Pre-thanksgiving snow storm in New England.

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  • Snow depth Northeast, USA 22nd November 2011. Source: The National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center.

    Snow depth Northeast, USA 23rd November 2011. Source: The National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center.

    Snow depth Northeast, USA 24th November 2011. Source: The National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center.

  • Pre-thanksgiving snow storm in New England.
    26.11.2011 16:54

    Last Thursday, Americans celebrated Thanksgiving – the annual festival which can be traced back to 1621 which traditionally commemorated having a good harvest during the year. However, those in the New England States were faced with a wintry storm on Wednesday 24th November; the day before Thanksgiving – one of the busiest commuting days of the year with many people travelling to see friends and family to celebrate Thanksgiving. Normally, over 38 million Americans drive 50 miles or more and American airports can expect in the region of 23 million people to use domestic and international flights during the Thanksgiving period.  

    The storm brought heavy snow and freezing rain to New England. In the state of Vermont, over 28cm of snow was measured in Ludlow, while 25cm was observed in Woodstock and 20cm recorded in Orwell, and Pawlet also recorded about 4cm of snow.  The National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center reported that 68.8% of the Northeast area was covered by snow on 24th November 2011.

    Throughout Tuesday and Wednesday, a low pressure system tracked eastwards along the Ohio Valley to the north-east coast, bringing a warm front to the New England area. The interaction of the warm front with a pool of cold air originating from eastern Canada was responsible for turning the precipitation to snow.

    The Vermont Department of Public Safety issued a warning informing people that the roads were slippery resulting in hazardous driving conditions and people should drive with caution and only if necessary. Despite the warning, there were reports of people driving too fast and sliding off the snow covered roads. The state police also reported several crashes with Route 9 in Searsburg, near Wilmington closed for a time.

    Flights were also disrupted. New England carrier Cape Air cancelled the majority of the flights to and from Maine, New Hampshire, the Adirondacks region in New York and Vermont. Although, there were no significant delays reported at the Logan Airport in Boston.

    The heavy snow also brought down many trees and power lines. Around 17,000 people from Maine to New York were left without power by mid-afternoon.

    The snow did not last long with maximum temperatures reaching between 7 and 11C the next day in the New England area as people celebrated Thanksgiving.

    By: Clare Allen