Snow Depth Days
of the Northeast: 2013-2014

The season in review

No snow in October, the latter half of the month was very chilly. November had a couple warm days, but it also had the coldest November afternoon in my 11 years of data, and a record low for the month on the 30th, only 6.5°F. Less remarkable was the snow, a couple events but only 0.3 inches total. However, Mt. Mansfield gets some lake effect snow, and their 35.5 inches was more than they got in December and January.

December seemed to have a snow event every few days. It had ten, one every few days. The first six had no more than an inch of snow but seemed to bring an early winter weariness with people being more interested than usual in getting past the earliest sunset and solstice. An early subzero morning mid-month of -7.5°F didn't help, but hey, I consider the winter a failure if we don't have at least one sub-zero low.

January was a classic January - a thaw in the middle and cold on both ends. My coldest morning was on the 4th, -11.2°F. There was more snow to the south, Woonsocket, RI and Fairhaven, MA reported the most to me. (Except for Mt. Mansfield, of course, but it had only a few more inches!) Between the 2nd and the 10th, there were three subzero lows and all the lows were below 2°F. After three more sub-zero lows on the 22nd-24th the thaw was a distant memory.

February had three major (>= 6.0 inch) snow storms and three minor storms. It was also cold, except for three days close to 50°F. 17 days failed to reach freezing, four days reached sub-zero temps. The last day of the month had the second coldest afternoon of the month, 22.1°F. The maximum snow depth, 30 inches, was exceeded only in two other seasons. Pretty much everyone is ready for spring or groundhog stew.

March had no major storms, though a wet 5 inch snowfall wasn't well appreciated. It was also cold, with four daily lows below zero and three days above 50°F. I.e. not that different from February. The high for the month was only 54°F, and that was on the 15th. The last four days of the month were the only ones with above freezing lows and they finally brought significant melting.

April started out with seasonable temperatures, and that was enough to melt the final 10 inches, leading to the end of continuous snow cover on the 6th.

The 15 subzero lows were the most in my 11 years of temperature records. the only other seasons with more than 9 were 2003/2004 (14, including 11 in January) and 2004/2005 (12).

Daily/Monthly Data

The following table summarizes the snow fall and depth days from sites that are posting that data on local weather observations mail lists and a couple others. If people also prepare Web pages for daily information for their site, I'll include links to them. Cells under the "snow" column are the snowfall for the site in that month, under "SDD" are the depth days for the month.

Location October November December January February March April May
Snow SDD Snow SDD Snow SDD Snow SDD Snow SDD Snow SDD Snow SDD Snow SDD
Collinsville CT 0.3 0 16.2 38 11.4 51 29.7 354 0.4 173 0.9 1
Fairhaven MA 0.4 0 5.1 8 20 56 21.3 105 2.8 4
Marlboro MA 17.1 87 17.4 103 34.5 321.5 1.6 143.5 0.5 0.5
Pepperell MA 0.2 0 23.5 157 17 173 37.4 406 2.1 283 0.2 0
Poland Spring ME 2.1 2 26.2 186 7.7 231 28.6 294 10.7 325 1.2 30
Bow NH 0.9 0 25 160 16.5 325 42.2 610 10.3 712 0.8 121
Bristol NH 5 6.3 22.8 140.4 16 383 31.8 550 18.4 561.7 0.4 44.4
Penacook NH 0.3 0 20.3 137 13.5 278 32.8 482 8.9 475 0.3 25.5
Woonsocket RI 10.6 35 20.5 54 27 244 1 51
Mt. Mansfield VT 11.3 48 35.5 276 23.9 588 23.4 873 29 1379 39.7 2294 7.4 2044 0 799

2013-2014 season to end of last month

The persistence quotient is lower than the ultimate value if there is still snow on the ground at the site. This data will be updated each month.

Location Snowfall Depth Days Persistence
Collinsville CT 58.9 617 10.5
Fairhaven MA 49.6 173 3.5
Marlboro MA 71.1 655.5 9.2
Pepperell MA 80.4 1019 12.7
Poland Spring ME 76.5 1068 14.0
Bow NH 95.7 1928 20.1
Bristol NH 94.4 1685.8 17.9
Penacook NH 76.1 1397.5 18.4
Woonsocket RI 59.1 384 6.5
Mt. Mansfield VT 170.2 8301 48.8


Name Location
Dennis Bollea Fairhaven MA
A Cadoret Woonsocket RI
Wayne Cotterly Poland Spring ME
Paul Hansen Marlboro MA
Jim Hilt Bow NH
Andrew Plona Collinsville CT
Paul Venditti Pepperell MA
Ric Werme Penacook NH


Jim Corbin, a meteorologist from Rhode Island, proposed the concept of both snow depth days and the persistence quotient, but he didn't have good names for them.  After a bouncing around various ideas, I came up with Depth Days.  It seems to fit into colloquial speech well, e.g. "When mired in the Depth Days of February, she thought fondly of the Dog Days of August." Of course, none of us snow lovers would ever think that. I picked Persistence Quotient while putting this page together, we'll see how it wears with time.


I think depth days is a great statistic, and I'm surprised that it is catching on slowly outside of the NE Weather Spotters mail list. I never expected that the NWS would embrace it quickly, but I had hoped that TV meteorologists would start using it, in monthly summaries, if nothing else. It would be nice if ski areas would use it, but they may not wish to if they are not likely to be #1 consistantly. (And if only one area reports depth days, it would not be a good comparative statistic.) The University of Vermont has graphs of snow depths at Stowe through many seasons.

Last update: 2015 December 31
Ric Werme

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