From the ABC 7 Weather team

Rare October snowstorm cripples the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

October 31, 2011 - 01:02 PM
Text size Decrease Increase

The rare snowstorm of Oct. 29, 2011, set records from Virginia to Maine. You can see the swath of snowy misery in this accumulation map.

Snow is seen blanketing the ground after the heavy and rare snowstorm of Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011. (NASA/NOAA)

It was hard for this meteorologist to utter the word “snowstorm” before we had even handed out any candy or carved a pumpkin. But alas, last week it had to be done.

While the District officially recorded a trace of snowfall at Reagan National, you did not have to go far north and west to find measurable heavy wet snow. (For the latest, full list of snowfall accumulations, scroll to the bottom of this post.) What made the difference with this storm was not just location but also, and just as critical, elevation. Every hundred feet you went upward became more critical in determining how long it rained before the changeover to snow occurred. More simply put, the higher you were in elevation the more snow you received. Check out this preliminary snowfall map provided by the National Weather Service and you can easily see what I am talking about.

For example, Braddock Heights in Frederick County, Md., had 6 inches of snow while Frederick, located not that far away but lower in elevation, received only 2 inches of heavy, wet snow. Even in Page County, a difference can be seen between Luray (elevation 900 feet) with 3 inches of reported snow and Big Meadows (elevation 3,000-plus feet) stacked up 8 inches of snow.

The rare October snowstorm set records from Virginia to Maine. You can see the swath of snowy misery this system left in its path in the image below.

Snowfall totals for Oct. 29, 2011 (NOAA)

The amount of snow that fell in places like Peru, Mass., and Jeffery, N.H., where people were walloped with 32.0 inches and 31.4 inches of snow, respectively, are particularly impressive. This storm was especially crippling because it was a very heavy/wet snow, and because trees had not yet shed their foliage. This damaging duo left nearly a million homes without power and caused at least 1,000 flight cancellations. This storm is one that will no doubt go down in the record books and is proof that Mother Nature always has some tricks up her sleeve.

Preliminary snowfall totals from the NWS:

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
SPOTTER REPORTS
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
1134 AM EDT SUN OCT 30 2011

THE FOLLOWING ARE UNOFFICIAL OBSERVATIONS TAKEN DURING THE PAST 30 HOURS FOR THE STORM THAT AFFECTED OUR REGION. APPRECIATION IS EXTENDED TO HIGHWAY DEPARTMENTS...COOPERATIVE OBSERVERS...SKYWARN SPOTTERS AND MEDIA FOR THESE REPORTS. THIS SUMMARY IS ALSO AVAILABLE ON OUR HOME PAGE AT WEATHER.GOV/BALTIMORE

********************STORM TOTAL SNOWFALL********************

LOCATION / INCHES OF SNOWFALL / TIME & DATE / COMMENTS

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

...DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA...
AMERICAN UNIVERSITY 0.2 520 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
1 NNE LITTLE FALLS T 800 AM 10/30 CO-OP OBSERVER

MARYLAND

...ALLEGANY COUNTY...
1 N FROSTBURG 11.6 700 AM 10/30 CO-OP OBSERVER
FROSTBURG 9.5 1130 AM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
1 SSW ECKHART MINES 9.0 158 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
MIDLOTHIAN 9.0 600 PM 10/29 911 CALL CENTER
FLINTSTONE 4.0 526 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
1 SSE CUMBERLAND 2.9 700 AM 10/30 CO-OP OBSERVER
ECKHART MINES 2.0 600 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER

...ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY...
2 NNE CROFTON 0.2 700 AM 10/30 COCORAHS
1 NE GREEN HAVEN 0.1 600 AM 10/30 CO-OP OBSERVER
1 WNW GREEN HAVEN T 138 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
BWI AIRPORT T 1200 AM 10/30 AIRPORT

...BALTIMORE COUNTY...
4 E LINEBORO 5.5 725 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
1 ENE BENTLEY SPRING 5.0 600 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
1 W PARKTON 3.5 730 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
PARKTON 2.0 751 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
1 SE GARRISON 1.1 1125 AM 10/30 TRAINED SPOTTER
2 NW LONG GREEN 1.0 530 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
HUNT VALLEY 0.5 430 PM 10/29 BROADCAST MEDIA
1 SW LONG GREEN 0.5 700 AM 10/30 COCORAHS
1 E OELLA 0.1 634 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
2 WNW CATONSVILLE 0.1 700 AM 10/30 COCORAHS

...CARROLL COUNTY...
1 SSW MANCHESTER 7.8 800 PM 10/29 ELEVATION 1040 FT
5 NW MANCHESTER 7.8 800 PM 10/29 PUBLIC
2 E LINEBORO 6.1 943 PM 10/29 CO-OP OBSERVER
TANEYTOWN 5.5 515 PM 10/29 STATE EMERG MGMT
3 WSW LINEBORO 5.1 841 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
MANCHESTER 4.5 257 PM 10/29 COUNTY EMRG MGMT
SE MOUNT AIRY 4.3 745 AM 10/30 COCORAHS
2 SSE HAMPSTEAD 3.8 739 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
1 W WESTMINSTER 3.3 430 PM 10/29 PUBLIC
4 ENE TANEYTOWN 3.0 428 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
4 NE TANEYTOWN 3.0 700 AM 10/30 COCORAHS
MOUNT AIRY 3.0 609 PM 10/29 COUNTY EMRG MGMT
1 SSE KEYSVILLE 2.0 421 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
3 SE WINFIELD 2.0 423 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
2 NW FINKSBURG 2.0 800 PM 10/29 ELEVATION 660 FT

...CHARLES COUNTY...
2 ESE BRYANS ROAD T 855 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER

...FREDERICK COUNTY...
SABILLASVILLE 11.5 625 PM 10/29 COUNTY EMRG MGMT
6 W THURMONT 8.5 620 PM 10/29 COUNTY EMRG MGMT
WOLFSVILLE 7.0 620 PM 10/29 COUNTY EMRG MGMT
BRADDOCK HEIGHTS 6.0 619 PM 10/29 COUNTY EMRG MGMT
1 WNW EMMITSBURG 4.8 252 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
2 N LIBERTYTOWN 4.5 510 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
MYERSVILLE 4.0 619 PM 10/29 COUNTY EMRG MGMT
WOODSBORO 4.0 609 PM 10/29 COUNTY EMRG MGMT
EMMITSBURG 4.0 624 PM 10/29 COUNTY EMRG MGMT
JEFFERSON 4.0 618 PM 10/29 COUNTY EMRG MGMT
3 SSW IJAMSVILLE 3.0 610 PM 10/29 COUNTY EMRG MGMT
5 NNW CLARKSBURG 3.0 613 PM 10/29 COUNTY EMRG MGMT
POINT OF ROCKS 3.0 723 PM 10/29 NWS EMPLOYEE
IJAMSVILLE 3.0 612 PM 10/29 COUNTY EMRG MGMT
NEW MARKET 3.0 656 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
2 S WALKERSVILLE 2.8 633 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
3 W MIDDLEBURG 2.5 715 AM 10/30 CO-OP OBSERVER
MIDDLETOWN 2.0 303 PM 10/29 COUNTY EMRG MGMT
FREDERICK 2.0 605 PM 10/29 COUNTY EMRG MGMT
BRUNSWICK 2.0 617 PM 10/29 COUNTY EMRG MGMT
THURMONT 1.5 624 PM 10/29 COUNTY EMRG MGMT
WALKERSVILLE 1.0 607 PM 10/29 COUNTY EMRG MGMT
LIBERTYTOWN 1.0 608 PM 10/29 COUNTY EMRG MGMT
1 SSE THURMONT 0.5 700 AM 10/30 COCORAHS

...HARFORD COUNTY...
NORRISVILLE 5.3 1030 PM 10/29 COUNTY EMRG MGMT
2 E NORRISVILLE 4.0 508 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
1 N JARRETTSVILLE 1.0 800 AM 10/30 COCORAHS
1 NE ABERDEEN 1.0 500 PM 10/29 PUBLIC
3 NNE KINGSVILLE 0.5 700 AM 10/30 COCORAHS
FALLSTON T 420 PM 10/29 TWITTER REPORT

...HOWARD COUNTY...
1 SW POPLAR SPRINGS 3.0 535 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
2 SW POPLAR SPRINGS 2.5 500 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
2 N COLUMBIA 0.5 700 AM 10/30 COCORAHS
3 NW ROXBURY MILLS 0.5 447 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
1 S SIMPSONVILLE T 447 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER

...MONTGOMERY COUNTY...
2 WSW DAMASCUS 4.8 700 AM 10/30 CO-OP OBSERVER
NE CLARKSBURG 3.5 900 PM 10/29 BROADCAST MEDIA
CLARKSBURG 3.0 430 PM 10/29 BROADCAST MEDIA
5 N LAYTONSVILLE 2.0 628 PM 10/29 BROADCAST MEDIA
POOLESVILLE 2.0 530 PM 10/29 ELEVATION 380 FT
1 S GERMANTOWN 1.5 500 PM 10/29 PUBLIC
SE POOLESVILLE 1.0 800 AM 10/30 COCORAHS
3 SW GAITHERSBURG 0.8 700 AM 10/30 COCORAHS
2 W ROCKVILLE 0.6 900 AM 10/30 COCORAHS
GAITHERSBURG 0.5 410 PM 10/29 NWS EMPLOYEE
3 NE GAITHERSBURG 0.2 700 AM 10/30 COCORAHS
2 W COLESVILLE 0.1 700 AM 10/30 COCORAHS
1 ESE NORBECK 0.1 700 AM 10/30 COCORAHS
OLNEY T 430 PM 10/29 BROADCAST MEDIA

...PRINCE GEORGES COUNTY...
1 E BOWIE 0.3 600 AM 10/30 COCORAHS
1 W FORESTVILLE 0.2 700 AM 10/30 COCORAHS
1 W OXON HILL 0.1 745 AM 10/30 COCORAHS
2 SE FOREST HEIGHTS 0.1 700 AM 10/30 COCORAHS
1 SSE FOREST HEIGHTS 0.1 756 PM 10/29 CO-OP OBSERVER
LAUREL T 901 PM 10/29 UTILITY COMPANY
BERWYN HEIGHTS T 446 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER

...WASHINGTON COUNTY...
3 NE SMITHSBURG 7.3 636 PM 10/29 PUBLIC
1 WSW CAVETOWN 6.3 854 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
3 SSW CAVETOWN 5.0 710 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
BRIDGEPORT 4.5 550 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER

VIRGINIA

...ALBEMARLE COUNTY...
EARLYSVILLE 0.6 600 AM 10/30 CO-OP OBSERVER
1 N ADVANCE MILLS 0.2 1240 PM 10/29 ELEVATION 620 FT
3 NW EARLYSVILLE T 334 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER

...ARLINGTON COUNTY...
1 NNE BAILEYS CROSSR 0.3 515 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
REAGAN NATIONAL AIRP T 1200 AM 10/30 AIRPORT

...AUGUSTA COUNTY...
4 NNW CHURCHVILLE 4.0 1200 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
FISHERSVILLE 2.9 1200 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
1 NNW STUARTS DRAFT 2.1 1200 PM 10/29 SNOW ENDED
2 S CRAIGSVILLE 1.0 700 AM 10/29 CO-OP OBSERVER

...CITY OF ALEXANDRIA...
1 SE ALEXANDRIA T 105 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER

...CITY OF HARRISONBURG...
2 W KEEZLETOWN 5.3 1145 AM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER

...CITY OF MANASSAS...
MANASSAS T 400 AM 10/30 NWS EMPLOYEE

...CITY OF WAYNESBORO...
2 ENE WAYNESBORO 2.0 700 AM 10/30 CO-OP OBSERVER

...CITY OF WINCHESTER...
WINCHESTER 5.0 510 PM 10/29 PUBLIC
2 S WINCHESTER 4.0 130 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
2 NE WINCHESTER 3.0 700 AM 10/30 CO-OP OBSERVER

...CLARKE COUNTY...
2 ESE BETHEL 6.5 358 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
3 W STRINGTOWN 4.5 402 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
BERRYVILLE 3.0 345 PM 10/29 PUBLIC
ESE BERRYVILLE 2.8 725 AM 10/30 COCORAHS
1 NNE BOYCE 2.7 757 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER

...FAIRFAX COUNTY...
3 S HERNDON 0.6 700 AM 10/30 COCORAHS
1 ENE WOLF TRAP 0.3 500 PM 10/29 COCORAHS
1 ENE MOUNT VERNON 0.1 824 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
2 WSW WEST SPRINGFIE 0.1 500 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
VIENNA T 416 PM 10/29 CO-OP OBSERVER
BURKE T 425 PM 10/29 PUBLIC
SPRINGFIELD T 445 PM 10/29 PUBLIC

...FAUQUIER COUNTY...
MARSHALL 3.2 505 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
1 SE ADA 1.5 442 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
3 SSW BROAD RUN 0.3 800 AM 10/30 COCORAHS

...FREDERICK COUNTY...
1 N WILDE ACRES 7.4 317 PM 10/29 NWS EMPLOYEE
2 NE CEDAR GROVE 6.0 435 PM 10/29 PUBLIC
9 NW WINCHESTER 5.9 900 AM 10/30 COCORAHS
2 W STEPHENSON 4.0 225 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
1 ESE WHITACRE 3.5 230 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
CROSS JUNCTION 3.5 510 PM 10/29 PUBLIC
2 NNW STAR TANNERY 3.5 228 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
5 NE WINCHESTER 3.4 700 AM 10/30 COCORAHS
1 S STEPHENSON 3.4 311 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
2 NE ARMEL 3.0 406 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
2 E STEPHENS CITY 3.0 700 AM 10/30 COCORAHS
2 NNW ARMEL 1.6 700 AM 10/30 CO-OP OBSERVER

...HIGHLAND COUNTY...
2 WSW MONTEREY 5.5 900 AM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
1 NE VANDERPOOL 5.0 900 AM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
1 WSW MUSTOE 4.1 949 AM 10/30 CO-OP OBSERVER
MONTEREY 4.0 900 AM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
1 SW MILL GAP 3.2 600 AM 10/30 CO-OP OBSERVER
1 SW MUSTOE 2.6 1159 AM 10/29 COCORAHS

...LOUDOUN COUNTY...
4 SW BLUEMONT 5.7 700 AM 10/30 CO-OP OBSERVER
BLUEMONT 4.5 340 PM 10/29 NWS EMPLOYEE
3 WSW ROUND HILL 3.3 830 AM 10/30 COCORAHS
1 WNW LUCKETTS 2.5 600 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
1 NW PHILOMONT 2.5 349 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
8 N LEESBURG 2.5 800 AM 10/30 COCORAHS
3 WSW ASHBURN 2.0 742 PM 10/29 NWS EMPLOYEE
HAMILTON 1.6 550 PM 10/29 NWS EMPLOYEE
1 ESE LEESBURG 1.2 400 PM 10/29 NWS OFFICE
COUNTRYSIDE 1.2 610 PM 10/29 NWS EMPLOYEE
OAK GROVE 1.1 410 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
ASHBURN 1.0 353 PM 10/29 PUBLIC
DULLES INTERNATIONAL 0.6 700 AM 10/30 AIRPORT

...MADISON COUNTY...
SKYLAND 9.0 145 PM 10/29 PARK SERVICE
BIG MEADOWS 8.0 144 PM 10/29 PARK SERVICE
3 NE HAYWOOD 0.7 700 AM 10/30 CO-OP OBSERVER

...NELSON COUNTY...
WINTERGREEN 2.5 1152 AM 10/29 PRIVATE COMPANY
1 SSE MONTEBELLO 2.0 147 PM 10/29 CO-OP OBSERVER

...PAGE COUNTY...
1 ESE HONEYVILLE 4.8 130 PM 10/29 PUBLIC
1 SW LURAY 3.0 154 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
1 N SHENANDOAH 1.0 700 AM 10/30 COCORAHS

...PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY...
3 NNW WOOLSEY 2.5 555 PM 10/29 1200 FEET
2 ENE BROAD RUN T 546 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER

...RAPPAHANNOCK COUNTY...
2 ENE ROCK MILLS 2.0 829 AM 10/29 CO-OP OBSERVER
2 NE NETHERS 1.0 300 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
1 NNW BOSTON 0.8 300 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
2 SE SPERRYVILLE 0.1 500 AM 10/30 CO-OP OBSERVER

...ROCKINGHAM COUNTY...
DALE ENTERPRISE 5.0 700 AM 10/30 CO-OP OBSERVER
2 S LACEY SPRING 4.5 911 AM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
3 ENE ROCKY BAR 4.0 110 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
1 SE MASSANUTTEN 4.0 920 AM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER

...SHENANDOAH COUNTY...
2 NNW CLARY 5.3 500 PM 10/29 PUBLIC
4 S ORKNEY SPRINGS 4.5 449 PM 10/29 ELEVATION 1750 FT
EDINBURG 4.2 700 AM 10/30 CO-OP OBSERVER
2 SSW MAURERTOWN 3.2 700 AM 10/30 CO-OP OBSERVER

...WARREN COUNTY...
2 N LINDEN 8.0 646 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
FRONT ROYAL 6.0 825 PM 10/29 PUBLIC
1 S FRONT ROYAL 5.0 1200 PM 10/29 ELEVATION 750 FT
1 WSW KARO 3.8 1150 AM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER

WEST VIRGINIA

...BERKELEY COUNTY...
JONES SPRINGS 5.0 525 PM 10/29 PUBLIC
2 N FALLING WATERS 4.0 329 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
2 E MARTINSBURG 4.0 400 PM 10/29 PUBLIC
SHANGHAI 4.0 430 PM 10/29 NWS EMPLOYEE
2 NW FALLING WATERS 4.0 700 AM 10/30 COCORAHS
1 WNW BUNKER HILL 2.9 700 AM 10/30 COCORAHS

...GRANT COUNTY...
2 SSE MOUNT STORM 14.0 403 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
2 E MOUNT PISGAH 10.0 400 PM 10/29 ELEVATION 2400 FT
BAYARD 7.5 600 PM 10/29 CO-OP OBSERVER
2 NE KLINE GAP 6.0 1145 AM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
1 NE DORCAS 4.0 400 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
2 ESE CABINS 2.8 700 AM 10/30 CO-OP OBSERVER

...HAMPSHIRE COUNTY...
4 WNW KIRBY 12.0 351 PM 10/29 ELEVATION 2000 FT
2 WNW LEHEW 8.0 124 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
1 SW BLOOMERY 8.0 232 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
3 WSW SHANKS 6.0 230 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
SPRINGFIELD 3.9 233 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
2 ESE SPRINGFIELD 2.0 730 AM 10/30 COCORAHS

...HARDY COUNTY...
LOST RIVER 8.5 1030 AM 10/29 PUBLIC
MATHIAS 6.0 344 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
MOOREFIELD 3.0 347 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
1 S MOOREFIELD 1.0 700 AM 10/30 CO-OP OBSERVER

...JEFFERSON COUNTY...
RANSON 6.0 500 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
SHEPHERDSTOWN 4.3 500 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
3 NW HARPERS FERRY 4.0 450 PM 10/29 NWS EMPLOYEE
3 S BLOOMERY 4.0 243 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
3 NE CHARLES TOWN 3.5 700 PM 10/29 COCORAHS
MIDDLEWAY 1.5 300 PM 10/29 NWS EMPLOYEE

...MINERAL COUNTY...
1 SSW KEYSER 6.0 400 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
2 SW KEYSER 5.5 700 AM 10/30 CO-OP OBSERVER

...MORGAN COUNTY...
1 W SMITH CROSSROADS 9.8 1035 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER

...PENDLETON COUNTY...
6 WSW CHERRY GROVE 10.0 600 PM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER
4 W FRANKLIN 8.0 1145 AM 10/29 TRAINED SPOTTER

Read More:
Short URL: http://wj.la/s2VTDI
comments powered by Disqus