FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- A little frost put a nip in the air across Fairfield County this week, but it was nothing like this past February, which was a record-setter in the state.
We've seen our share of bad weather in the past few years -- Hurricanes Irene and Sandy and an unexpected October blizzard -- but the snowstorm this past February stands out.
Storm Nemo dropped two feet of snow -- and more than three feet -- in some places. The blizzard established a new 24-hour snowfall total for Connecticut: An official measurement taken in Ansonia recorded 36 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service. The snowfall total was from 7 a.m. Feb. 8 to 7 a.m. Feb. 9.
That eclipsed the previous record of 30 inches in a 24-hour period set at Falls Village in 1969, the weather service said.
The site in Ansonia is a National Weather Service Cooperative Observing Station, established in 1941 as an institutional site. It became an individual site in December 1985. Michael S. Witek has been the observer here for nearly 30 years. The site has a wide open exposure with no significant obstructions that would prohibit an accurate catch of snowfall, and a photo showed it to be the backyard of a suburban home.
The Ansonia Cooperative site had the highest total of any NWS COOP or NWS Climate Site in the state during the storm. There were four reports of snowfall totals higher than in Ansonia, however, two of these reports were from the general public, and two were from Skywarn Spotters. The level of integrity of these two sources does not meet the level required for an official climate record.
Four spots in Fairfield County with snowfall totals higher than the record were:
- Fairfield, with 35 inches, measured by the public;
- Stratford, with 33 inches, measured by the public;
- Monroe, with 30 inches, measured by Skywarn Spotter; and
- Bridgeport, with 30 inches, measured by Coop Observer.
The highest snowfall in the state was in Hamden, with 40 inches measured by the public.
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