Autumn Snowfall 2011 – View from Monroe, NY

Late October is an unusual (but not unheard of) time for snowfall in the Northeast.  On October 29th of this year, the Northeast was hit with a Nor’easter which dumped quite a bit of snow.  There have already been many reviews and news articles and blogs about the snow and power outages, but I thought I’d add one about the snowstorm from my perspective.

The Monroe, NY area was forecast to have anywhere from 8 to 14″ depending on which news report one listened to.  Early that morning, I took Halo, our Siberian Husky, out for a walk and several of my neighbors were out preparing for the possible snowfall (who really believes these predictions anymore until it happens?).  One of my neighbors asked if I thought it was really going to snow, and I had to say “yes, it FEELS like snow.”  Because it did feel that way – the sky was full of clouds that just looked ready, and the air was heavy with the promise of precipitation.

The morning passed, with no snow and from time to time, it actually looked as though perhaps it would hold off; maybe miss us?  Well, at noon, I changed my mind.  Some large wind gusts blew into town, and in between all the leaves that were blowing in the air, I saw.. yes, I did… snow flakes.  Lots of snow flakes.  And that was the start of our version of the October storm.

Monroe NY tends to get more snow than some of the surrounding areas.  I drove from Westchester County to my home in Orange County a month or so ago, and my car temperature reading indicated it was 10 degrees colder in Monroe.  So it is sometimes colder in Monroe than nearby areas which is one reason for the weather difference.  In addition, Monroe’s elevation is slightly higher than surrounding areas.  Our home is about 780 feet in altitude, while my old home was approximately 250 feet in altitude.  That seems to make quite a difference in precipitation results.

So how did we do?  Well, an hour and a half after the snow started, here’s the picture from my home office (that’s the road out behind the trees).  At this time in the storm, drivers were having serious issues getting home from where ever they were; cars were stuck sideways on a hill near our home.  Sirens were going off quite frequently.  It was a mess.

hour and a half after start

Then, four hours after the snow started.

after 4 hours

Then, at 7:30pm, with 7 1/2 hours still left to snow (per the forecast), we were at 11″ of snow.

7 1/2 more hours

Finally, the next morning, we checked the total snowfall.


The angle is not too good on that photo, but our final count was 17″ of snow from an Autumn storm.  Yowza.  We were lucky that our power did not go out, although it’s still flickering four days after the fact. We did lose our cable, Internet and phone service, but compared to others, that was just a minor issue, so we did what millions of other people did that morning.  We shoveled and one member of the family just watched the work.

cleaning snow

halo in snow

Then, yesterday afternoon when I was outside, I realized it felt like SPRING!  The ground was soft, the snow was melting, and it was warm.  Could that be IT?  Maybe we won’t have have any more snow! 

Yeeeeaah, right.


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