CT winter 2018-19: By the numbers
With spring arriving at 5:58 p.m. Wednesday, now is a good time to look back on the winter of 2018-19.
How much snow did we get?
For most of Connecticut, snowfall was below or near average. Even Norfolk in northwestern Connecticut is more than 15 inches below its annual 68.6-inch snowfall average.
With 24.6 inches of snow, Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Stratford is about three inches below its seasonal average. Last winter, Sikorsky had 36.9 inches of snow -14.4 inches above its seasonal snowfall average.
Areas farther inland like Oxford, had about half its average 44 inches of seasonal snowfall.
Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks got 40.1 inches this season, about 11 inches below average, according to the Northeast Regional Climate Center. Bradley’s record of 107.1 inches was set in 1996; the lowest amount was 11.9 inches in 1989.
Areas along the shoreline also had lower than average snowfall totals. Much of that snowfall deficit came from warm temperatures that crept into southern Connecticut during several storms that turned snow into mixed precipitation or just plain rain.
What were the biggest snowfalls of the season?
The first major snowstorm arrived before winter began. On Nov. 15, the snow came at the worst possible time - just when the afternoon/evening commute was beginning. Commuters were trapped in the ensuing traffic jams and highway gridlocks with some major roads like the Merritt Parkway at a standstill. A normal 30-minute drive home turned into several hours. Snowfall totals ranged from 11.8 inches in New Fairfield and about 6 inches along the shoreline.
In December, we got more rain than snow, including 3 inches on the first day of winter, Dec. 21. On the morning of Christmas Eve day, about a quarter inch of snow gave us a scenic holiday backdrop. By noon, it had melted away.
It took until March for the biggest snowfall of winter to arrive.
It happened on March 3-4, when more than a foot of snow fell across Connecticut. Highest accumulations were in Storrs, Southbury, Monroe, Bethel and Newtown.
What storms gave us the most problems?
While we had no major nor’easters or blizzards, there were some storms that brought Connecticut to a crawl:
1. The Nov, 15 snowstorm that made the evening commute a nightmare.
2. The Jan. 21 storm that brought snow, ice, rain and strong winds. After the precipitation stopped, temperatures dropped below zero, causing a big freeze up. Ice, up to a quarter inch and utility lines caused thousands to lose power for days.
3. A Jan. 24 storm dropped up 3.25 inches of rain across Connecticut. The heavy rain caused rivers and brooks to overflow. Thousands were again without power.
4. A March 3-4 storm that began on Sunday and ended on Monday. Schools were either closed or delayed because it took time for many to big out after a foot of snow.
How cold did it get this winter?
Unlike last winter, when we had nearly two weeks of below-freezing temperatures in the single numbers, there was no extended deep freeze this season.
In December, temperatures were about three degrees above average.
The last day of January set new cold temperature records with -7 in Windsor Locks, -2 in Danbury and averaging 3 degrees along the shoreline. In Litchfield County, Norfolk, called the “Icebox of Connecticut” had three nights of -12-degree temperatures on Jan. 21, 22 and 31.
The bitter cold continued into the first two days of February with lows of -9 in Norfork, 5 degrees in Danbury, 6 in Stamford, 8 in Stamford and 10 in New Haven and Bridgeport.
February ended up the coldest month of winter with an average temperature of 24 degrees in interior Connecticut and 24 nights of below-freezing temperatures.
So far this month, March temperatures have averaged about 3 degrees below normal.
The coldest nights of the month were March 4-9, when temperatures fell to -6 in Norfolk, 4 degrees in Danbury, 13 in Bridgeport, 12 in Greenwich, Temperatures during this period across the state were between -5 and - 22 degrees (in Norfork) below normal.
How warm did it get?
New Year’s Day has a record high of 58 degrees at Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Stratford, 57 degrees in Danbury.
Another record warm temperature record was set on Feb. 5. with a high of 64 in Stamford, 63 in Greenwich, 57 in New Haven and 56 in Bridgeport.
January temperatures averaged around 1 degrees above the average temperature of 26.1 degrees along the shoreline and 21 degrees in northwest Connecticut.
In February, shoreline temperatures averaged 34.4 degrees, nearly 2 degrees higher than normal.
High temperature records were set on March 15 with 67 in Greenwich, 66 in Stamford and Windsor Locks, 65 degrees in Danbury, 62 in Norfolk and 58 in New Haven and Bridgeport.