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Record Early-Season Snowstorm Blankets New York City

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On the morning of Thursday, November 15, Washington, D.C. and Baltimore reported 1.4” and 1.7” of snowfall respectively. Both marks easily surpassed their daily record for November 15. Just after mid-day, Philadelphia reported heavy snow. The progression of what had been forecast to be mainly a rain event after a brief start as snow had gone off the forecast track. Colder air was entrenched was yielding only slowly to the warmer air aloft.

In New York City, seemingly little attention had been paid to the developments farther south. Soon heavy snow had overspread the City. By evening, on account of a lack of pre-treatment of the roads and absence of advance preparation among the plows, traffic was at a standstill across much of the region. 30-minute drives took 3, 4, or more hours. Spun-out vehicles, stuck buses on hills, and accidents had turned streets and highways into parking lots.

By the time the snow gave way to sleet and then rain (freezing rain in many of the City’s northern and western suburbs), New York City had experienced its biggest early-season snowfall on record. The rain ended as a brief period of non-accumulating snow the following morning.

The following storms brought 1.0” or more snow to New York City prior to November 20:

November 16, 1872: 1.0” (tied 10th biggest snowstorm November 20 or earlier)
November 18, 1873: 2.0” (7th biggest snowstorm November 20 or earlier)
November 5-6, 1879: 2.5” (4th biggest snowstorm November 20 or earlier)
November 9, 1892: 2.3” (5th biggest snowstorm November 20 or earlier)
November 15, 1906: 1.0” (tied 10th biggest snowstorm November 20 or earlier)
November 14-15, 1908: 1.0” (tied 10th biggest snowstorm November 20 or earlier)
November 14, 1911: 1.0” (tied 10th biggest snowstorm November 20 or earlier)
November 6, 1953: 2.2” (6th biggest snowstorm November 20 or earlier)
November 19-20, 1955: 1.0” (tied 10th biggest snowstorm November 20 or earlier)
November 10-11, 1987: 1.1” (9th biggest snowstorm November 20 or earlier)
October 29, 2011: 2.9” (3rd biggest snowstorm November 20 or earlier)
November 7-8, 2012: 4.7” (2nd biggest snowstorm November 20 or earlier)
November 15-16, 2012: 6.4” (1st biggest snowstorm November 20 or earlier)

Overall, the Bronx, including the Lehman College campus, was transformed into scenes more typical of mid-winter. Five photos follow:


Lehman College parking lot


Lehman College campus


Lehman College campus


Lehman College campus


Lehman College campus