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Thanks to April Fools' Nor'easter, parts of New England acquire new monthly snowfall-total records

Mother Nature had its own April Fools' prank in store for the Northeast -- it took only the first day of this month to record the snowiest April ever for Boston, Worcester, Mass., and Providence, R.I., according to the Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell University.

"Certainly, it was a very significant storm," said Keith Eggleston, climatologist at the center, describing what is being called the Great April Fools' Day Storm of 1997. It took only hours for a powerful Nor'easter to dump enough snow on many Northeastern locations to start setting records. "If this storm had occurred in any part of winter, it would have been a significant storm."

For Boston, the previous snowiest April was 1982, when the city endured 13.3 inches of white stuff. With this one storm on the first day of the month, that record was convincingly obliterated: 22.4 inches of snow fell on April 1, while 3 inches fell on March 31. This was Boston's third greatest snowstorm ever as 27.1 inches of snow fell on Feb. 6-7, 1978; and 26.3 inches of snow fell on Feb. 24-27, 1969.

Prior to this storm, Boston was suffering from a "snow deficit," according to the climate center. Up to March 30, Beantown was at 65 percent of its normal snowfall amount, which is 14.1 inches below normal. Now, after the storm, they have 11.3 inches more than normal.

"The storm nearly doubled Boston's snowfall total for this season," said Eggleston. The snow season for the Northeast is from Oct. 1 to May 31.

With this latest storm, Worcester, Mass., experienced its greatest snowstorm ever as 33 inches pounded the city in a two-day period. The previous heaviest snowstorm was Dec. 11-13, 1992, with 32.1 inches. Also, this storm created Worcester's snowiest April. They have 24 inches of snow tallied as of April 3.

Like Boston, the snowiest April had been 1982. All 18 inches from this storm fell on April 1, which means this will be the snowiest April ever in Providence, with all of it coming on the first day of the month.

Providence also was experiencing a "snow deficit" prior to the Great April Fools Day Storm of 1997. Up to March 30, Providence was 15.9 inches below normal snowfall, experiencing only 19.5 inches for the season. After the storm, Providence moved from a deficit to a slight surplus of snow -- 2.1 inches above normal.

Other locations in the Northeast have experienced a kinder, gentler snow season. With only 10 inches this season, New York City has received only 43 percent of its normal snowfall, and with 6.5 inches recorded at National Airport, Va., that area just outside of Washington, D.C., has received only 36 percent of its normal. Charleston, W.Va., with 13.3. inches of snow, has experienced 38 percent of its normal snowfall totals this late in the season.

 

Seasonal Snowfall Summary for the Northeast (all values in inches)

City                      Seasonal Snowfall   Departure from    Percent 
                          Thru April 2, 1997  Normal            of Normal
Syracuse, N.Y.               128.3              22.5            121%
Binghamton, N.Y.              91.9              17.5            124%
Rochester, N.Y.              103.4              15.1            117%
Caribou, Maine               118.3              13.5            113%
Concord, N.H.                 75.4              12.8            120%
Boston                        51.9              11.3            128%
Burlington, Vt.               85.9               9.8            113%
Erie, Pa.                     93.5               9.3            111%
Buffalo, N.Y.                 95.5               7.1            108%
Hartford, Conn.               52.3               6.2            113%
Providence, R.I.              37.5               2.1            106%
Albany, N.Y.                  64.3               1.7            103%
Cleveland                     55.1               1.2            102%
Baltimore                     15.4              -6.5             70%
Newark, N.J.                  16.3              -9.5             63%
Philadelphia                  13.0              -9.7             57%
Williamsport, Pa.             31.1             -10.7             74%
Bridgeport, Conn.             14.7             -11.2             57%
National Airport, Va.          6.5             -11.7             36%
Ithaca, N.Y.                  50.6             -12.5             80%
Pittsburgh                    29.1             -12.8             69%
New York City                 10.0             -13.0             43%
Richmond, Va.                  1.7             -14.5             10%
Huntington, W.Va.              5.9             -18.9             24%
Charleston, W.Va.             13.3             -21.9             38%
Portland, Maine               42.7             -24.7             63%
Elkins, W.Va.                 39.8             -29.6             57%

Seasonal Snowfall Deficits in the Northeast (all values in inches)

City                   Season Snowfall   Seasonal     3/31-4/1 Seasonal                               
                       Thru 3/30/97      Snowfall      Storm   Snowfall
                                         Departure     Total   Departure
                                                              After Storm
Syracuse, N.Y.           124.6           +18.8          3.7     +22.5
Boston                    26.5           -14.1          25.4    +11.3
Hartford, Conn.           37.6            -8.5          14.7     +6.2
Providence, R.I.          19.5           -15.9          18.0     +2.1
Ithaca, N.Y.              43.8           -19.3           6.8    -12.5
				
Data compiled by the Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell University.