Sunday, January 24, 2016

Wasatch and Eastern Dumpages

It's been a pretty good storm so far in the Cottonwoods.  Alta had 11" through 8 am, close to the upper threshold of the 6-12" I forecast yesterday, with snow showers at times continuing today.  We also hit 80" total snow depth at the Alta-Collins stake, a nice psyche point, although we'll probably retreat below that again with settlement.

It's rare that those in New York, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. can look down their noses at Wasatch snowfall, but in terms of amount, they can do it today.  As reported by, here are some selected peak snowfall totals by state through early Sunday morning:

  • 40": Glengary, WV
  • 39" Philomont, VA
  • 38" Redhouse, MD
  • 35.5" Somerset, PA
  • 30.5" JFK Airport, NY
  • 29.6" Whitehouse, NJ
The snow was high density and many areas also had strong winds.  The graphs below are for Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and show the snow-depth (measured every 6 hours) increasing from 1 inch at 00 UTC on the 23rd to 30 inches at 00 UTC on the 24th.  During this period, sustained winds were 30-34 mph with gusts as high as 46 mph.  Remarkable.  

Source: MesoWest
Source: MesoWest
There is little doubt in my mind that the remarkable forecasts of the eastern event saved many lives.  When my career started in the mid-1980s, many nor'easter events were still poorly forecast.  While we still have work to do, the forecasts in this event were quite good and timely and made a major difference.

If you are traveling by air this week, best to call ahead, even if you are not heading east.  This storm has already disrupted travel, and it's going to take some time for the airlines to catch up.

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