northeast with several locations in the Ohio Valley also breaking all-time records for cold.

Snowfall during the 1993-94 Winter season also broke records for most seasonal snowfall. Many locations in the Northeast saw top 5 seasonal snowfall accumulations with several breaking their all-time records, only to be broken 2 years later during the infamous Winter of 1995-96.


What I remember most about the Winter of 1993-94 was the near constant snowfalls on Wednesdays. I believe our school was closed on Wednesday on 8 different occasions that year including 5 weeks in a row.

The cold was brutal as well. I had a newspaper carrier route and needed to have bare hands to be able to wrap rubber bands around the papers. Almost got frostbite during this arctic outbreak one morning when the temperature dipped to -24°F at my house. We also accumulated a 34" snowpack at my hosue due to the weekly snowfalls without and melting inbetween. By far the coldest stretch of Winter weather I've ever had to endure and the coldest temperatures I have yet to experience.

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#9. June 2006 Flood - June 24-29th, 2006

Rainfall totals - Central NY/Northern PA - June 24-29th, 2006

The culmination of a 2 year spell of much above normal precipitation resulted in one of the worst river flooding event on record in the Northeast.

The wet spell began in late August of 2004 with the remnants of Gaston. Then followed the remnants of 4 more tropical systems over the next month producing widespread moderate to major flooding. Above normal precipitation continued into the Winter resulting in a 1-2 foot snowpack heading into the following Spring. To make matters worse a late season heavy snowfall on March 23-24th dropped 5-11 inches of heavy wet snow on top of the already ripening snowpack. Then 2 heavy rain events in close sucession combined with rapid melting of the snowpack on a still frozen ground resulted in a major flash flood event. Later the same year in October a 9 day long rain event which fell in two stages, one on October 7-9th, the other from October 10-15th producing 1-2 foot rainfall totals. Fortunately a relativly minor dry spell preceeded this event otherwise flooding could've been much worse.

With 3 flood events over a 13 month span most residents of the Northeast wouldn't have expected what would follow in June the following year.

Over a 6 day timespan (24-29th) an oscillating band of heavy rain moved into the Northeast, hitting Pennsylvania and New York the hardest. Record river crests occured at many gauge sites on all 3 main stem rivers in this area (Deleware, Hudson and Susquehanna) as 5-14" of rain fell. Along the Deleware River the flooding was particulaly bad with many locations receiving a '100-year flood'.

June 2006 precipitation departures
Binghamton, NY Case Study: June 2006 Flood
Binghamton, NY June 2006 Flood page(including photos, precipitation estimate graphics and river gauge data)
Plot of rainfall amounts - New Jersey, eastern and central Pennsylvania, southeast New York, Deleware and northeast Maryland.

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#8. July 1995 "Super Derecho" - July 14-15th, 1995

Albany, NY Radar - July 15th, 1995

The last in a series of 4 major derecho events during the deadly heat wave of 1995 caused extensive damage along its path through the Northeast. There was 7 people killed with close to a half a billion dollars in damage was caused by this derecho, including 200 million dollars worth of timber in the Adirondack Mountains alone.

The parameters of this storm were incredible. At the storms' peak strength satellite estimated cloud tops reached to 75,000 feet! There was also incredible amounts of lightning with over 3,000 srtikes recorded in a one hour timespan, close to one per second! One of the largest forest blowdowns in the history of New York State occured with over 900,000 acres of fallen trees in the Adirondack Mountains caused by winds over 100 mph. Elsewhere across New York State wind gusts to 70-90mph were common with many trees falling on cars and houses. At Syracuse Airport wind gusts to hurricane force blew a Boeing 727 into another plane. When the storm entered New England there was more of the same. Wind gusts of 70-90mph along the derechos' length before weakening some as it reached the coast. The derecho only took 5 and a half hours to cross from the eastern shores of Lake Ontario to offshore New England, an average speed of 67mph.

Although I caught the very tail end of this derecho as it mainly passed by to the north winds still gusted over 40mph at my house with the gust front and a short heavy burst of rain. The lightning that overnight towards the north was incredible. The sky was contantly flashing for 3 hours before sunrise, which was around the time the storms hit. I also remember watching media reports of this storm as it tore through New England as the severity of the event was now becoming apparent. The strongest derecho event in the last 25 years in the Northest is also one of the strongest in this Nations' history and the #8 event of all weather events in the last 25 years of Northeast weather.

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#7. Hurricane Bob - August 19-20th, 1991

Bob.


Hurricane Bob developed from a frontal trough that moved off the East Coast a week earlier. The system that eventually became Bob started as an area of disturbed weather at the tail end of this trough near Bermuda on the 12th. As this system moved southwestward it began to aquire tropical characteristics and became a tropical depression on the evening on the 15th, east of the Bahamas. Once Bob became a depression strengthening occured rapidly. Just 72 hours after being named a depression Bob was a Category 3 hurricane just offshore Tidewater and accelerating towards the north-northeast. Bob made its first landfall at Block Island, Rhode Island as a category 2 hurricane with a central pressure of 962mb. Fourty minutes later the hurricane made landfall on the mainland at Newport, R.I. The hurricane crossed over southeastern New England, moved offshore into the Gulf of Maine before making a second U.S. mainland landfall as a strong tropical storm in Rockland, Maine.

Bob produced winds of over 100MPH across coastal southeastern New England around the immediate landfall area. Bob also produced storm surges of 6-12 ft above normal tides which resulted in inundation of many coastal communities in Rhode Island. Bob resulted in 17 deaths, 13 of which in the Northeast and caused 1.5 billions dollars in damage. Bob also produced 5-8 inches of rain close to where the center of circulation passed through the Northeast with 2-5 inches of rain falling along the western side of the hurricane from New Jersey, eastern New York and western New England.

Rainfall amounts - Hurricane Bob

Bob was the last hurricane to strike the Northeastern United States. It has been 16 years since the last hurricane strike the Northeast which is one of the longest gaps in bewteen hurricane landfalls in the Northeast ever recorded. The name Bob was retired in 1992 to be replaced with "Bill".

At my location Bob was nothing more than a heavy rain producer with around 3 inches of rain falling and 30-40mph wind gusts. The storm didn't last long with rain starting early morning on the 19th and ending during the early afternoon with the sun coming out by late afternoon. There wasn't any damage other than a few fallen small branches.

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#6. "Blizzard of 1996" - January 6-8th, 1996

Blizzard of 1996

One of only 2 category 5 NESIS snowstorms to strike the Northeast, this massive blizzard dumped heavy amounts of snow from the mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina northward to southeastern Ohio then northeastward to Massachusetts. Record amounts of snow fell in Philadelphia (30.7"). The New Jersey Tunpike was closed for its entire length, and unlike the Superstorm in 1993, precipitation across the Megalopolis stayed in the form of snow.

For the Mid-Atlantic States this storm was a sure bet, forecasted by models well in advance but in the Northeast, the models were fleeting. Many days in advance the Northeastern States was in the same boat the Mid-Atlantic was in but as the event grew closer, models shifted the storm south, leaving the northern edge of the storm in southern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Suddenly, around 36 hours before the storm set in, models shifted back north and the rest is history.

The reason for the near-miss was a strong arctic high located near the US-Canadian border. The air with this high was very cold with most of the Northeast below zero the night before the storm moved into the region. This very cold dry air also helped to create very high snow to liquid ratios and snow that was easily carried by the wind. There was also a very sharp cut-off line on the northern side of the storm from areas that received very little snow, to areas that received over 2 feet. Further south, the storm was paralyzing.

Hardest hit areas in the Northeast were eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and southeastern New York State where a solid 20-30 inches of snow fell. Many major cities broke, or came close to breaking their all-time record snowfall. Snow drifted over the first stories of buildings in many areas and shut down these cities for many days. This storm was the reason why many Northeast locations broke their all-time recored seasonal snowfall totals as well during the snowy winter of 1995-96.

In Middletown 31" of snow fell from the Blizzard of 1996. There's only 2 other snowfalls with similar amounts of snow since I had lived there, the Superstorm in 1993 and the "End of Millenium Storm" (December 30th, 2000.)

I still had my paper route and this was one of the morning deliverys I'll never forget. When I had left to deliver the papers there was already over a foot of snow on the ground with 3-4 foot drifts everywhere. My route, which typically took 25 minutes to walk, took about 75 minutes. A snowplow had gone down the street I had to deliver to when I had first walked onto it. By the time I got back to the beginning of the street (about 45 minutes) 4" of snow had accumulated on the road. The snow was falling at an incredible rate. Later in the day, when the snow had begun to taper, it was so light and crystalline in nature. About 8" had fallen after 10 that morning (the last time the plow had passed through) and despite its depth, the snow simply 'swished' away. It felt like shoveling feathers. Every car in the parking lot was buried as they now resembled white lumps in the snowcover. The temperature throughout the entire event stood in the single digits, except for a few hours in the morning during the heaviest band where temperatures got up to 12. School was closed for 3 days afterwards with the start of the 4th delayed.

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Only 5 events to go. Of the last 5 events, 4 of them fall into different categorys, which shows the diversity of the weather here in the Northeast. There's 2 Nor'easters, one hurricane, one ice storm and one climate event. Of the 2 Nor'easters both of those were different in terms of their main impacts on the Northeast as well.

I'm going to try hard to get these events out today. I wanted to be finished on the 28th, but these last 5 events have a lot of information on them. I also want to tidy up some of the previous 15 events by adding a few links. So completion of this blog will probably be done by tomorrow, I hope.

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#5. The "Ice Storm of 1998" - January 4-10th, 1998

Ice Storm of 1998

For one week in January 1998 an ice storm of epic proportions struck the Northeastern United States and Southeastern Canada. The hardest hit areas were in northern New York and Vermont northward into into the St.Lawrence Valley of Canada but elsewhere across central and northern New England were not spared as even here large freezing rain accumulations caused extensive damage to trees and power lines. The effects of the storm were felt long afterwards as some communities were without power for over 2 weeks after the storm ended while a burtally cold arctic airmass settled over the region.

The storm began on the 4th of January as a mixture of snow, sleet and freezing rain across the Northeast as an active sub-tropical jet stream brought about by a very strong El Nino like pattern streamed moisture northward into a shallow cold airmass. This airmass was held in check by a strong area of high pressure over the Canadian Maritimes. The combination of these two synoptic features created an over-running situation that lasted for days on end. Initially the moisture fell into a deeper area of cold air over the Northeast with most porecipitation falling in the form of snow. As warmer air aloft flooded northeastward precipitation gradually started to change over to a mixture of sleet and freezing rain. Across the southern half of the Northeast precipitation changed over to liquid rain, which fell heavy at time causing minor to moderate flooding.

Further north into the shallow cold air precipitation stayed in a frozen or freezing nature for a total of up to 80 hours. In some extreme cases, freezing rain coated surfaces with up to 5 inches of ice accretion. Elsewhere across northern New York and Vermont freezing rain accumulated up to 2-4 inches thick with most of central Maine seeing 1-2 inches of freezing rain. These types of ice accumulations brought down numerours trees and power line. The State of Maine reported up to 80% of its customers without power during the height of the storm. Whole pylons collapsed under the weight of the ice, crippling the electrical infrastructure of these regions leaving area residents without power for weeks afterwards.

Ice Storm of 1998 - Ice accumulations

Economic impacts of this storm was felt for years afterwards with the sugar maple industry taking a serious blow. Up to 35 deaths can be attrubuted to this storm, most of them in Canada, with over 4 billion dollars in damages.

I mainly remember this storm as being a long rain event. When precipitation started in my area it was a brief period of snow, leaving a dusting before changing over to a mixture of sleet and freezing rain for a few hours then to plain rain. It rained and rained and rained for about 5 days and that's about it. Not too much flooding around my place either, just a miserable week of un-winter like winter weather.

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#4. Summer of 1988 - Drought/Heat Wave

The summer of 1988 was an especially hot dry summer in the Northeast as part of a 3 year long dry spell that developed across most of the northern half of the country. One of the most intense droughts in U.S. history, this event was responsible for 5,000-10,000 deaths countrywide and over 40 billion dollars in agricultural losses. In the Northeast the summer of 1988 featured a high number of 90 degree days and a pronounced dry spell that caused low water levels in many lakes and rivers.

The drought wasn't as bad as the worse droughts the Northeast had experienced in the past, but it had been since the 60's the Northeast had experienced a longer drought. It was also the 2nd warmest summer in the 35 year period of 1960-1994.

Albany, New York tied the 2nd greatest number of 90 degree days (27). New York City had their 5th most 90 degree days (32), including their 10th warmest July, 3rd warmest August and 5th warmest Summer(Jun-Aug).

What I remember most about this drought was a local lake almost drying out. We also went through the 1st 29 days of August with only a trace of precipitation. We finally caught a wicked thunderstorm on the last day of the month just before midnight.

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#3. Hurricane Gloria - September 27-28th, 1985

Gloria-1985.

Gloria.

A classic Cape Verde hurricane which grew to category 4 status east of the Bahamas. As the hurricane began to recurve it weakened to a category 2 hurricane as it accelerated towards the north crossing the extreme eastern Outer Banks of North Carolina then north-northeast as it made landfall in western Long Island and later in Connecticut. The storm continued into New England before becoming extra-tropical.

This storm carried great hype, being compared to the devastating Long Island Express hurricane of 1938 days before it struck. As what seems to be the problem today, the track was good, but the intensity...

Despite not living up to its hype, Hurricane Gloria pounded Long Island with sustained winds up to 100mph with gusts to category 3 strength. Thanks to its hype, many residents took necessary precautions before the storm struck, resulting in a low number of deaths, 10. Damage almost totaled 1 billion dollars from the storm with many trees fallen due to the storms high winds. Over 2 million Northeast residents lost power at some point during the storm.

Many of the devices used to measure wind failed on Long Island making damage estimates the main factor in determining strength at landfall. However there was scattered areas where winds were estimated to be of category 3 strength. Due to the fast movement of the storm rainfall totals weren't crippling with a solid 2-5 inches with localized areas of 7". Due to the storm making landfall at low tide storm surge was barely an issue with minor to moderate coastal flooding and beach erosion.

This is the first hurricane entered into my memory bank. Having experienced this one is what really makes it memorable for me. I don't remember a whole lot about the storm, but I do remember enough. I was only 4 years old, but a few detailed memories stuck.

On the way to day-care I remember seeing many trees blown down along the Sprain Brook Parkway. One tree in particular was this Oak tree on Gun Hill Road that my mother adored. It gave wonderful autumn displays from her stories. The crab apple trees in front of my apartment in the Bronx was striped of it's braches and were cut down. I certainly remember that day, I loved those crab apples.

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#2. The Halloween Storm/"The Perfect Storm" - October 30th-November 1st, 1991

Perfect Storm - Oct 30th

A rare combination of events transpired into one of the worst coastal low pressure system the Northeast as yet seen. A weak extra-tropical low combined with a strong cold front moving off the coast the the Northeast and the remnants of Hurricane Grace to form a very powerful low pressure system several hundred miles off the Northeast Coast which eventually retrograded towards the coast. This low then moved southwestward where it once again gained tropical characteristics and became a hurricane. This unnamed hurricane then progressed northeastward to finally affect Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

The storm brought heavy rains along the coast and snow in the mountains of the Northeast. But what the storm will be remembered most for is it's winds and it's incredible storm tides of up to 14ft above normal tides along with large battering waves which reached to 30 feet along the coast. There was major beach erosion and coastal flooding due to the surge and very high surf. In fact, for most of the Northeastern Coast, storm tides were higher with the Halloween Storm than they were with Hurricane Bob 10 weeks earlier.

Twelve deaths can directly be attributed to the Halloween Storm including 6 sailors aboard the fishing boat "Andrea Gail" which sank in the open ocean. Waves were estimated to be as high as 40-70 feet, with a few rouge waves which could've been over 100 feet high. Damages along the Northeast Coast was up to one billion dollars.

Unnamed Hurricane - November 1st

I remember trick-or-treating with my friend during the Halloween storm. We were the only ones out that night perhaps. Due to the lack of other trick-or-treaters we made quite a haul of candy. A lot of folks just gave us whatever they bought since there were no other kids out and to credit our bravery. Unfortunately much of the candy we collected that night became soaked with rainwater. But being the kids that we were we ate it all anyway...eventually.

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#1. Blizzard of 1993/"Superstorm"/"Storm on the Century" - March 12-14th, 1993

Superstorm - March 12th(late morning)

"Storm of the Century" is a most fitting name to a storm which featured a blizzard of epic proportions, compared to the "Great Blizzard of 1888", a derecho which produced tornados and winds up to the force of a category 4 hurricane, and an unexpected 8-12 foot storm surge along Florida's Gulf Coast. Although this blog is dedicated to the Northeast, I'll try to fit in all areas affected by this monster storm.

The "Superstorm" was the storm that had it all. A classic Miller Type-A Nor'easter, only much stronger. The "Superstorm" was also one of the first conquests of long-range forecasting by meteorologist of the time. A well-forecasted blizzard almost a week in advance was unheard of just 15 years ago. When many meteorologist hyped this storm a full week before its arrival many were skeptical. The only problem was this storm was under-forecasted, most likely due to the fact that few had ever seen such a storm.

As the storm grew near the impact that this storm would bring was beginning to become apparent. A strong low pressure developed in the western Gulf of Mexico and moved across the northern Gulf. Strong convection fired up, similar to a tropical system, as a tremendous amount of upper level energy was injected into this storm. This allowed the storm to gain even more strength, as low pressure dropped at near 980mb. The storm then made a sharp left and tore up the East Coast, just inland, setting low-pressure records up and down the Eastern Seaboard.



For the Northeast, if folks were looking for any indication for what this storm would bring they only had to look to the South, where blizzard conditions raged across Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia IN MARCH! Unprecedented snow and cold pummeled the region as over a foot of snow fell in major cities and snow even fell to the Gulf Coast in Mobile and Pensacola. The mountains of Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina saw the absolute worst of this storm with 3-5 feet of snow, wind gusts up to 100mph and below zero temperatures. Impressive snowfall totals of 20" Chattanooga, TN and 13" in Birmingham, AL collapsed many roofs and brought down many trees. The only blizzard on record previous to the "Superstorm" in the Southeast was a Great Blizzard of 1899.

As the storm made its way up to the Northeast the storm only grew in ferocity. Widespread snowfall totals of 2-4 feet along with strong winds of 40-60mph drifted snow to 15 feet. Syracuse, NY received 43" of snow. Albany, NY had 27", Pittsburgh, PA 25". The snow shut down municipalities for days after the storm as snow had to be trucked out of cities. Due to the inland track of this strom the 'Megalopolis" was spared the worst of the snow as precipitation changed to rain. Despite the changeover the storm was still paralyzing. Many roofs collapsed due to the weight of the snow weighed down furthermore by the rain. After the storm passed a strong arctic outbreak that followed froze the slush into impossible to move ice.


The "Superstorm" will not only be remembered for the impressive snowfall it brought from the Southeast to Canada but also for the intense derecho that swept through Florida and Cuba. An extremely intense line of thunderstorms developed along the attendant cold front as it crossed over Florida and the Gulf of Mexico. As this line of storms moved through Florida it produced winds of 70-90 mph. A tent city set up to provide shelter for victims of Hurricane Andrew was almost completely swept away when this line of storms moved through. When this line of storms made it to Cuba widespread hurricane force winds were felt across the island with some winds estimated to be as high as 130mph+, or equivilent to a category 4 hurricane. 10 tornados were reported in Florida was the line of storms blew through as well.

Another aspect of this storm that was totally unexpected was the storm surge along the Gulf Coast of Florida. Strong southerly winds ahead of the storm in the Gulf of Mexico piled water in the Northeast Gulf. As the strong cold front swept through during the overnight the winds shifted westerly, pushing all this water into the coast. What resulted was a storm surge up to 12 feet high which struck during the night, compounding the situation. When residents woke in the morning what they saw was truly surprising, a rising surge of water. Many of Florida's 44 deaths attributed to the "Superstorm" were of direct result of this storm surge.

Some estimates put damages from the "Superstorm" at over 6 billion dollars with 248 deaths attributed to the storm, more than 3 times the amount of people killed from Hugo and Andrew combined.

Storm of the Century - March 13th, 1993

The "Superstorm" didn't just make #1 on this list because it was the most ferocious storm to affect the Northeast in the last 25 years, perhaps ever. Personally it is also my most memorable storm, above the severe thunderstorm in August of 2002, above the blizzard of 1996, even above the Presidents' Day Storm of 2003. The intensity of the snow that fell, the fierce winds, thunder, lightning, how high the snow piled up, how fast it piled up, I haven't seen anything like it since.

Days before the event, the storm was being forecast as a potential BIG Nor'easter. When the main energy for this storm was still out in the Central Pacific I clearly remember watching Jim Cantore pointing it out, tapping his little clicker on that storm on the bluewall, saying "This is going to be a big one, about one week from now." He wasn't the only one. Word was spreading quickly about the storm. Local news stations were talking about it. The hype was there. How big will it be? Tales of the "Great Blizzard of 1888" were being thrown about, which ironically occured on the same dates 105 years previous. There was precedent, but would history repeat itself?

On a side note, one of the strangest occurances aalso happened to me the day before the storm. In school we had been learning about the Cuban Missile Crisis and watched the air raid drills performed in the 60's with school children ducking under their desks in the event of a nuclear detonation (like ducking under a desk in a fetal position would help). Anyway, Middletown has those 12 O'clock sirens which sounds like the air raid siren. My mother had picked me up from school that Friday and we went straight to the grocery store. On the way there, for some reason (it wasn't noon, it was a quarter after 3) those air raid sirens were going off. So I'm thinking to myself "Okay, this is weird...". Suddenly the Emergency Broadcast System comes on the radio with that long "BOOOOOO...P" sound. When the man with the creepy voice cuts in and usually says "This is only a test of the emergency broadcast system. In the event of a real emergency..." and so on didn't come on, it was even more weird. Then when the man with the creepy voice comes on and says "This is a real emergency." I as like "Oh no we're getting bombed!!"

As it turned out it was a warning for the impending blizzard with expectations of 2-4 feet of snow. Pretty scary, huh? lol

The night before the storm the scope of what this storm would bring was becoming obvious. CNN and The Weather Channel showed video of Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia experiencing white out conditions, snowfall of 6-10 inches, rivaling the most snow from all previous record snowfalls and the storm was only half over!

I woke up very early that Saturday morning expecting to see snow falling but I was early by a couple of hours. The local news cut to non-stop coverage of the storm during its onset. We had already gone through 'the biggest Nor'easter in 50 years' 3 months earlier (#11 event) so the assumption was this was going to be much worse. I watched as the snow advanced northward with reports from areas to the south, only a few hours into the storm, of 4-6 inches already. By the time the snow started in Middeltown, just before 9 in the morning, areas around New York City had 3-6 inches, areas near Philadelphia had up to 10 inches and it was snowing harder by the minute.

Once the snow started the scene shifted from sitting in front of the television, to being outside. Snow engulfed the air. It seemed as though every parcel of air was filled with a snowflake. First they were small flakes, but gradually gained sized before the wind made everything a white blur. By noon about 6 inches lay on the ground, and only 2 hours later there was over a foot. It was a near constant whiteout from just before noon until 6 in the evening. Som very amazing events occured during this storm as well. Thundersnow was prevailent throughout the afternoon. During the mid-afternoon one thunderstorm in particular demonstrated the true intensity of this storm.

The sky grew dark, dark enough to 'see' the flashes on lightning in the sky. The snow was falling so hard and the light so filtered it was more like a greyout, that brightened to a whiteout during the lightning, which was quite frequent. The thunder was muffeled by the snow but loud none-the-less. Small hail even fell during the thunderstorm. It certainly wasn't sleet for the hail was about 3 times the size of a sleet pellet. Even despite this hail during this storm snow still accumulated 6 inches for the hour in which this storm occured. The wind was most fierce during this storm as well. Due to the reduced visibilities no trees were withing view to use as a gauge to how strong the wind actually was. But it was strong enough to rip the siding off a neighbors house.

The snow continued at an incredible rate until tapering around 6:30 that evening as out location got dry slotted. When the snow initally tapered off 27" of snow lay on the ground from this storm. 27 inches in 9 hours, 21 inches in the final 6 hours! After the snow tapered the wind calmed and an eerie fog settled over the area until around 11 later that night when snow began to fall again at a moderate clip. This time in large flakes. An additional 6 inches of snow fell during the overnight giving us a total of 33" all of which fell in a 24 hour period.

We took a walk that Sunday, a few hours after the storm. Snow was still blowing everywhere and the main road through down was desolate, with 10 foot high piles of snow along the road every so often. There were snow drifts over 8 feet high and could only be removed by front loaders and dump trucks. I remember Syracuse still getting pounded that morning and was almost disappointed that the snow was over where I lived. For some reason, you don't want these events to come to an end sometimes...

There's so many other memories from this storm that would be too much to list here. So I'll stop now and let everyone else give their story of this storm because everyone I'm sure has one, even if they didn't get hit...

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"Superstorm" photos

Our car after the superstorm

This photo was taken the morning after the "Superstorm" on Sunday March 14th, 1993. Our car, a Dodge Colt, was buried across the entire front and half way up in the back of the car. What's amazing about this was my mother didn't get home from work until 1:30 the afternoon of the 13th after more than a foot had already fallen. In other words the car was parked long after the storm began.




This photo was taken on the morning of the 14th as well. Thiw view of behind my house was very telling of how the snow formed huge drifts. Aided by a 8ft retaining wall, these drifts attained enormous heights of 10-12 feet in between the decks and the wall. This snow persisted until May due to the lack of sunlight behind the house.




This photo was of me and my little sister taken on the morning of the 14th. The wooden stick in the snow was a meter stick I made out of a peice of baseboard because my father didn't want me to 'ruin the meter stick'.


Superstorm - Standing halfway up a snowdrift

This photo is of me standing half way up a snow drift behind my house with the meter stick. The base of the window on my right in this picture is 7 feet off the ground.

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Regional Forecast


For perhaps the final time this season a summer-like ridge will once again be over the area on Monday. The southeastern half of the region will be under the influence of a 590dm+ 500mb ridge, 17-18°C 850mb temps and full sun. This ridge begins to pull offshore Monday night and gives way to an approaching trough out of a strengthening northern branch of the jet stream. This trough will swing a cold front through the Northeast on Tuesday and Tuesday night bringing a solid rainfall to the region. A cool Canadian high builds in behind this front and gives the interior of the Northeast a good chance for a widespread frost/freeze Wednesday night. High moves over the region Thursday bringing dry seasonable weather. Clouds from next system, a cut-off low, will move into the region on Friday as it moves towards the Northeast from the Midwest. By the weekend this system will begin to open up and spread showers into the region.

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It will be mostly sunny and warm for all of the Northeast Monday with temperatures running 10-20°F above normal. A ridge at the surface and aloft will be centered just southeast of Long Island bringing a deep southwesterly flow over the region and mainly offshore winds. Record highs will be possible for some locations but most will fall several degrees short. Temperatures will reach into the 70's across much of the interior except for the higher terrain. Along the coastal plain highs will be close to, if not exceeding 80°F. Areas on south facing beaches, including the eastern half of Long Island and Cape Cod temperatures should be held in check in the low 70's.



High clouds begin to move into the region Monday evening as a frontal boundary approaches from the west. This front will be able to tap a decent amount of Gulf of Mexico moisture despite its northern branch roots. Southerly flow around the cut-off Plains system will tap this Gulf moisture which the northern brach front will eventually sweep up and bring across the Northeast. By midnight rain will begin overspread western areas and into central Pennsylvania and New York by daybreak. Lows will drop into the 40's across northern New England, with 50's across the rest of the interior. Along the coast and urban areas temperatures could be held near 60°F.


Cold front sweeps through the Northeast on Tuesday bringing with it a band of heavier rains. A half inch to an inch of rain could fall with this system which should bring most areas in the Northeast above normal for the month of October precipitation-wise, a much needed event as we were looking at developing drought conditions. By months' end less than 25% of the Northeast should remain in D0-D1 conditions in the CPC weekly drought monitor. Highs, in most cases, will be in the morning before the rain sets in. For eastern areas this will result in highs in the mid to upper 60's, with low 60's across northern New England. Across western areas highs should be in the upper 50's to near 60°F early before dropping later in the day with cold air advection behind front.

Surface front slows as it nears the coast Tuesday night but a secondary trough with a polar airmass digging behind the first trough will help to kick the front offshore. Scattered showers should remain over the southeastern half of the region as the front slows in this area. For the northwestern sections clouds will persist throughout the night as a cool northwesterly breeze develops. Lows here in the northwestern half of the region will drop into the low to mid 40's with 30's across the higher elevations. Over the southeastern half of the region temperatures will remain near 50°F with the milder airmass still in place.

**Rest of forecast along with graphics to follow soon**

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Radar: Northeast Region

NE radar

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Local SST's

Northeast SST's


Current SST's off the Northeast Coast.

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Great Lakes SST's 9-29

Great Lakes SST's as of 10/14/2007.
___________________________________________________________




October daily weather statistics.

------------

October 1st - 64°F/46°F....0.00"....15%
October 2nd - 69°F/49°F....0.00"....25%
October 3rd - 77°F/55°F....0.00"....40%
October 4th - 82°F/55°F....0.00"....60%
October 5th - 82°F/55°F....0.00"....80%
October 6th - 84°F/54°F....0.17"....85%
October 7th - 75°F/54°F....0.01"....45%
October 8th - 83°F/52°F....0.71"....70%
October 9th - 68°F/55°F....0.63"....10%
October 10th - 70°F/54°F....0.05"....35%
October 11th - 56°F/52°F....2.76"....0%
October 12th - 55°F/38°F....0.23"....30%
October 13th - 54°F/36°F....0.00"....40%
October 14th - 53°F/37°F....Trace....20%
October 15th - 57°F/45°F....0.00"....30%
October 16th - 64°F/41°F....0.00"....40%
October 17th - 66°F/45°F....Trace....55%
October 18th - 73°F/48°F....0.00"....60%
October 19th - 71°F/57°F....1.07"....5%
October 20th - 62°F/45°F....0.04"....40%
October 21st - 73°F/38°F....0.00"....95%
October 22nd - 75°F/44°F....0.00"....60%
October 23rd - 70°F/54°F....0.13"....5%
October 24th - 55°F/48°F....0.67"....0%
October 25th - 56°F/41°F....0.14"....70%
October 26th - 51°F/40°F....0.45"....0%
October 27th - 62°F/47°F....0.96"....20%
October 28th - 47°F/31°F....0.00"....40%
October 29th - 47°F/25°F....0.00"....90%
October 30th - 57°F/28°F....0.00"....95%
October 31st - 63°F/33°F....0.00"....95%



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Updated: 4:25 PM GMT on November 02, 2007

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Record Highs possible tomorrow

By: sullivanweather, 6:20 AM GMT on October 22, 2007

It appears as though I will be forced to close down the Fall Foliage Blog until November. There's quite a few weather events happening this week that I would like to discuss. I would also like to try and get to my other 2 blogs which I have planned in a timely manner. It wouldn't make any sense to post my Winter Forecast in December. I'm shooting for just after Halloween for that one. On Thursday, the 25th, I will be posting a blog of my "Top 20 weather events of the last 25 years in the Northeast." I tried to encompass the entire Northeast with this list and feel as though I hit the main events in a good order. In the list there are two local events, but I did want to add a personal touch to the blog. I kept those events to a minimum as I didn't want to ruin the importance of other events or leave something out.

------------

Regional Forecast


For perhaps the final time this season a summer-like ridge will once again be over the area on Monday. The southeastern half of the region will be under the influence of a 590dm+ 500mb ridge, 17-18°C 850mb temps and full sun. This ridge begins to pull offshore Monday night and gives way to an approaching trough out of a strengthening northern branch of the jet stream. This trough will swing a cold front through the Northeast on Tuesday and Tuesday night bringing a solid rainfall to the region. A cool Canadian high builds in behind this front and gives the interior of the Northeast a good chance for a widespread frost/freeze Wednesday night. High moves over the region Thursday bringing dry seasonable weather. Clouds from next system, a cut-off low, will move into the region on Friday as it moves towards the Northeast from the Midwest. By the weekend this system will begin to open up and spread showers into the region.

------------

It will be mostly sunny and warm for all of the Northeast Monday with temperatures running 10-20°F above normal. A ridge at the surface and aloft will be centered just southeast of Long Island bringing a deep southwesterly flow over the region and mainly offshore winds. Record highs will be possible for some locations but most will fall several degrees short. Temperatures will reach into the 70's across much of the interior except for the higher terrain. Along the coastal plain highs will be close to, if not exceeding 80°F. Areas on south facing beaches, including the eastern half of Long Island and Cape Cod temperatures should be held in check in the low 70's.



High clouds begin to move into the region Monday evening as a frontal boundary approaches from the west. This front will be able to tap a decent amount of Gulf of Mexico moisture despite its northern branch roots. Southerly flow around the cut-off Plains system will tap this Gulf moisture which the northern brach front will eventually sweep up and bring across the Northeast. By midnight rain will begin overspread western areas and into central Pennsylvania and New York by daybreak. Lows will drop into the 40's across northern New England, with 50's across the rest of the interior. Along the coast and urban areas temperatures could be held near 60°F.


Cold front sweeps through the Northeast on Tuesday bringing with it a band of heavier rains. A half inch to an inch of rain could fall with this system which should bring most areas in the Northeast above normal for the month of October precipitation-wise, a much needed event as we were looking at developing drought conditions. By months' end less than 25% of the Northeast should remain in D0-D1 conditions in the CPC weekly drought monitor. Highs, in most cases, will be in the morning before the rain sets in. For eastern areas this will result in highs in the mid to upper 60's, with low 60's across northern New England. Across western areas highs should be in the upper 50's to near 60°F early before dropping later in the day with cold air advection behind front.

Surface front slows as it nears the coast Tuesday night but a secondary trough with a polar airmass digging behind the first trough will help to kick the front offshore. Scattered showers should remain over the southeastern half of the region as the front slows in this area. For the northwestern sections clouds will persist throughout the night as a cool northwesterly breeze develops. Lows here in the northwestern half of the region will drop into the low to mid 40's with 30's across the higher elevations. Over the southeastern half of the region temperatures will remain near 50°F with the milder airmass still in place.

**Rest of forecast along with graphics to follow soon**

___________________________________________________________

Radar: Northeast Region

NE radar

___________________________________________________________

Local SST's

Northeast SST's


Current SST's off the Northeast Coast.

---------------------------

Great Lakes SST's 9-29

Great Lakes SST's as of 10/14/2007.
___________________________________________________________




October daily weather statistics.

------------

October 1st - 64°F/46°F....0.00"....15%
October 2nd - 69°F/49°F....0.00"....25%
October 3rd - 77°F/55°F....0.00"....40%
October 4th - 82°F/55°F....0.00"....60%
October 5th - 82°F/55°F....0.00"....80%
October 6th - 84°F/54°F....0.17"....85%
October 7th - 75°F/54°F....0.01"....45%
October 8th - 83°F/52°F....0.71"....70%
October 9th - 68°F/55°F....0.63"....10%
October 10th - 70°F/54°F....0.05"....35%
October 11th - 56°F/52°F....2.76"....0%
October 12th - 55°F/38°F....0.23"....30%
October 13th - 54°F/36°F....0.00"....40%
October 14th - 53°F/37°F....Trace....20%
October 15th - 57°F/45°F....0.00"....30%
October 16th - 64°F/41°F....0.00"....40%
October 17th - 66°F/45°F....Trace....55%
October 18th - 73°F/48°F....0.00"....60%
October 19th - 71°F/57°F....1.07"....5%
October 20th - 62°F/45°F....0.04"....40%
October 21st - 73°F/38°F....0.00"....95%



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Updated: 6:40 AM GMT on October 22, 2007

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Northeast storm of Oct 19/20th.

By: sullivanweather, 11:51 AM GMT on October 19, 2007

After much self debate I decided to give my Fall Foliage Blog a one day hiatus to focus on today's impending severe weather event.

__________________________________________________

Severe Weather Reports 10/19
10/19 severe weather reports


Severe weather on Friday was mainly confined in an area from eastern Pennsylvania to southern New England with areas in and around New York City getting hit pretty hard. Western suburbs got raked with some strong winds over 50mph, while eastern suburbs saw some flash flooding.

Elsewhere across the Northeast a solid half inch to inch and a half of rain fell. A few localized areas got over 3" of rain. This precipitation will put a good dent into the drought situation. At my location in Bethel, NY we recieved 1.07" of rain on the 19th. More rain fell after midnight and I will go out and get a storm total after sunrise.

Most of the precipitation from this system has moved into northern New Hampshire and the state of Maine as of 6am.

I will let this blog run through the morning then go back to the foliage blog with some new pics added for the remainder of the weekend.


1130PM EST Update

NYC local radar

Squall line currently lies across southeast New york State and bisects the state of New Jersey from SSW-NNE.

This line of storms has the capability of producing strong straight line winds in excess of 60mph and torrential downpours that could drop over an inch of rain in under 30 minutes. This could lead to flash flooding of small streams and poor drainage flooding where fallen leaves clog storm drains. There's not much lightning with this line of storms, so don't let the relative calmness of the sky play trickery. Strong winds are present!

These storms should move across the NYC metro area over the next 1-2 hours before weakening as they head over offshore waters, Long Island and southern Connecticut.

**High impact severe weather event likely today**

An intense 977mb low pressure is currently located in the vicinity of Duluth, Minnesota. This low will send a strong cold front sweeping through the Northeast into an unseasonably warm and humid airmass, more reminicent of August, later this afternoon through Saturday morning resulting in an outbreak of severe thunderstorms. This system already has a long history of producing widespread severe weather, including over 45 tornado reports (based on peliminary data) over the previous two days. The main threat from today's expected severe weather outbreak will be strong damaging winds. However, a few tornados cannot be ruled out.

Despite the unseasonably warm airmass in place over the Northeast today, surface instability will not be strong. Instead thunderstorms will fire due to strong surface convergence along a pre-frontal trough and the actual cold front, very strong wind fields (30-40kt 850mb jet, 80kt+ 500mb jet). This will be a classic Autumn severe event where little sbCAPE exists but strong wind fields aloft will organize convection in line segments out ahead of the front and a strong squall line of low-topped convection along the front.

In fact the previous 3 autumn seasons*(12/1/06 is technically the first day of meteorological winter but close enough) have had similar events.

December 1st, 2006

November 6th, 2005

November 25th, 2004


Synoptic placement of low pressure with today's expected event is further northwest than the 3 events mentioned above, but wind fields are similar. Another difference will be the highly anomalous moisture content of the atmosphere. PW's are expected to climb close to 2" which is more than twice normal values for this time of year. Flash flooding could be a concern for localized areas that receive mulitple/training storms. Antedecent conditions are not favorable for a widespread flooding event, thankfully, and this system should not be an issue for main stem rivers.

--------------------

1PM EST Update

After a few breaks of sun earlier this morning a stratus deck has moved overhead. There's been a misty drizzle that has been falling over the last hour but not much more.

The heavier rain and a few embedded thunderstorms are still located over western and central New York and Pennsylvania. There's also a cluster of heavy rain just off the New Jersey coast extending onshore into the western suburbs of New York City. This area of rain should move into Long Island over the next 1-2 hours. A smaller band of showers lies across southern New England at this time as well. This band contains a few heavier showers, but for the most part consists of light to moderate rain showers.

A line of thudnerstorms should begin to materialize in eastern Ohio/western Pennsylvania by mid-afternoon and push eastwards as a squall line. For the time being this potential development appears to be the only shot of seeing severe weather today in the Northeast. The area of rain out ahead of the front is doing a good job thus far at keeping the severe threat from the pre-frontal trough at bay.

**UPDATE 845PM EST**

*********
Friday evening severe threat
*********


Friday/Saturday storm


___________________________________________________________

NE radar

___________________________________________________________


Northeast SST's


Current SST's off the Northeast Coast.

---------------------------

Great Lakes SST's 9-29

Great Lakes SST's as of 10/14/2007.
___________________________________________________________




October daily weather statistics.

------------

October 1st - 64°F/46°F....0.00"....15%
October 2nd - 69°F/49°F....0.00"....25%
October 3rd - 77°F/55°F....0.00"....40%
October 4th - 82°F/55°F....0.00"....60%
October 5th - 82°F/55°F....0.00"....80%
October 6th - 84°F/54°F....0.17"....85%
October 7th - 75°F/54°F....0.01"....45%
October 8th - 83°F/52°F....0.71"....70%
October 9th - 68°F/55°F....0.63"....10%
October 10th - 70°F/54°F....0.05"....35%
October 11th - 56°F/52°F....2.76"....0%
October 12th - 55°F/38°F....0.23"....30%
October 13th - 54°F/36°F....0.00"....40%
October 14th - 53°F/37°F....Trace....20%
October 15th - 57°F/45°F....0.00"....30%
October 16th - 64°F/41°F....0.00"....40%
October 17th - 66°F/45°F....Trace....55%
October 18th - 73°F/48°F....0.00"....60%
October 19th - 71°F/57°F....1.07"....5%
October 20th - 62°F/45°F....0.04"....40%
October 21st - 73°F/38°F....0.00"....95%



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Updated: 5:13 AM GMT on October 22, 2007

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Fall Foliage/Severe storms today

By: sullivanweather, 9:06 PM GMT on October 14, 2007

I'll be putting weather on the back burner this week as I dedicate a blog to the wonderful spectacle of the Autumn season.

I will be adding to this blog as the week progresses but to get it started I'll be posting about 20 or so pictures of this wonderful season in all it's glory. Any visitors that would like to add pictures here of the Autumn season have all my blessings.

I will still keep my monthly weather statistics at the bottom of the blog along with any weather events on the horizon. There is a tropical disturbance and a strong fall storm forecast to approach the area by weeks' end, so I'm sure there will be plenty of weather to catch up on here.



Fire Maples




Golden Fields at Morning




Splashes of Colour





Reflections of Fall





Autumn Sunrise






Harvest Moon





Where the Frogs Live




Can We Fly Now?






Clovers too?







Autumn on Rocks






Trying to Cheer up the Barn






Misty Morning Lake






Dry Times






More Fall Fields





Autumn Road






More Fire Maples






Turkeys!






Autumn North






One Tree, Every Colour






Orb web exposed






Scarlett Sisters





Verbena





Grumpy Stump O' the Forest





Red Berries





The Peaks' End







Glow in the Dark






Sunset on the Ridge
__________________________________________________________


Regional Forecast.

A weak ridge of high pressure will move over the region Tuesday night and offshore on Wednesday. A weakening trough will approch Wednesday bringing chances for showers and drizzle. Upper ridge axis then pulls east into the region for Thursday which could give most of the area a nice fall day with temperatures running 10-15 degrees above normal. A strengthening low moving from the Midwest into the Upper Great Lakes region will spread rain into the western sections of the region by Thursday night. A strong front sweeps east of this low into the region on Friday. There's a chance for severe thunderstorms with the passage of this cold front across Pennsylvania, New Jersey and the southern half of New York State. A triple point low should form in north-central Pennsylvania/the Finger Lakes region of New York and pull northeast to a position just north of Maine by Saturday at noon. This will bring a swath of heavy rain from a Syracuse-Albany-Boston line north and east. Unfortunately Southeastern southern New England could miss out on heavy precipitation yet again. Cool cyclonic flow will keep clouds and showers around throughout the remainder of the weekend with lake response and terrain enhancement.

___________________________________________________________


A fairly warm fall airmass will move into the region on Thursday. Most areas except for northern New England will lie in the warm sector with temperatures running 10-15 degrees above normal. With the warm front draped across northern areas clouds and a chance for showers will be present. South of this boundary a mix of sun and mid/high clouds will provide for a wonderful fall afternoon. Temperatures will climb into the 70's and perhaps as high as 80°F along the coastal plain. Along and to the north of the warm front temperatures will remain in the 50's to low 60's.

Warm southerly flow will continue into Thursday night. Low temperatures will run 15-20 degrees above normal. There could be some showers that move into western sections as the cold frontal precipitation approaches the area. Otherwise skies across the area will be mostly cloudy. Along the coast there could be some fog/low stratus deck that develops and spreads inland. Lows will drop into the 40's across northern New England with 50's and 60's acorss the rest of the interior from north to south.

----------

Main action will come on Friday as a strong area of low pressure wraps up in the Western Great Lakes and moves towards Hudson Bay. This low will send a front plowing through the region that will be a focus for heavy rain and possible severe thunderstorms. The front will move at a fair rate of speed from west to east so widespread flooding is not of particular concern. There could be some flash flooding where cells train ahead of the front before it passes through. There does appear to be a pre-frontal trough that will serve as a focus for thunderstorm development before the main cold front moves through. PW's rise to nearly 2" across the southern half of the Northeast on Friday afternoon so these stroms could be very heavy rainers.

As the cold front makes it's passage there could be a very strong squall line along the wind shift. This could easily drop over an inch of rain in a very short period of time and bring winds gusts of 40-60mph. Some of the individual cells within this squall line could contain small hail as well.

Friday/Saturday storm

Precipitation will taper quickly after the passage of the cold front in New York and Pennsylvania. Winds will shift to the west and it will be breezy. Temperatures behind the front should fall close to normal levels for this time of year, so the air behind the front isn't terribly chilly.

Rain and embedded thundershowers will spread into New England during the evening and into the overnight. Chances for severe weather during the evening will extend from east-central New York southward to southeastern Pennsylvania. Strong straightline winds will be the main threat from these storms with a slight chance for some wet microbursts. This system is a tornado producer as well. Although the main area of dynamics lifts into the upper Great Lakes some energy will be transfered to a developing triple point low in north-central Pennsylvania Friday afternoon. So an isolated tornado is not out of the question!

Severe weather after midnight should be limited to a few locales in southern New England as the weakening squall line moves into a more stable airmass. For the most part this line will bring a brief shot of heavy rain and some 40mph wind gusts to the eastern half of southern New England. Extreme southeastern New England could miss the boat again with this storm as triple point low pulls into Canada bringing most of the moisture and dynamics with it. This area will have to rely on a weakening band of rain and thunderstorms associated with the cold front. Up to a half inch of rain could fall, but much more is needed. Especially when neighbors to the north and west have the potential for much more.

Rain will continue into Saturday over central and northern New England. This rain could come down heavy at times as the triple point low moves up the St.Lawrence Valley. Rain will taper from south to north during the morning and early afternoon. Temperatures will return to near normal on Saturday across the Northeast. Some showers could fall downwind of the lakes and across higher elevations of northern New York and Vermont. Clouds will hang around most of the interior with some clearing along the coastal plain.



___________________________________________________________

NE radar

___________________________________________________________


Northeast SST's


Current SST's off the Northeast Coast.

---------------------------

Great Lakes SST's 9-29

Great Lakes SST's as of 10/14/2007.
___________________________________________________________




October daily weather statistics.

------------

October 1st - 64°F/46°F....0.00"....15%
October 2nd - 69°F/49°F....0.00"....25%
October 3rd - 77°F/55°F....0.00"....40%
October 4th - 82°F/55°F....0.00"....60%
October 5th - 82°F/55°F....0.00"....80%
October 6th - 84°F/54°F....0.17"....85%
October 7th - 75°F/54°F....0.01"....45%
October 8th - 83°F/52°F....0.71"....70%
October 9th - 68°F/55°F....0.63"....10%
October 10th - 70°F/54°F....0.05"....35%
October 11th - 56°F/52°F....2.76"....0%
October 12th - 55°F/38°F....0.23"....30%
October 13th - 54°F/36°F....0.00"....40%
October 14th - 53°F/37°F....Trace....20%
October 15th - 57°F/45°F....0.00"....30%
October 16th - 64°F/41°F....0.00"....40%
October 17th - 66°F/45°F....Trace....55%
October 18th - 73°F/48°F....0.00"....60%



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Updated: 9:09 AM GMT on October 19, 2007

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Coastal low impacts Northeast.

By: sullivanweather, 5:02 AM GMT on October 12, 2007

10-11 Coastal low impacts

Here in Bethel, NY 2.76" of rain fell today which is the 2nd highest daily total this year. The most daily rainfall occured on April 15th when 2.96" of rain fell in association with a late season nor'easter. This storm brought over 1 foot of snow to some places in central New York and north-central Pennsylvania.

*Update

0.23" of rain fell since midnight which brings the total rainfall from this storm to 2.99". There could be a brief terrain enhanced shower as the afternoon progresses but all significant rainfall is now well northeast of my location.
__________________________________________________________

Regional Forecast.

A strong coastal low is bringing heavy rain to Maine and New Hampshire this afternoon and gusty winds throughout the Northeast. Rainfall amounts in Maine will range from 1-2.5" by the time rain tapers off to showers by Saturday morning. Some lake effect rainfall can be expected as well in central New York State as air behind low is cold enugh for lake response. Some areas across the highest elevations could see the rain mix with and change to snow Friday night producing a coating on grassy surfaces. Any accumulations should be confined to areas above 3500'.

A secondary upper disturbance will swing across the US/Canadian border over the weekend keeping clouds and showers around underneath the unstable cold pool aloft. Some of this precipitation could fall in the form of snow across the higher terrain from the Adirondacks into northern New England. This disturbance will also help to keep the area mostly cloudy with a stratocumulus deck developing across most of the interior with a sun/cloud mix over the coastal plain. Temperatures will feel below normal when compared to the record warmth as of late when in fact they are quite close to seasonal norms for mid October.

Upper disturbance begins to pull northeast of the area by Sunday afternoon with chances for precipitation ending and skies clearing by evening. There's a good chance that some folks will see their first frost of the season Sunday night/Monday morning.


10-13 highs/lows

Sunday October 14th, 2007 Lows/highs

Special edition blogs on the way!


Typically the time from mid October to mid November is quite slow weatherwise in the Northeast. During this time I will be posting a few special blogs.

The first will be on the fall foliage season. I plan on posting a slew of pics from this years' display.

The second will be a top ten weather events list. This list will pertain to events that I have personally gone through.

The third blog will be my 2007-08 winter outlook.


___________________________________________________________

NE radar

___________________________________________________________


Northeast SST's


Current SST's off the Northeast Coast. SST's are running above normal from Cape May, NJ northward to the central coast of Maine where some upwelling is producing SST's near to below normal.

---------------------------

Great Lakes SST's 9-29

Great Lakes SST's as of 9/29.
___________________________________________________________




October daily weather statistics.

------------

October 1st - 64°F/46°F....0.00"....15%
October 2nd - 69°F/49°F....0.00"....25%
October 3rd - 77°F/55°F....0.00"....40%
October 4th - 82°F/55°F....0.00"....60%
October 5th - 82°F/55°F....0.00"....80%
October 6th - 84°F/54°F....0.17"....85%
October 7th - 75°F/54°F....0.01"....45%
October 8th - 83°F/52°F....0.71"....70%
October 9th - 68°F/55°F....0.63"....10%
October 10th - 70°F/54°F....0.05"....35%
October 11th - 56°F/52°F....2.76"....0%
October 12th - 55°F/38°F....0.23"....30%
October 13th - 54°F/36°F....0.00"....40%



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Updated: 4:49 AM GMT on October 14, 2007

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OCtober Record heat/Pattern change

By: sullivanweather, 1:32 PM GMT on October 08, 2007

***Heavy rain and severe thunderstorms affecting NY/NJ/PA this afternoon***




A developing coastal low combined with a potent upper level disturbance aiding in the development of this low is bringing much needed rainfall to many locations throughout New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

There are active severe thunderstorm warnings in central New Jersey for the potential of 60mph winds and small hail. To the northwest of these thunderstorms is an area of heavy rain extending back into the Finger Lakes region of New York. This area of rain could drop more than an inch as it slowly transitions northeastward.

-----------

Thus far today 2.48" of rain has fallen at my location here in Bethel, NY. This is the most single day rainfall at this location since April 15th when 2.96" of precipitation fell.

-------------

TORNADO WARNING
NYC059-112115-
/O.NEW.KOKX.TO.W.0006.071011T2030Z-071011T2115Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE UPTON NY
430 PM EDT THU OCT 11 2007

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN UPTON NY HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
SOUTHWESTERN NASSAU COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST NEW YORK...

* UNTIL 515 PM EDT...

* AT 425 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO NEAR
OCEANSIDE...OR ABOUT NEAR LONG BEACH...MOVING NORTH AT 20 MPH.

* THE TORNADO WILL BE NEAR...
OCEANSIDE...WOODMERE AND CEDARHURST BY 435 PM...
LYNBROOK...VALLEY STREAM AND BALDWIN BY 440 PM...
ELMONT AND HEMPSTEAD BY 450 PM...
GARDEN CITY BY 455 PM...
MINEOLA BY 500 PM...

WHEN A TORNADO WARNING IS ISSUED BASED ON DOPPLER RADAR...IT MEANS
THAT STRONG ROTATION HAS BEEN DETECTED IN THE STORM. A TORNADO MAY
ALREADY BE ON THE GROUND...OR IS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP SHORTLY. IF YOU
ARE IN THE PATH OF THIS DANGEROUS STORM...MOVE INDOORS AND TO THE
LOWEST LEVEL OF THE BUILDING. STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS. IF DRIVING...DO
NOT SEEK SHELTER UNDER A HIGHWAY OVERPASS.

THE SAFEST PLACE TO BE DURING A TORNADO IS IN A BASEMENT. GET UNDER A
WORKBENCH OR OTHER PIECE OF STURDY FURNITURE. IF NO BASEMENT IS
AVAILABLE...SEEK SHELTER ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF THE BUILDING IN AN
INTERIOR HALLWAY OR ROOM SUCH AS A CLOSET. USE BLANKETS OR PILLOWS TO
COVER YOUR BODY AND ALWAYS STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS.

IF IN MOBILE HOMES OR VEHICLES...EVACUATE THEM AND GET INSIDE A
SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER. IF NO SHELTER IS AVAILABLE...LIE FLAT IN THE
NEAREST DITCH OR OTHER LOW SPOT AND COVER YOUR HEAD WITH YOUR HANDS.


Storm reports last 72 hours.

storm reports

Regional Forecast.

***Most rain since August 10th in Bethel, NY yesterday***

The 0.71" of rain that fell with yesterdays' squalls was the most single day rainfall in Bethel, NY since August 10th when 1.02" of rain fell.

***Records broken during October heat wave***

Monday October 8th, 2007

City..............Record....Old record/year

Binghamton, NY - 82°F...76°F/1993

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, PA - 87°F...78°F/1990

Syracuse, NY - 80°F...80°F/1990(tie)

Harrisburg, PA - 88°F...85°F/1916

Williamsport, PA - 90°F...81°F/1949

Allentown, PA - 90°F....81°F/1943

Atlantic City, NJ - 89°F...83°F/1990

Philadelphia, PA - 89°F...84°F/1887

Reading, PA - 89°F...82°F/1990

Trenton, NJ - 90°F...84°F/1894

Mount Pocono, PA - 82°F...79°F/1949

Central Park (NYC) - 87°F...86°F/1931

LaGuardia Airport (NYC) - 89°F*...82°F/1990 *ties record October high on 10/10/1949

JFK Airport (NYC) - 90°F*...75°F/1990 *breaks record October high of 88°F on 10/6/1997

Islip, NY - 88°F*...77°F/1990 *breaks record October high of 86°F on 10/7/1997

Bridgeport, CT - 89°F*...78/1990 *breaks record October high of 86°F on 10/6/1997

Newark, NJ - 89°F...85°F/1931

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Sunday October 7th, 2007

JFK Airport (NYC) - 83°F...82°F/1997

Islip, NY - 81°F...80°F/1997

Bridgeport, CT - 78°F...78°F/1997(tie)

Atlantic City, NJ - 90°F...83°F/1990

Trenton, NJ - 86°F...84°F/1959

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Saturday October 6th, 2007

Hartford, CT - 89°F...86°F/1997

Syracuse, NY - 85°F...84°F/1990

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, PA - 86°F...86°F/?(tie)

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Friday October 5th, 2007

Syracuse, NY - 85°F...85°F/1959(tie)

Buffalo, NY - 86°F...85°F/1946 *warmest temperature so late in the season

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Thursday October 4th, 2007

Hartford, CT - 86°F...85°F/1959

Boston, MA - 86°F...85°F/1983

Bangor, ME - 78°F...78°F/2001(tie)

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, PA - 85°F...83°F/1959

LaGuardia Airport (NYC) - 85°F...85°F/1959(tie)

Newark, NJ - 87°F...87°F/1959(tie)

Allentown, PA - 86°F...86°F/1926

Trenton, NJ - 85°F...85°F/1967

Mount Pocono, PA - 80°F...78°F/1983

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Wednesday October 3rd, 2007

Allentown, PA - 83°F...83°F/1950(tie)



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High temperatures.
High temperatures 10/9-10/12

Low temperatures.
Low temperatures 10/9-10/12




Possible coastal storm
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The latest drought monitor shows development of drought across southeastern New England as well as the ongoing drought conditions around the Great Lakes extending into the western Adirondacks. In fact 49% of the Northeast is now in drought or abnormally dry conditions.

Here in Bethel, NY only 1.44" of rain has fallen since August 26th and only 2.57" since August 11th. This is less than half our normal precipitation over this timespan and in some places the rainfall has been even more sparse.


NE drought monitor

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NE radar

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Northeast SST's


Current SST's off the Northeast Coast. SST's are running above normal from Cape May, NJ northward to the central coast of Maine where some upwelling is producing SST's near to below normal.

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Great Lakes SST's 9-29

Great Lakes SST's as of 9/29.
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October daily weather statistics.

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October 1st - 64°F/46°F....0.00"....15%
October 2nd - 69°F/49°F....0.00"....25%
October 3rd - 77°F/55°F....0.00"....40%
October 4th - 82°F/55°F....0.00"....60%
October 5th - 82°F/55°F....0.00"....80%
October 6th - 84°F/54°F....0.17"....85%
October 7th - 75°F/54°F....0.01"....45%
October 8th - 83°F/52°F....0.71"....70%
October 9th - 68°F/55°F....0.63"....10%
October 10th - 70°F/54°F....0.05"....35%



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Updated: 4:56 AM GMT on October 12, 2007

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Indian Summer/Developing Drought?/Records possible

By: sullivanweather, 7:55 PM GMT on October 04, 2007

***Record highs possible Friday and Saturday***

A strong ridge of high pressure has brought a summer-like airmass over much of the eastern half of the country. Here is the Northeast temperatures are expected to approach record territory both Friday and Saturday. Below are selected cities' record highs that could be broken or come close over the next two days.

Record highs 10/5-10/6

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For those gardeners lucky enough to survive the mid-September freeze/frost a lengthy indian summer has ensued. Daily mean temperatures have been above normal for most locations across the Northeast since September 20th, with several days reaching into the 80's and a few locations exceeding 90°F, breaking record highs in the process.

Temperatures over the next several days are expected to continue averaging 10-20 degrees above normal with highs in the 70's and 80's for much of the Northeast. Some of the warmest locations could even make a run at 90°F on Friday and Saturday. A backdoor coldfront is expected to bursh the region on Sunday and Monday, but even this feature doesn't look as strong as it was just a few days ago on models and temperatures could very well stay above normal over the next week to 10 days.

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With the good must come the bad and despite the suberb indian summer weather experienced across the Northeast over the last two weeks the ongoing lack of rainfall has finally begun to show its effect.

The latest drought monitor shows development of drought across southeastern New England as well as the ongoing drought conditions around the Great Lakes extending into the western Adirondacks. In fact 49% of the Northeast is now in drought or abnormally dry conditions.

Here in Bethel, NY only 1.44" of rain has fallen since August 26th and only 2.57" since August 11th. This is less than half our normal precipitation over this timespan and in some places the rainfall has been even more sparse.


NE drought monitor

With no significant rainfall expected over the next week an expansion of the area encompassed by abnormally dry or drought conditons should result, bringing more than 50% of the Northeast into dry/drought conditions.

This would be a good time to start watching water consumption including cutting back on watering lawns and car washing.


The silver lining of the developing drought and ongoing warmth is that it is not mid-July and the growing season should be coming to an end over the next several weeks. Also with most of the spring and first half of summer seeing above normal rainfall this years' fall foliage season is shaping up to be spectacular! A far cry from last years' dismal colour peak and even better than the fabulous fall colour display of 2 years ago.

On a personal note I am building a collection of pictures from this years' display and plan on posting them sometime within the next 2 weeks. There's also a good shot of one of the NYC reserviors which is VERY low that I plan on posting.

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Regional Forecast.

Coming soon.
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NE radar

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Northeast SST's


Current SST's off the Northeast Coast. SST's are running above normal from Cape May, NJ northward to the central coast of Maine where some upwelling is producing SST's near to below normal.

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Great Lakes SST's 9-29

Great Lakes SST's as of 9/29.
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October daily weather statistics.

------------

October 1st - 64°F/46°F....0.00"....15%
October 2nd - 69°F/49°F....0.00"....25%
October 3rd - 77°F/55°F....0.00"....40%
October 4th - 82°F/55°F....0.00"....60%
October 5th - 82°F/55°F....0.00"....80%
October 6th - 84°F/54°F....0.17"....85%
October 7th - 75°F/54°F....0.01"....45%




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Updated: 10:44 AM GMT on October 08, 2007

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September in Review.

By: sullivanweather, 8:31 AM GMT on October 01, 2007

September in Bethel, NY

September Daily highs/lows - Bethel, NY

Normal September mean high: 67.33°F - September 2007 mean high: 73.83°F; Departure: 6.5°F above normal

Normal September mean low: 48.13°F - September 2007 mean low: 49.8°F; Departure: 1.67°F above normal

Normal September mean: 57.73°F - September 2007 mean: 61.82°F; Departure: 4.09°F above normal.


September 2007 Precip - Bethel, NY

September 2007 precip: 1.44"
Normal September precip: *N/A



Regional Forecast.

High pressure responsible for the delightful weather over the weekend is currently moving offshore. Return flow around the backside of the high will bring more warmth and moisture into the area bringing temperatures 5-10 degrees above normal. An onshore flow and a weakening disturbance will approach from the west Monday night and Tuesday spilling clouds into the area along with a chance for showers lasting into Wednesday.

A ridge will build back into the region by Thursday at upper levels. This upper ridge in combination with the surface high offshore nosing its way into the Northeast will make for temperatures more reminicent of late August rather than early October. Next trough will move into the region by Sunday providing the region with the chance for much needed rainfall.

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A cloudy start to Wednesday with some areas of drizzle along coastal areas thanks to an onshore flow. With low clouds around and fall foliage season in full gear there's a fall look to the landscape today. As the day progresses clouds should begin to break, especially in northern areas and for the extreme southern areas. Despite the cloud cover temperatures will run about 5-8 degrees above seasonal norms for early October. Expect highs ranging from the 60's across northern New York into central and northern New England. 70's will be widespead elsewhere across the Northeast.

Clouds could hang tough tonight over the southern half of the region. Temperatures here will hold in the 50's with 60's closer to the coast and in the cities. Across the northern half of the region under clearing skies temperatures will drop into the 40's.

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Forecast highs 10/4-10/9


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NE radar

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Northeast SST's


Current SST's off the Northeast Coast. SST's have returned to near to above normal levels for late September from southern New England south, with continued near normal SST's from Cape Cod northward along the coast of Maine.


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Great Lakes SST's 9-29

Great Lakes SST's as of 9/29.
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October daily weather statistics.

------------

October 1st - 64°F/46°F....0.00"....15%
October 2nd - 69°F/49°F....0.00"....25%
October 3rd - 77°F/55°F....0.00"....60%




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Updated: 1:30 PM GMT on October 04, 2007

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About sullivanweather

Thomas is an avid weather enthusiast, landscaper and organic gardener. This blog is dedicated to Northeast and tropical weather forecasting. Enjoy!

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