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28-29 October 2008 Snowstorm Case Review
An early season Nor'easter produces up to 19 inches of snow across the North Country
Overview | Surface | Upper Air: 850/700mb ; 500/300mb | Mesoscale Analysis
I. Overview
A strong Nor'easter (minimum 3-hourly pressure 978mb) brought a significant early snow accumulation across much of northern New York as well as the higher elevations of Vermont over a two day period on 28-29 October 2008. The surface low tracked from the coast of North Carolina northward through the Connecticut River valley and into Quebec. Impacts included scattered power outages due to the high liquid water content of the snow, and difficult travel conditions especially in the higher elevations. Snowfall amounts were heaviest in the colder air well west of the low track, and also exhibited a strong elevational dependence which is typical of early and late season storms. Total snowfall amounts (Fig. 1) ranged from 14-19 inches along the north side of the Tug Hill plateau east-northeastward across the northern Adirondacks. In the WFO Burlington forecast area, the greatest snowfall reports came from the Star Lake, Cranberry Lake, and Wanakena areas of southern St. Lawrence County. Lesser snowfall amounts were observed in the immediate St. Lawrence Valley around Massena (3-4"). There was little or no snow accumulation in the immediate Champlain valley of New York. In Vermont, where temperatures were generally warmer during the event, snowfall amounts varied even more strongly with elevation. The highest snowfall totals were reported at the top of Mt. Mansfield (12") and from the cooperative observer at the base of Jay Peak (11"). Areas adjacent to the central and northern Green mountains generally received 3-8 inches of snowfall with lesser amounts in the valleys. A snow accumulation of 0.3" was recorded at the Burlington International Airport with little or no accumulation across the Lake Champlain Islands.
Fig 1. Objective analysis of storm total snowfall reports (in inches) across northern New York and central and northern Vermont for the period 8am on 28 October through 8am on 30 October (28/12z through 30/12z). The maximum snowfall report of 19 inches was from Star Lake in southern St. Lawrence County, NY (click on image for enlargement).
Note: The data included in this review come from the National Weather Service in Burlington, VT, the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center surface analysis archive, and the Storm Prediction Center mesoscale analysis archive.
Overview | Surface | Upper Air: 850/700mb ; 500/300mb | Mesoscale Analysis


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