Thursday, October 31, 2013

When a hurricane brought snow to North Carolina

News media has been full of reports this week about the one-year anniversary of Sandy, the superstorm that ripped the coastal areas of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.

Sandy doesn't have the "hurricane" title because it lost tropical characteristics before moving ashore, but that's a silly distinction to people who had to deal with the storm. In the real world, it behaved like a hurricane.

Many residents of the Mid-Atlantic are still dealing with the impact, a year later.

But you might have forgotten, or never realized, that Sandy had another interesting to it. While delivering damaging winds and storm surge to the coast, it arrived late enough in the year to deliver chilly air into the Appalachians.

It was just chilly enough at higher altitudes to create an early-season snowstorm. For much of the region, in fact, the Sandy snowstorm was the heaviest of the winter season, and it came in late October.

Larry Lee and Pat Moore of the National Weather Service office in Greer, S.C., wrote an interesting and comprehensive report on that "other side" of Sandy. That report can be found on the Weather Service website and is an interesting read -- especially for weather geeks.

There was enough moisture to drop several feet of snow in some parts of the N.C. mountains. While not included in the report, there also was some very heavy snow in southern West Virginia and even the higher altitudes in Virginia.

The cutoff between heavy snow and rain was a tight gradient. Lee and Moore note that Asheville got little if any snow, but more than a foot accumulated a short distance away.

Check it out, if you get a chance.


Big Tony Lardigucci said...

Superstorm Sandy was not a hurricane, but was a superstorm, a name that sounds even more important, or super. Even without calling Superstorm Sandy a hurricane, Superstorm Sandy was a storm super enough to be a real superstorm, not a hurricane. Superstorm Sandy will always be the most super storm ever because it hit the New York/New Jersey area, the only area that really matters, and that should always get most of the attention. So, the snow North Carolina got from Superstorm Sandy does not really count because the snow did not happen in New York or New Jersey, where people are still sitting around waiting for Obamahelp, doing nothing because it was so bad. Superstorm Sandy will always be the worst storm ever! Yeah NY/NJ!!

Anonymous said...

Wasn't the storm in March of 1996(I believe) also termed a super storm? In CLT, it started with heavy rain and ended with like 5" or so of snow?