The Big Nor’Easter

Monday, October 31, 2011
11:42 P.M.

The East Coast commonly gets these strong storms called Nor’Easters, which are named such because they skirt along the northeast coast from a southwesterly direction, traveling to the northeast as they strengthen. This particular Nor’Easter was unique – it brought heavy snow to the Northeast before Halloween! New York didn’t see its earliest snowfall ever, but it saw 2.9 inches of snow, which is the earliest >1 inch snowfall in over a century. Of course, there will probably be some people pointing to this storm as evidence that anthropogenic global warming is a myth, but anthropogenic global warming is real. 2010 was tied for the warmest year on record. Then again, if you guys have the common sense to read my blog, I’m sure you have the common sense to listen to science.

This storm was a pretty strong one, with the central pressure bottoming out at 975 millibars off Nova Scotia. It was also a snowy one, with a high of 32 inches at Peru, Massachusetts. The picture below shows the snowfall totals from this storm.

Take a look at this next picture, it’s pretty awesome.

This is a visible satellite image of the snowfall over the Northeast. There are some stratus clouds on the left side, but other than those, most of the white that you see is snow. Of course, there are some cumulus clouds forming off the coast as cold air flows over warmer water from the Gulf Stream, creating a large environmental lapse rate with warm air at the surface and cold air aloft. When the temperature decreases rapidly with height, you have an unstable atmosphere, and that is why you see all of those cumulus clouds off the coast.

Also, check out this link! It’s Jim Cantore from the Weather Channel hearing thunder while it is snowing! Thundersnow is rare, but it happens, and it happened while he was reporting here.

Thanks for reading!
Charlie

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