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 ...

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Powerful Blizzard Three Years Ago Today Resulted in Snowiest January on Record

A powerful storm exploded over southwestern Connecticut three years ago this morning, delivering heavy snow, gusty winds, thunder, and lightning. Nearly a foot-and-a-half of snow was reported in most communities in the area before the snow moved away by daybreak, January 26, 2011. Not surprisingly, it resulted in the snowiest January on record across southwestern Connecticut.

Officially, after that memorable storm, nearly three feet (34.8") of snow had fallen at Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Stratford, breaking the previous January record of 26.2 inches set in 1965. The normal snowfall for the month is 8.5 inches. Last January, just 7.4" of snow fell, while three years ago, only 7.7 inches of snow fell in January. Take a look at this photo from viewer Margaret in Devon which was taken at 2 o'clock in the morning two years ago today.

Snow1

Here are snowfall totals from Wednesday, January 26, 2011:
  • Norwalk: 17.0"
  • Darien: 15.5"
  • Milford: 15.0"
  • Fairfield: 15.0"
  • Greenwich: 14.5"
Once again, my neighbor, Todd, who owns a snowplow, drove me to work. Without question, it was the worst ride to work in my 18-and-a-half years of doing morning weather at News 12 Connecticut. I have never seen I-95 as snow-covered and as dangerous as three years ago today. There were several tractor trailers jacknifed, and the backup was extensive on the Northbound side in Westport. The heavy, wet snow made driving extremely difficult.



I woke up to the sound of muffled thunder shortly after midnight, and when I went to look out the window, I saw nothing but white. The snow was falling heavily, and I knew the storm had intensified due to the gusty winds, thunder, and lightning. This was no ordinary snowstorm. Nearly a foot of snow had accumulated by midnight. When Todd arrived at my driveway at 2:20, I couldn't get the kitchen door open because the snow was piled so high. Just walking to his plow was a chore in itself. Here's another shot from Devon three years ago this morning.

Snow2

A blustery and cold day is ahead, but clouds will increase and flurries or snow showers will develop this afternoon. Flurries and snow showers will linger through early tomorrow before temperatures rebound into the mid-to-upper 30s Monday afternoon. Another Arctic cold front will arrive tomorrow night, though, and we'll be back in the deep freeze by the middle of this week.

Paul