Paul is a full-time fifth-grade teacher at an elementary school in Fairfield ... Paul is a New York Emmy award winner (2007), five-time Emmy nominee, and four-time winner of the Connecticut Associated Press Broadcasters' Association award for 'Best Weathercast' in Connecticut (2006, 2008, 2009, 2012) ... The local weather journal is a two-time winner of the Communicator Award of Distinction (2012 & 2013) ... Paul was inducted into the Housatonic Community College Hall of Fame and received the Distinguished Alumni Award (2012) ... Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulPiorek ...

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Recalling a Snowy Christmas Eve Nearly a Half-Century Ago

We certainly won't have a white Christmas this year. However, I can't help but recall the snowiest and most memorable Night Before Christmas in my lifetime. Forty-eight years ago, over a half-foot of snow blanketed southwestern Connecticut on Saturday, December 24, 1966, resulting in treacherous roads, numerous accidents, and cancelled church services. Officially, 6.9 inches of snow fell at Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Stratford, which still stands as a record nearly a half-century later.

According to an article which appeared in the Bridgeport Sunday Post the following day, the "weather plight was part of an old-fashioned Nor'easter, which brought icy cold, high winds, and a blanket of snow to most of the East (coast)." Gale force winds hammered the region through most of the storm. Take a look at the front page newspaper article from December 25, 1966:



I recall my Dad attempting to drive my family, including my Mom, brother, sister, and me to my grandmother's home in Bridgeport for our traditional Christmas Eve dinner. However, after sliding and skidding several times, our car got stuck on a hill in Fairfield. After several minutes, my Dad was able to gain some traction, and we decided to head home and avoid any more perils on the roads.

Although it's been 48 years since that unforgettable Christmas Eve, I remember it like it was yesterday. Do you have any memories of that storm from 1966? If so, I'd like to hear from you. Our weather won't be quite as memorable this year, but it will be wet and windy for Santa's trip to southwestern Connecticut.