A major Nor'easter bashed the Southeast, mid Atlantic and the Northeast with heavy snow and in some areas high wind. The storm's most severe impact occurred in the Carolina's and mid Atlantic where crippling amounts of snow buried cities throughout west central North and South Carolina. Raleigh, NC was suffocated under a record 20" of snow, the most that city has ever been hit with in recorded history. Snowfall accumulations of 14" occurred in the Washington Baltimore areas effectively shutting down the Federal government for two days. As the storm moved into the Northeast, mixing of rain, sleet, and freezing rain occurred along the coast from New York to Boston which stemmed accumulations to between 3" and 5", not particularly significant. Inland, however, through eastern upstate New York and western New England, heavy snow occurred with accumulations on average near 10" in most of the population areas, with up to 20" in a few isolated mountain towns. The Nor'easter did not produce exceptionally high snow accumulations in the Northeast, especially when compared to storms of the past that have produced two and three times the amount of snow. However, the storm was significant in that it was the first major east coast storm to effect the Capital Region with wind and snow since March 31, 1997.
The low began in the southern branch of the jet stream, traveling across the Southeast, producing a significant ice storm for north Georgia and western South Carolina on Saturday the 22nd. The storm reformed along the Georgia coast on Sunday and slowly moved north Sunday night. Cold air in place over the region supported widespread heavy snow which continued well into the 25th throughout the Carolinas.
The northward progress of the storm up the coast was tricky to forecast. In fact on the afternoon of the 24th the storm was forecast to slide out to sea giving eastern New England a glancing blow and thus missing the rest of the Northeast. It became clear by 9pm on the 24th that the storm was not behaving and a track much closer to the coast would occur. The prime reason for the close coastal track was a seemingly innocuous upper level low pressure system moving southeast through the Midwest. This Midwest disturbance became rather intense and moved quickly enough to sharpen the steering flow up the Atlantic seaboard into a more south to north flow, rather than a southwest to northeast flow. With the changing the jet stream flow due to the strengthening Midwest upper low, the east coast storm was drawn closer to the coast, almost dumbbelling around the Midwest low as it drove into the southeast. It was an interesting scenario that brought the major Nor'easter on a track up the coast and over southeast New England. A track of this nature is a benchmark track for heavy snow over eastern New York and western New England.
Snow fell hard for a time during the morning of the 25th across eastern New York and western New England, then tapered off for several hours during the afternoon. The storm's proximity to the coast and its strength allowed it to throw a warm layer of air in the mid levels of the atmosphere back to the west which was responsible for a little mixing of sleet and freezing rain from from the Capital Region/Mohawk valley areas on east into New England during the early afternoon. Heavy snow then re-developed during the afternoon and evening and continued through midnight. Snowfall rates occasionally reached one to two inches per hour for short time periods. Overall though, the accumulations with this storm occurred over twelve to fifteen hour period, which made the storm quite manageable from a road clearing perspective. The storm did induce a 20 to 25 mph NNE wind over the region which caused considerable blowing and drifting snow as well as reducing the wind chill temperatures to near 0 through the late afternoon and night.
Typical backlash clouds and occasional light snow followed the storm through the day on the 26th with additional accumulations of an inch or two throughout the region.
The following table is a listing of Channel 6's exclusive WeatherNet 6 weather watcher snow accumulations. Counties are alphabetized and color separated from top down.