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Storm summary: Mid December snowstorm brings plentiful snow to Capital Region

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Winter weather visited the Capital Region in earnest during the period from Saturday, December 14, to Sunday, December 15, 2013.

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The culprits responsible for the wintry display of significant snowfall were three distinct weather systems.

  1. Low pressure that had developed over the Ohio and Tennessee Valley regions on 12/14/2013, and lifted northward into the lower Great Lakes region. The warm front tied to this low pressure area draped out over the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean, helping to draw copious moisture northward.
  2. Cold high pressure that was centered over southeastern Canada, responsible for keeping subfreezing air over the Capital Region for the entire precipitation event.
  3. Coastal low pressure, that initially formed over the Carolina coast on the evening of the 14th.

The coastal low pressure area moved to the mid Atlantic coast by early morning on the 15th, and then into the Gulf of Maine during the daytime hours that day.

As this coastal low moved northeast, it developed explosively, with lowest barometric pressures around 29.26 inches of mercury, or 991 millibars by Sunday morning.

Snowfall began on Saturday morning, the 14th, across the Capital Region and was rather light. The light snowfall was the result of the approaching inland low pressure area's precipitation shield. Snowfall would then pick up in intensity later in the afternoon and evening as the coastal low pressure area formed, worked up the coast, and integrated some richer Atlantic moisture to the mix.

Snowfall gradually tapered off by Sunday afternoon, but not before a good 5 to 15 inches had been deposited over the bulk of the region. There were locally heavier amounts.

This storm was followed a day or so later by another weaker system that brought additional snowfall, on the order of 4 to 8 inches across the region.

Listed below are some 24 hour snowfall accumulations from the storm on the 14th and 15th of the month. The data was taken from the official storm reports from the National Weather Service, and the Weather Prediction Cetner.

  • Albany International Airport: 11.5 inches
  • Greenville Center: 14 inches
  • Amsterdam: 13.5 inches
  • Schenectady: 13.1 inches
  • Broadalbin: 13 inches
  • Malta: 13 inches
  • Altamont: 12.5 inches
  • Rotterdam: 12.5 inches
  • Niskayuna: 12.5 inches
  • Colonie: 11.5 inches
  • Middleburg: 11 inches
  • Caroga Lake: 11 inches
  • Fonda: 10.5 inches

Additional Links:

National Weather Service Storm Report

Weather Prediction Center Storm Report

Capital Region Weather Examiner Facebook Page

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