Snow Recap: Why Did We See So Much Overnight?

Although Vernal Equinox is only 16 days away, meteorological spring started on March 1st. Even though Spring is right around the corner, Boston recorded its greatest snowfall of the 2018-2019 season during this storm.

To date (before this most recent snowfall), Logan Airport is 18.6 inches below normal for the season. As of this blog post, Logan Airport has recorded 9.8 inches of snow.

The majority of the snow fell between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. Snowfall rates reached a staggering 3 inches per hour! If you do the math, that’s a widespread 10-to-15-inches of snow across the majority of eastern Massachusetts, parts of Connecticut and Rhode Island.

The exceptions to the high snowfall totals: the Cape and Islands, which primarily experienced rain, and outside of I-495 and north of Route 2, where amounts of 5-to-10-inches were common. In far northern and western New England, amounts were significantly less.

Some of the "winners" are: Burrillville, Rhode Island: 17 inches; Pomfret, Connecticut: 16.5 inches; Sharon, Massachusetts: 16.2 inches; Milford: 16 inches; Dorchester: 15.5 inches; Natick, Massachusetts: 15.2 inches; Saugus, Massachusetts: 14.3 inches.

So, why did we see so much snow? First of all, this was a moisture-rich storm. The southern part of the system produced tornadoes and flooding in the south. That moisture plume went all the way up the east coast and reached us.

Second, although temperature at the surface were between 30 and 34 degrees, temperatures aloft were cold enough for perfect snow growth. What does that mean? We had huge snowflakes.

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Third, most of the snow fell overnight. The sun angle and strength is what it is during early October. It’s difficult to see accumulating snow (at rates of 3 inches per hour) during the day.

Snow showers will continue into the afternoon and evening. The good news is, sunny breaks will be mixed in between. As temperatures reach the upper 30s and low 40s, we should see some melting. Unfortunately, if you don’t get the chance to remove the snow Monday, it will freeze up overnight.

Temperatures for the next several days will stay below freezing. Whatever melts will refreeze and black ice will be a huge concern.

Thankfully, no large snow storms are expected over the next 10 days.

Although it’s been a bit snowy over the last few days, it likely won’t be our snowiest March on record (or even in the top 10). The snowiest March was in 1993 with 38.9 inches! Rounding out the 10th spot was in 2001 with 19.2 inches. It’s interesting to point out that 3 out of the 10 snowiest have occurred post-2000, remarkable considering records have been kept since 1891!

IMAGES: Storm Leaves Picturesque Scene Across Region

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