Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Albany, NY

Home | Current Version | Previous Version | Graphics & Text | Print | Product List | Glossary On
Versions: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50
NOUS41 KALY 311200

Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Albany NY
800 AM EDT Tue Oct 31 2017

...Winter Weather Awareness Week Continues...

October 29 to November 4 is Winter Weather Awareness Week in
New York and New England.

The following is information on the types of snow events
which impact eastern New York and western New England.

Heavy snow can immobilize a region or paralyze a city,
strand commuters, close airports, stop the flow of supplies
and disrupt emergency and medical services. Accumulations of
snow can cause roofs to collapse and knock down trees and power
lines. Homes and farms may be isolated for days and unprotected
livestock may be lost. The cost of snow removal, repairing damages,
and the loss of business can have severe economic impacts on cities
and towns.

Heavy snow in eastern New York and northern New England is defined
as 7 inches or more falling in a 12 hour period or 9 inches or more
falling in a 24 hour period. Heavy snow in southern New England is
defined as 6 inches or more falling in a 12 hour period or 8 inches
or more falling in a 24 hour period. Warnings are issued when these
amounts are forecast and advisories are issued for lesser amounts of
3 to 4 inches or more in a 12 hour period.

Heavy snow can be produced by noreasters, overrunning situations and
lake effect. Lesser amounts of snow are often produced by Alberta clippers.

Noreasters are intense areas of low pressure that typically move along
the eastern seaboard. They usually bring strong northeast winds as they
pass by. Some memorable noreasters in recent years include the blizzard
of March 2017 and the October snowstorm of 2011. Snowfall rates in
noreasters can reach 4 to 6 inches per hour and these rates can last
for several hours.

Overrunning can also produce heavy snow and this occurs when warm air
aloft, flows over cold air near the surface. Overrunning occurs most
often when a large dome of high pressure is located in southeastern
Canada and a warm front is approaching our region from the south or

Lake effect snows often occur in the late autumn and winter downwind of
the great lakes when cold arctic air sweeps across the relatively warm
waters of the lakes. Snow squalls will typically form along the lee
shores of the lakes and move downwind. These squalls can result in
locally heavy snow with reduced visibilities in fairly narrow bands.
The lake effect snow which impacts eastern New York usually originates
downwind of Lake Ontario. The areas of eastern New York which receive
the most lake effect snow include the southern Adirondacks...Mohawk
Valley and northern Catskills.

An Alberta clipper is an area of low pressure that usually forms
Over the province of Alberta in Canada, east of the Rocky Mountains.
Alberta clippers usually move very quickly southeast and usually bring
light accumulations of snow as they cross our region. They also bring
colder air from Canada in their wake.

Some snow terms which are commonly used include blizzard, blowing snow,
snow squalls, snow showers and snow flurries.

A blizzard is a winter storm which has sustained winds or frequent gusts
of 35 mph or more, with considerable falling and or blowing snow reducing
the visibility to at or below one quarter mile, and these conditions last
for 3 hours or more. The two greatest snowfalls on record in Albany, New
York occurred during blizzards. 46.7 inches during the Blizzard of 1888
and 26.6 inches during the Blizzard of 1993.

Blowing snow is wind driven snow that reduces visibility. Blowing snow
may be falling snow and or snow on the ground picked up by
the wind. Blowing snow may produce icy patches on otherwise dry roads.

Snow squalls are brief intense snow showers accompanied by strong
gusty winds which may produce significant snow accumulations and
blinding visibility. Snow squalls sometimes result in vehicle pileups
on interstate highways.

Snow showers have snow falling at varying intensities for brief
periods of time with some snow accumulation possible.

Snow flurries are light snow which falls with little or no snow

The National Weather Service issues frequent updates for winter weather
as statements that follow up the issuance of watches, warnings or advisories.

Your Albany National Weather Service forecast office is available
online and on social media.You can reach us at, like
us on Facebook, and tweet along on Twitter @nwsalbany. For weather and
hydrologic information on the go, simply go to and
provide your location or zip code.


DiRienzo is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.