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Northeast sets snowfall records as Blizzard of '96 dissipates

While much of the eastern United States digs out from the Blizzard of '96, the snow has stopped falling but snowfall records continue to fall and storm-related anecdotes pile up, according to climatologists from the Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell University.

Philadelphia and parts of New Jersey were hammered by the greatest one-storm, snowfall totals ever. In Philadelphia, the storm left 30.7 inches of snow, breaking the old one- storm snowfall total by 9.4 inches -- the previous record was the Feb. 11-12, 1983, storm that blanketed the City of Brotherly Love with 21.3 inches of snow. This week's blizzard exceeded the 12 inches of snow left during 1993's so-called "Storm of the Century."

The all-time record snowfall for New Jersey — 34 inches in coastal Cape May, in February 1899 — was beaten by 1 inch at White House Station in northeastern Hunterdon County, N.J., which received 35 inches of snow through Jan. 9.

The snowfall record in Newark, N.J. — 22.6 inches set on Feb. 3-4, 1961 — did not measure up to the 1996 blizzard's 27.8 inches. The 1993 "Storm of Century" left but 12.7 inches in Newark, a faint match for this week's onslaught.

Central Park in New York City recorded 20.2 inches of snow in this storm, making it the third highest snowfall ever there. On parts of nearby Staten Island, N.Y., more than 27 inches of snow fell. LaGuardia International Airport, N.Y., recorded 24 inches of snow, which exceeds the normal for the entire season of 22.6 inches.

Most of upstate New York saw little or no snow. The snow line was very pronounced: In Columbia County, N.Y., between Albany and New York City, weather stations such as Ancram, N.Y., recorded 23 inches of snow, while nearby Valatie, N.Y., saw but 2 inches. Scranton, Pa., recorded 21 inches of snow, while Binghamton, N.Y., just to the north on Interstate 81, recorded only a trace of snowfall from this storm.

Through the middle Atlantic corridor, the Blizzard of '96 spared few places. Dulles International Airport, in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., had a storm total of 24.6 inches of snow, but set a new 24-hour period record of 19.8 inches.

Pocahontas County, W.Va., was pounded with between 40 and 48 inches of snow. Webster County, W.Va., recorded between 24 and 46 inches of the white stuff, and Randolph County, W.Va., experienced between 20 and 40 inches of snow. Petersburg and Brandywine, W.Va., both received 30 inches of snow. Shenandoah, Va., caught 37 inches of snow from the blizzard and Sperryville, Va., had 31 inches.

 

 

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