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 ...

Friday, April 10, 2015

April Snowstorm 19 Years Ago Today Capped Snowiest Season on Record

Seasonal snowfall records were smashed across much of New England when heavy, wet snow buried Northern New England and delivered nearly a foot of snow (11.3″) to Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Stratford from the evening of April 9 through the morning of April 10, 1996. It was a fitting end to the Winter that just didn’t seem to want to end. In fact, the first snowfall of the season happened the previous November.

When the last flake had fallen, 75.8″ of snow had fallen in southwestern Connecticut that Winter, breaking the previous mark of 71.3″ established over 60 years earlier in 1933-34. Hartford finished the 1995-96 Winter with a record 114.6 inches, which eclipsed the previous mark of 84.9 inches only two years earlier. Here’s a look at snowfall records which were established in the Northeast during the 1995-96 season (click to enlarge):

April96

What I most remember about that snowstorm was a telephone call I received from my brother and sister-in-law, who were living in Jaffrey, New Hampshire, at the time. That little town at the base of Mount Monadnock made national headlines when the second major snowstorm in three days produced nearly two feet (21 inches) of snow. My brother and sister-in-law were convinced that they were snowbound for awhile.

We also laughed about how much we were looking forward to seeing the first-ever baseball game at the brand new New Britain Stadium just two days later. The Eastern League’s Rock Cats were unveiling their state-of-the-art ballpark against the rival New Haven Ravens, and we were convinced the game wasn’t going to happen. We had purchased tickets well in advance. However, the game did go on as scheduled, and we enjoyed the festivities, despite temperatures in the lower 30s and snow in the parking lot!

Consider that the normal average snowfall for southwestern Connecticut for the month of April is only 0.9″ based on 40 years of record-keeping, and the normal average Winter snowfall is about 26.3 inches. Today, though, will begin on a wet and chilly note. Pack the rain gear for one more day before a much nicer weekend arrives..

Paul