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Record-Setting March Nor’easter

March snowstorms aren’t uncommon, but the snow amounts from the recent nor’easter were. Snow totals in the hardest hit areas ranged from 2 to 4 feet. Preliminary data indicated that the highest storm total was 48.4" in Hartwick, NY.

storm snowfall map

Snow totals ranged from less than 6" to more than 48".

Binghamton, NY set a new all-time 24-hour snowfall record, picking up 31.3" from 3am on March 14 to 1 am on March 15. The old record of 23" was set in Feb 1961. This pushed the site’s seasonal snowfall (Oct-May) into record territory, as well. As of March 16, the site has received 131.9" of snow, with 76 days left in the season. Remember, Binghamton had its least snowy season on record just last year with a mere 32.0" of snow.

Scranton, PA, had its all-time snowiest day on record with 22.1" on March 14, beating its old record of 18.7" set on March 13, 1993.

AVP record daily snow table

The top ten snowiest days on record at Scranton, PA.

There were some impressive stats at other sites in the Northeast, too. Williamsport, PA and Burlington, VT ranked March 14 among their top five all-time snowiest days on record. The 14th was the snowiest March day on record for four sites and ranked among the top five snowiest March days on record at eight additional sites.

Some areas saw sleet or rain. Atlantic City, NJ received 3.02" of precipitation (almost all of which fell as rain) on March 14, making it the site’s wettest March day on record.

ACY record March daily precip table

The top ten greatest one-day precipitation totals for March at Atlantic City, NJ.

Strong winds, hurricane-force in some areas, accompanied the storm. For instance, preliminary data indicated a gust of 79 mph in Wellfleet, MA. Blizzard conditions occurred for four hours in Lawrence, MA. The winds downed trees and power lines, contributed to thousands of power outages, and caused rough seas that led to some erosion and coastal flooding.

Travel was hampered by the storm, with several travel bans enacted in the region and thousands of flights cancelled nationwide. In northeastern Pennsylvania, at least two small avalanches blocked roads.