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February 6-7 2008 Winter Storms

After a lackluster January 2008 that witnessed above normal temperatures, including high temperatures in the 50s and 60s and the lack of a major snowfall, winter has made a returned appearance across the North Country in February. On February 1st, a potent winter storm moved across New York and New England and delivered a wide variety of winter weather to the North Country. Snowfall of 3 to 7 inches along with ice accumulation of one quarter (1/4) to one half (1/2) an inch impacted the region.
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Overnight from February 4th into the early morning of February 5th, a weak storm system traveled across the southern Great Lakes and through New England. This storm delivered some milder air into a marginally cold air mass across the region which allowed for snow to overspread the region during the early morning hours and change to rain showers before ending.

Snowfall was greatest across eastern Vermont, where the cold air was largely established with 3 to 6 inches of snow and lesser amounts in the Champlain Valley and northern New York. As the surface low passed across New England, it dragged a weak cold front across southern New England, which would be a key player for the February 6-7th events.
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During the early morning hours of February 6th, the first in a series of low pressure systems was located across the Ohio River Valley along a stationary boundary and would eventually move south of New England during the day. Snow overspread the North Country during the early morning hours of the 6th and increased in intensity during the morning commute before tapering to snow showers by late morning and early afternoon.

The timing of the heavier snowfall caused numerous vehicle accidents and played havoc with area school districts with delays, cancellations and early dismissals. Snowfall from this event was generally 2 to 6 inches with lesser amounts in southern Vermont due to mixed precipitation and some locally higher amounts in central Vermont.
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The afternoon and early evening hours of February 6th saw a respite between systems. However, another surface low across the Great Lakes and Ohio River Valley moved east along the remaining stationary boundary during the night and south of New England by midday on the 7th. Snow returned the mid to late evening hours of the 6th and continued overnight.

Snow fell heavy at times between late evening hours of the 6th and just before daybreak on the 7th with snowfall rates of 1-2 inches per hour and localized more. The heaviest snow fell north of a Rutland to Springfield, Vermont line and about 10 to 20 miles south of the Canadian border with additional snowfall from this portion of the two-day event of 4 to 12 inches. Again, the intensity and timing of this snowfall created similar problems for the morning commute, numerous vehicle accidents, school delays and cancellations.
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Two day snowfall totals across the region ranged from 4 to 6 inches along the extreme southern portions of Rutland and Windsor counties in Vermont to 12 to 18 inches across the southern Adirondacks and much of central and northern Vermont (except along the Canadian border).
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Time Lapse of Surface Maps (every 6 hours)
7 pm EST February 4th, 2008 through 2 pm EST February 7th, 2008


This loop begins at 7 pm on Monday, February 4th with a surface low across the Mississippi River Valley along a stationary frontal boundary. This storm lifts northeast across New England on Tuesday, which resulted in snowfall changing to rain. Another area of low pressure, that originated in the Four Corners region lifts into the Mississippi River Valley by Tuesday night (5th) and takes a path, along the boundary left behind by the previous storm, south of New England on Wednesday (6th) and then is followed by another storm which was across the southern Great Lakes and Ohio River Valley Wednesday evening that tracks along the southern New England coast early Thursday (7th).
24 hour Precipitation Amounts ending 7am EST February 5, 2008

Precipitation amounts were generally one quarter of an inch or less across much of northern New York and the northern half of Vermont, with more than an half inch across Rutland and Windsor counties in Vermont. Initially, this precipitation fell as snow, but milder temperatures eventually forced a changeover to rain across southern Vermont.
24 hour Snowfall Amounts ending 7am EST February 5, 2008

Snowfall amounts were greatest where the heaviest precipitation fell (looking at the corresponding precipitation map) and where temperatures remained below freezing (spine of the Green Mountains eastward) for much of the event. Despite equal amounts of water equivalent precipitation, snowfall amounts were much less in Rutland county due to temperatures warming above freezing.
Radar and Surface Map Time Lapse 3 hourly
7 pm EST February 5, 2008 through 2 pm EST February 7, 2008


This loop begins at 7 pm on Tuesday February 5th with the second in a series of surface lows that eventually moved across the Northeast. This storm lifts northeast across southern New England with precipitation (snow in the north, rain/mixed in the south) overspreading New York and Vermont early Wednesday morning (6th) and exiting by midday. At this point, there is a lull in precipitation until the surface low across the southern Great Lakes and the Ohio River Valley moves east. During Wednesday evening, snow overspreads New York into Vermont and continued overnight with snow falling heavy at times (1-2 inches per hour) before it tapered off to scattered snow showers around daybreak Thursday (7th).
24 hour Precipitation Amounts ending 7am EST February 7, 2008

24 hour precipitation amounts ending 7 am Thursday, February 7th shows that the persistent and heavier precipitation fell across the southern two-thirds of the region (closer to track of the surface low). In the southern sections of Rutland and Windsor counties, precipitation fell mainly as rain or mixed precipitation during Wednesday morning (6th) and eventually changed to snow for the event Wednesday night into early Thursday morning (7th).
24 hour Snowfall Amounts ending 7am EST February 7, 2008

Heaviest snowfall Wednesday night (6th) into Thursday morning (7th) was in a band from southern Franklin and western Essex counties in New York east across the northern two-thirds of Vermont, with lesser amounts along the Canadian border and southern Rutland and Windsor counties.
Snow Depth as of 7am EST February 8, 2008

Morning snow depth reports on February 8th after the storm show the extent of snowfall across the North Country, especially east of the Green Mountains of Vermont.


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S. Burlington VT 05403
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Page last modified: February 19, 2008
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