Severe Long Duration Nor'easter
Heavy Elevation Snow, Excessive Rain, Flood Event
Sunday-Monday April 15-16, 2007

 

This was blockbuster storm producing wide ranging historical impacts throughout the Northeast as it generated record amounts of rain, exceptionally heavy snow, severe flooding, and damaging winds through a continuous onslaught that lasted approximately 36 hours. Record rainfall amounts up to 8" fell on New York's central Park leading to some of the worst flooding in a decade in and around the city and across New Jersey. Tropical storm force winds lashed coastal areas of New England and Long Island at the height of the storm during the morning of the 16th with peak gusts ranging from 50-60 mph from Boston to the north shore, down to Cape Cod and the Islands and into Providence, RI. A 72 mph wind gust was reported at the Blue Hills Observatory in Milton, MA at 5:14am, with 63 mph at Taunton, MA @ 3:58am, 63 mph at Plymouth, MA @ 4:23am, 60 mph in downtown Providence, RI @ 5:25am, 52 mph at Boston, MA @ 6:00am. The combination of the long easterly fetch, the very low pressure at the storm center, and the high wind, caused significant coastal flooding and wave battery through several successive high tides along especially the east coast of New England with flooding and damage to homes and roads. A dam failure in New Hampshire due to excessive rains caused flooding in every county in the state prompting a state wide state of emergency to be declared. Crippling snows fell from the Adirondacks west through central and western New York, with some locations in central New York coming in with over two feet. Widespread tree and power line damage resulted from the weight of the very wet snow in the heavy snow zones. National Grid reported 80,000 upstate customers without power at the storm's height with some of the hardest hit counties locally including Hamilton, Warren, Saratoga, and Fulton.

The central pressure in the storm at its peak dropped to 968 mb (28.59" of mercury) at about 8am on the 16th when the storm was located just south of JFK airport. At 8:44 am the barometric pressure dropped to 28.84" at Albany setting a new record low pressure for the month of April. The pressure in the storm dropped to a level typically achieved in most category two hurricanes. And in fact an eye like feature was visible through the morning of the 16th near Long Island marking the center of the storm.

The visible satellite image below (courtesy of the State University of New York at Albany) shows the storm as it appeared from space at 11am on April 16. You can just make out the eye like feature sitting on the south central Long Island coast. Also notice the dark areas across upstate New York near Albany. These dark areas represent thin clouds and a few brief breaks of sunshine that resulted from both a little dry air that rotated around the north side of the storm and some downslope drying of the air as a deep east to northeast air flow compressed as it came over and off of the Green mountains in Vermont and the Berkshires and the Taconics east of the Hudson valley.

11am Monday, April 16, 2007, visible satellite image of the Nor'easter  

 

Storm Evolution
The storm was strong from its inception, initially forming from an intense upper air disturbance over the Southwest U.S. three days prior to its arrival in the Northeast. The main jet stream disturbance fueling the storm's march across the nation merged with another upper air low pressure system that was dropping south through the northern branch of the jet, during the evening of Sunday, April 15. This merger of upper air systems caused the surface storm, which had been tracking into the central Appalachians, to jump to the coast, where a strong baroclinic zone (temperature contrast area) existed. The storm rapidly intensified off the Virginia coast during the evening, then tracked to a position just south of Long Island by Monday morning, April 16. The combination of a tropical moisture feed associated with the system and strong, but typical, spring time blocking at the jet stream level which caused the storm to stall on the coast, allowed it to deliver the excessive amounts of liquid equivalent precipitation that it did over a prolonged 36 hour time period. Residual storm effects in the form of clouds, scattered rain, and chilly temperatures lingered through Wednesday, April 18 as the remnants of the storm remained in close enough proximity to the region to continue dominating the weather.

Eastern New York and Western New England, Sunday
Despite it being the middle of April, a very persistent cold pattern over the Northeast allowed this storm to spread snow into the region as it began. A brief period of rain did develop just before daybreak on Sunday, April 15, but quickly changed to a heavy wet snow by the mid morning. Once again, snow accumulation was highly elevation dependent, but due to a combination of a cold start to the day, with most areas in the mid to upper 30s, and local cooling processes due to evaporation, melting snow in the mid levels of the atmosphere, and a quick increase in precipitation rates, the snow was able to fall and linger well into the afternoon in the valleys before a change to rain again later in the day. Very slippery travel conditions quickly developed Sunday morning with numerous traffic accidents reported throughout the region.

Precipitation types and rates varied considerably through the morning and the afternoon with much of central New York and the western Catskills (Otsego and Delaware counties) experiencing rain through the day and into the evening with eastern New York and western New England under the gun with mostly snow or a mixture of snow, sleet, and freezing rain. As the storm center moved to the mid Atlantic coast, its circulation intensified forcing mid level warm air into New England and the Hudson valley. The mid level warming allowed the snow to change to rain or a mixture of rain and sleet from the Hudson valley on east into New England during the afternoon and the evening, with snow or a mixture of snow and sleet continuing in the Adirondacks and Helderbergs through much of the night. As eastern New York and western New England were warming due to the effects of the storm's circulation, central New York and the western Catskills were cooling with a change to snow occurring in those locations. The snow then lasted through much of Monday, April 16.

An enormous amount of both rain and snow was generated through midnight on Sunday with what amounted to be a fire hose of moisture that streamed up the coast into the region. Snowfall amounts ranged up to 12" in the southern Green Mountains in VT at elevations of 2000' and higher, up to 12" throughout the Adirondacks at elevations of 1500' and higher, between 4"-8" in the Helderbergs at 1000' and higher, and anywhere from a coating to 4" throughout much of the Mohawk valley, Capital Region, the mid Hudson valley to Berkshire County, MA. Rainfall amounts ranged from 2"-3" in much of the eastern Catskills, Capital Region, and mid Hudson valley to southern Berkshire County by midnight, with the onslaught continuing well into the day on Monday. By midnight, the precipitation total at Albany of 2.26" was good enough to not only smash the 24 hour precipitation record for the day (Old Record 0.85"/1906) but was also good enough to set a new all time record 24 hour rainfall for any day in April, breaking the old record of 2.02" set on April 6, 1886.

Monday
Waves of very heavy rain and heavy elevation snow and sleet continued through Monday morning with a tendency for the precipitation batches to become less organized and lighter through Monday afternoon and Monday evening. A period of strong winds developed in response to the rapidly dropping air pressures as the storm intensified on its way to New York City. As a result of the increased pressure gradient, high winds, with gusts ranging from 40 to 60 mph, occurred in the higher elevations generally east of the Hudson river into New England. A strong temperature inversion prevented the strongest winds from making it down into the valleys with gusts up to 30 mph on average into the morning. A peak wind gust of 53 mph was measured at Rutland, VT at 7:35am with reports of downed trees and power lines as a result of the wind.

Photograph: WeatherNet 6 spotters Don an Kim Curtis, West Rutland, Vermont, 4/16/2007 wind damage

West Rutland, VT Tree Damage, 4/16/2007  

As quickly as the storm intensified, it weakened almost as fast with central pressures rising rapidly after it peaked between 8 and 9am on the 16th. As a result of the weakening pressure gradient and overall circulation, winds decreased and rainfall and snowfall rates diminished with coverage shrinking to scattered showers and drizzle which persisted into the early morning on the 17th. Storm total rainfall amounts ranged up to 2.5" in the Mohawk valley, Adirondacks, and western Catskills with up to 3" and 4" in the Capital Region, to as much as 5"-8" in the eastern Catskills, the mid Hudson valley to Central and southern Berkshire County. Moderate to severe widespread flooding resulted, especially from the eastern Mohawk valley on south through the Hudson valley. Flooding on the larger rivers, including the Mohawk, Hudson, and Housatonic in western New England persisted for up to three days after the storm had ended.

Flooding
Flood warnings were issued for most rivers from the Mohawk on south in New York and throughout southern Vermont. Flooding became severe on the Esopus Creek in Ulster County with moderate flooding along the Housatonic in northwest CT as well as along the Schoharie Creek near Burtonsville. The Mohawk caused minor flooding along its length with the Hudson spilling over into Albany forcing the closures of the I 787 underpasses at Quay Street and at Broadway on Tuesday, April 17. County wide flooding was a problem through the 16th from southern Albany County on south through Greene, Columbia, Ulster, Dutchess, Berkshire, and Litchfield counties where the heaviest rain fell. Many roads were closed for a time through Monday the 16th as a result of the high water. One fatality was attributed to the flooding on Monday when a teenager lost her life when the canoe she was in overturned in the raging Basic Creek near Westerlo in Albany county.

Click here to view local photographs of some of the Monday April 16, 2007 flash flooding

The table below is a listing of the reported occurrences of flooding compiled by the Albany National Weather Service Office. This list does not represent all of the flooding that occurred, but instead is compiled for the purposes of the National Weather Service verifying the flood warnings that were issued.

Town

County Time of Report Flood Report

Walker Valley

Ulster 5:55 pm/15th Verkeerderkill out of its banks and flooding Ulsterville Road

Coxsackie

Greene 9:00pm/15th County Route 61 closed due to flooding
Kinderhook Columbia 9:15pm/15th Kinderhook Creek beginning to overflow

Hollowville

Columbia 9:15pm/15th County Road 16/23 bridge collapsed from high water along the Claverack Creek

Catskill

Greene 10:00pm/15th Several local roads closed due to flooding
New Paltz Ulster 12:13am/16th Route 299 to Mountain Rest Road from Dug Road to Kleinkill Drive closed due to flooding
Torrington, CT Litchfield 1:30am/16th South Main Street and Highland Lake Road closed due to flooding, Highland Lake Road also closed due to debris
Hyde Park Dutchess 4:00am/16th County Route 41 from Cardinal Road to Matuk Road closed due to flooding
Red Hook Dutchess 5:00am/16th Southbound lanes of the Taconic State Parkway closed at Ferris Road due to flooding
LaGrangeville Dutchess 6:32am/16th East Noxon Road to Rita Road closed as well as Velie Road due to widespread flooding
Bangall Dutchess 6:32am/16th Severe flooding at Hunns Lake Road at Rosiland Ranch, road closed
Coeymans Albany 7:45am/16th Miller Road off Route 9W is closed due to flooding of the Coeymans Creek, with Kruger Road off of Miller Road closed as well, some evacuations ordered
Hopewell Junction Dutchess 8:00am/16th Taconic State Parkway northbound from State Route 55 to US Route 44 is closed due to flooding
Coeymans Albany 8:06am/16th Marshall Road closed between Route 143 and Vanderzee Road due to flooding
Claverack Columbia 9:01am/16th New Route 66 between Bridge Street in Greenport and Fish and Game Road in the town of Claverack is closed due to flooding
New Scotland Albany 9:01am/16th Route 32 closed between Lagrange Lane and Winne Lane due to flooding
Glenville Schenectady 9:09am/16th Maple Avenue closed between Ronald Regan Way and Freeman's Bridge Road due to flooding
Poughkeepsie Dutchess 9:50am/16th Taconic State Parkway closed between SR115/Salt Point Turnpike southbound to SR52 and remains closed in both directions from NY52 to US44
Shenandoah Dutchess 9:58am/16th Taconic State Parkway closed northbound from Miller Hill Road to Interstate 84
Stormville Dutchess 10:19am/16th Numerous home foundation collapses reported
Glenville Schenectady 10:21am/16th Bolt Road between Swaggertown Road and Sacandaga Road closed due to flooding
New Scotland Albany 11:39am/16th Rowe Road closed due to flooding
Bethlehem Center Albany 11:39am/16th Creble Road closed between Elm Avenue and South Albany Road due to flooding
Hopewell Junction Dutchess 12:49pm/16th TAconic Parkway closed north and southbound between I 84 and US Route 44 due to severe flooding
North Blenheim Schoharie 3:25pm/16th Minor flooding along the Schoharie Creek
Kingston Ulster 3:30pm/16th Mandatory evacuations of people living along the Esopus Creek
Westerlo Albany 6:23pm/16th One fatality and one injury due to a canoeing accident on the flooding Basic Creek
New Milford, CT Litchfield 7:45pm/16th Numerous roads closed including Cross Road and Youngsfield Road, several roads completely washed out in Washington, CT and Winsted, CT

The table lists the reported storm total or near storm total rainfall accumulations for the Sunday through Monday April 15-16, 2007 spring Nor'easter. These reports are a compilation of both WeatherNet 6 and National Weather Service Cooperative Spotter observations. (Note: Some reports may not include the small amounts of rain that fell between 7pm and midnight on April 16. Also, these reports in most cases do not include the liquid equivalents from melted snow. Five inch rainfall reports and higher are labeled in bold.)

Town

County Rainfall
Report
Town

County

Rainfall
Report

Albany (Airport ASOS)

Albany 3.23" Albany (NWS Office)

Albany

3.81"
Colonie Albany 3.44" Voorheesville Albany 2.40"
Medusa Albany 4.74" Cohoes Albany 2.44"
Westerlo Albany 3.78" Menands Albany 4.20"

Sharon, CT

Litchfield 3.0" Norfolk, CT

Litchfield

4.67"
Falls Village Litchfield 3.26"      

Alford, MA

Berkshire 5.30" Savoy, MA

Berkshire

5.15"

Dalton, MA

Berkshire 3.42" Great Barrington, MA

Berkshire

2.79"
Lanesborough, MA Berkshire 2.65" Pittsfield, MA Berkshire 2.20"
Clarksburg, MA Berkshire 3.52"      
Livingston Columbia 5.50"-5.68" Ghent Columbia 4.75"
Valatie Columbia 3.20" Stuyvesant Falls Columbia 4.85"
Stuyvesant Columbia 4.80" Taghkanic Columbia 5.47"
North Chatham Columbia 3.15" Chatham Center Columbia 4.50"
Kinderhook Columbia 5.30" Ancramdale Columbia 4.09"
Rhinebeck Dutchess 6.83" Poughkeepsie Dutchess 4.99"
Millbrook Dutchess 3.07" Red Hook Dutchess 4.82"
Union Vale Dutchess 4.66"      
Broadalbin Fulton 2.87" Northville Fulton 3.07"
Surprise Greene 4.03" Round Top Greene 7.50"
Catskill Greene 4.98" Cairo Greene 4.20"
Tannersville Greene 7.90" Platte Cove Greene 6.84"
Indian Lake Hamilton 3.01"      
Hessville Montgomery 2.44" Amsterdam Montgomery 3.78"
Palatine Bridge Montgomery 2.77" Fonda Montgomery 1.30"
East Worcester Otsego 2.61"      
East Greenbush Rensselaer 3.76" Troy Rensselaer 2.63"
Schaghticoke Rensselaer 2.40" Speigletown Rensselaer 3.00"
Stephentown Rensselaer 3.10" Buskirk Rensselaer 1.88"
Taborton Rensselaer 1.70"      
Mechanicville Saratoga 1.95" Malta Saratoga 1.87"
Clifton Park Saratoga 2.91" Ballston Spa Saratoga 2.69"
Saratoga Springs Saratoga 2.43" Hadley Saratoga 3.61"
Duanesburg Schenectady 4.78" Delanson Schenectady 4.31"
Niskayuna Schenectady 3.89" Schenectady Schenectady 3.80"
Scotia Schenectady 2.15"      
Schoharie Schoharie 4.77" Cobleskill Schoharie 4.47"
Richmondville Schoharie 2.36" Fulton Schoharie 4.70"
West Shokan Ulster 7.43" Phoenicia Ulster 7.70"
Kingston Ulster 6.88" Whiteport Ulster 5.40"
Kerhonkson Ulster 5.00" Saugerties Ulster 6.77"
Bolton Landing Warren 2.64" North Creek Warren 3.20"
Warrensburg Warren 2.38" Glens Falls Warren 1.80"
Cossayuna Warren 2.55" Granville Washington 2.40"
Fort Edward Washington 1.35" Cambridge Washington 1.77"
Whitehall Washington 1.76" North Hebron Washington 1.63"
Landgrove, VT Bennington 3.91" Woodford, VT Bennington 3.95"
Pownal, VT Bennington 2.33" Bennington, VT Bennington 1.40"
West Rutland, VT Rutland 1.80"      

Snowfall was heavy in the higher elevations west of the Hudson River, the Adirondacks and across much of central New York as well as in the higher elevations in Vermont. This is a graphical representation of the snowfall distribution from the April 15-16, 2007 storm. Note the area of low snowfall amounts that stretched up through the Hudson valley through Washington and Rutland County, VT. The reduced snowfall in especially Rutland and Washington counties can be directly attributed to a period of strong downsloping off of the Green mountains which dried the air at it descended down the western slopes. That drying effectively reduced both the snowfall and rainfall amounts in the shadow zone.

Below the graphic is a table listing the point storm total snowfall reports. These reports are a compilation of both WeatherNet 6 and National Weather Service Cooperative Spotter observations. (Note: Ten inch or greater snowfalls are labeled in bold.)

Observed Snowfall amounts and distribution from the April 15-16, 2007 Nor'easter  
 

Town

County Snowfall
Report
Town

County

Snowfall
Report

Albany (NWS Office)

Albany 1.7" South Berne

Albany

9.0"

Westerlo

Albany 9.0" Medusa

Albany

7.5"
East Berne Albany 11.0" Clarksville Albany 4.0"

Knox

Albany 9.0" Cohoes

Albany

2.0"

Colonie

Albany 2.0" Menands

Albany

2.0"
Savoy, MA (2500') Berkshire 8.5" Alford, MA Berkshire 2.5"
Dalton, MA Berkshire 1.0" Lenox Dale, MA Berkshire 1/2"
Arkville Delaware 10.0" Delhi Delaware 9.0"
Harpersfield Delaware 5.25" Margaretville Delaware 8.0"
Stamford Delaware 10.0"      
Johnstown Fulton 4.0" Caroga Lake Fulton 13.5"
Gloversville Fulton 6.0" Broadalbin Fulton 8.0"
Ashland Greene 6.0" Prattsville Greene 6.0"
Jewett Greene 6.0" Maplecrest Greene 4.0"
Elka Park Greene 6.0" Climax Greene 5.0"
Blue Mountain Lake Hamilton 19.0" Arietta Hamilton 13.0"
Indian Lake Hamilton 16.0" Speculator Hamilton 15.0"
Lake Pleasant Hamilton 12.0"      
Dolgeville Herkimer 2.5" Old Forge Herkimer 13.0"
Herkimer Herkimer 6.7" Mohawk Herkimer 4.5"
Amsterdam Montgomery 2.0"-4.0" Sprout Brook Montgomery 4.0"
Glen Montgomery 10.5" Ames Montgomery 5.0"
Hagaman Montgomery 4.5"      
East Worcester Otsego 6.5" Worcester Otsego 5.5"
Cherry Valley Otsego 10.0" Richfield Springs Otsego 9.3"
Oneonta Otsego 4.0" Unadilla Otsego 11.0"
Schaghticoke Rensselaer 1.5" West Sand Lake Rensselaer 1/2"
Porter Corners Saratoga 9.5" Gansevoort Saratoga 2.0"
Corinth Saratoga 6.0" Saratoga Springs Saratoga 3.3"
Edinburg Saratoga 10.0" Middle Grove (Lake Desolation) Saratoga 14.0"
Wilton Saratoga 4.0" Malta Saratoga 4.0"
Burnt Hills Saratoga 2.25" Hadley Saratoga 8.0"
Clifton Park Saratoga 2.5"-3.0"      
Delanson Schenectady 10.0" Duanesburg Schenectady 9.0"
Rotterdam Schenectady 4.0" Schenectady Schenectady 3.0"
Niskayuna Schenectady 3.0" Scotia Schenectady 2.5"
Richmondville Schoharie 8.5" Sharon Springs Schoharie 8.5"
Jefferson Schoharie 7.0" Summit Schoharie 10.0"
Gilboa Schoharie 10.0" Middleburgh Schoharie 8.0"
North Blenheim Schoharie 5.0" Schoharie Schoharie 3.4"
Kerhonkson Ulster 3/4" Kingston Ulster 2.0"
Phoenicia Ulster 6.5" West Shokan Ulster 4.5"
Slide Mountain Ulster 13.0" Highmount Ulster 12.0"
Warrensburg Warren 7.5" Lake Luzerne Warren 7.0"
North Creek Warren 9.0" Queensbury Warren 4.0"
Granville Washington 2.0"      
Woodford, VT (2400') Bennington 13.0" Landgrove, VT Bennington 10.5"
Bennington, VT Bennington 4.0" Danby, VT Rutland 5.0"
Rutland, VT Rutland 1.4"      

  

Photograph: WeatherNet 6 Spotter Fred Aliberti, Duanesburg, NY, Schenectady County, 920' elevation, 9am Sunday, April 15, 2007, 4" of snow and still falling Photograph: WeatherNet 6 Spotter Audrey Kurimsky, Indian Lake, Hamilton County, elevation 1700', 6am Monday morning, April 16, 2007, Storm Total Snowfall: 14.0"
Duanesburg, NY, 920' elevation, 9am, four inches of snow, April 15, 2007  Indian Lake, NY, snow covered trees at 6am 
Photograph: WeatherNet 6 Spotter Jeff Villeneuve, East Berne, NY, Albany County, elevation 1380', 6pm Sunday April 15, 2007, 8" of snow and still falling Photograph: WeatherNet 6 Spotter Jeff Villeneuve, East Berne, NY, Albany County, elevation 1380', 7:30pm Sunday April 15, 2007
Heavy Snow in East Berne, NY, 6pm Sunday April 15, 2007  Heavy Snow in East Berne, NY, 7:30pm Sunday April 15, 2007