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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Classic Nor'easter Dumped Over a Half-Foot of Snow to Region One Year Ago

Just nine days after Hurricane Sandy devastated parts of southwestern Connecticut, especially shoreline communities, a classic Nor'easter brought gusty winds, cold temperatures, and record-breaking snow to the region, Wednesday, November 7, 2012. The snow began falling late-morning as the storm exploded, causing bands of moderate-to-heavy snow to fall the rest of the day and through the night.

Officially, Sikorsky Memorial Airport recorded 8.3 inches of snow from November 7 through early November 8. The six inches that fell November 7 was a record for the date and the second snowiest November day on record. More than a half-foot of snow (6.2 inches) fell on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 23, 1989. Three inches of snow fell as recently as November 27, 2002, but nothing quite like what we experienced last year at this time. The photos are courtesy of Ralph Fato in Norwalk.

Here are some of the snowfall totals from across southwestern Connecticut:
  • Monroe: 11.5"
  • Danbury: 9.9"
  • Bridgeport: 8.0"
  • Ridgefield: 8.0"
  • Darien: 7.9"
  • Greenwich: 6.0"
  • Trumbull: 6.0"
  • New Canaan: 6.0"
  • Norwalk: 5.8"
  • Stamford: 5.3"

A strong North wind continued to pull colder air into much of New England throughout the day. The high temperature of 39 degrees November 7 happened at 10:21 a.m. By mid-afternoon, the mercury had dropped into the low-to-mid 30s, causing the precipitation to fall as heavy wet snow. The low temperature fell to 31 degrees at 8:24 p.m. The normal high and low temperatures for November 7 are 56 and 40 degrees, respectively. The average temperature of 35 degrees on November 7 was 13 degrees colder than the normal average of 48.

Initially, it appeared the storm would be more of a wind-maker rather than a snow-maker, as computer models pushed the center of the storm farther to the East. However, the winds never reached the 50-mph forecast gusts which were anticipated. The highest wind gust at Sikorsky Airport was 36 miles per hour out of the North, and the highest wind speed was 29 miles an hour. The average wind speed during the storm was 19.2 miles an hour.