Paul is a full-time fifth-grade teacher at an elementary school in Fairfield ... Paul is an Emmy award winner, five-time Emmy nominee, and four-time winner of the Connecticut Associated Press Broadcasters' Association award for 'Best Weathercast' ... The local weather journal is a two-time winner of the Communicator Award of Distinction ... Paul was inducted into the Housatonic Community College Hall of Fame and received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2012 ... Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulPiorek ...

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Powerful Blizzard Three Years Ago Christened Unforgettable Winter of 2010-11

A powerful blizzard, which delivered about a foot-and-a-half of snow, 60 mile-per-hour wind gusts, and power outages throughout southwestern Connecticut, struck the region three years ago today, triggering an unforgettable stretch of snowstorms which brought 60 inches of snow during the Winter of 2010-2011. The timing of the blizzard, which affected thousands of holiday travelers, and the magnitude of the storm made it one for the ages.

Storm3

I've been working the early-morning shift at News 12 Connecticut since June of 1995, and in those 18-plus years, there have been only a handful of truly memorable storms. However, this was the first time I wasn't able to drive to work on my own. One of my neighbors agreed to drive me to the studio in his snowplow during the height of the blizzard early Monday morning. I'm glad he did. To be sure, my Chevy Cavalier wouldn't have made the journey from Fairfield to Norwalk.

Officially, 12 inches of snow fell at Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Stratford from Sunday morning through early Monday morning. The eight inches of snow which fell December 26 marked the third snowiest December day on record in southwestern Connecticut. Only December 19, 1948 (16 inches), and December 30, 2000 (10 inches), brought more snow in one day. Here are some impressive snow totals from the 2010 post-Christmas storm:
  • Wilton: 18"
  • New Canaan: 17.5"
  • Greenwich: 17"
  • Stratford: 16"
  • Norwalk: 16"
  • Westport: 14.8"
  • Darien: 14.5"
  • Milford: 14"
  • Bridgeport: 12"
Storm2

One of our viewers sent this video from the intersection of Bedford Avenue and Lafayette Street in Bridgeport during the height of the storm.
                              

The biting wind was brutal if you were outside for any length of time. Sustained winds of 25 to 35 miles an hour were recorded late Sunday night and Monday, December 27, and wind gusts reached 60 miles at Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Stratford (9:21 p.m.) and Greenwich (10:00 p.m.) late Sunday evening. I was surprised that there weren't more widespread power outages.

Storm1

The weather for the next couple of days will be tranquil around these parts. Some flurries are possible this morning, but no major storms are in sight through the start of the weekend. Many people are on holiday break through the middle of next week. At least it won't be anything like what we experienced three years ago today.

Paul