10/30/2014
 
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The 2008-9 Winter Seasonal Snowfall Map has been completed

Seasonal snowfall totals for Long Island and vicinity, winter of 2008-2009 The 2008-2009 seasonal snowfall map can now be viewed on the Climate Statistics page.

See: Climate Statistics Page


2007-8 Winter Season Recap

Seasonal snowfall totals for Long Island and vicinity, winter of 2007-2008The winter of 2007 - 2008 started out where the second half of the 2006-2007 season left off; with unusual quantities of sleet. After a few light snowfalls and mixed precipitation events in early December, the middle of the month featured heavier storms on the 13th and 16th which produced mostly sleet, with the storm on the 16th transitioning to freezing rain and then plain rain before ending. Following that, winter took a holiday with above normal temperatures and very little snowfall until February, when a few light to moderate snowfalls provided a hint of winter and close to normal snowfall for the month. However, that was it for the winter as no accumulating snows fell anywhere in the region after March 1.

The 2007-2008 seasonal snowfall map shows even more of a north-south orientation to the winter snowfall than usual, primarily due to a higher percentage of snow vs sleet in the early season storms. The most recent snowfall map can now be viewed on the Climate Statistics page.

See: Climate Statistics Page



Long Island Hikes: Sweetbriar Nature Center in Smithtown

Sweetbriar Nature Center - Smithtown, NY The Sweetbriar Nature Center is a 54 acre preserve located at Landing Avenue and Eckerncamp Drive in Smithtown. It is owned by the town of Smithtown and leased to the Environmental Center of Smithtown-Setauket, whose mission is to "provide natural science education services for Long Island residents of all ages and to engage in native wildlife rehabilitation services".

Sweetbriar is a former working farm that was donated to the Town of Smithtown and The Nature Conservancy by Edith Blydenburgh. It features some very pleasant trails through north shore woods bordering on the Nissequogue River...

See: Sweetbriar Nature Center



Powerful Nor'easter lashes Long Island - 11/3/2007

Hurricane Noel transitioned into a powerful coastal storm that affected Long Island on November 3, 2007 Following a seemingly endless summer and a record warm October, the first weekend of November 2007 brought a stark reminder that summer is over. Ironically, it was the evolution of a warm season tempest, Hurricane Noel, into a powerful coastal storm that brought the cold wind driven rain to much of Long Island.

Although Hurricane Noel was reclassified as an extratropical storm on November 2nd, it was not a reflection of the strength of the storm as the extratropical cyclone actually continued to strengthen while increasing in size.

It passed far enough to the east to spare Long Island a direct hit....

See: The Nor'easter of November 3, 2007 (Extratropical Storm Noel)



Northeast Hurricanes and Tropical Storms

Storm Surge from Long Island Sound invades Old Lyme Connecticut during Hurricane Carol, August 31, 1954.  Courtesy NOAA. The Long Island and New England Hurricane of 1938, Hurricane Carol, Hurricane Donna, Hurricane Gloria, Hurricane Bob... These and a few others are among the better remembered tropical cyclones that have struck Long Island and southern New England since 1900 and left a lasting impression on many in the region. They are far from the only ones to have threatened the northeast; in fact the region is threatened by at least one of these tropical storms during most years. They range from weakening minimal tropical storms to the strong category 3 monster that devastated large swaths of the region on September 21, 1938. Some of them made direct hits on the region and some were near misses. Of the near misses, some of these still caused major damage for parts of the region. Many of the latter have been all but forgotten with the passage of time.

This series of articles describes direct hits, near misses and significant impacts of tropical storms and hurricanes that have affected the US east coast from the mid Atlantic states on northward since 1900. ...

See: Northeast Hurricanes and Tropical Storms



Know Your Maples

Transplanted sugar maple sapling in Smithtown Maples, including several species that grow into large shade trees, are commonly planted as part of Long Island landscapes. The most common large maples include the red maple, sugar maple, Norway maple and silver maple. The first two of these are native to Long Island and the others are exotic (non-native) species that have been introduced to Long Island from elsewhere. Each of these has distinctive characteristics that influence their suitability for a given location.

There are many other maple species widely used in landscaping on Long Island, most as ornamentals, but this article will discuss the four large shade trees mentioned above, including some of the important traits of each that should be of interest to Long Island gardeners and a few tips to help with the identification of these trees. ...

See: Know Your Maples


2004-5 Winter Season Recap

Seasonal snowfall totals for Long Island and vicinity, winter of 2004-2005The winter of 2004 - 2005 was the third straight snowy winter on Long Island, and over parts of the Island it was second only to the winter of 1995-96 in terms of total snowfall. At the Brookhaven National Lab, where snowfall statistics have been recorded since the winter of 1947-48, the total seasonal snowfall of 78.4" made this the second snowiest winter and the third winter in a row that over 60" of snow has fallen. Unofficial reports indicated that snowfall totals may have exceeded 80" in a few locations in central Suffolk County.

As shown in the seasonal snowfall map, for the second straight winter the heaviest total snowfall was over central Suffolk County. Farther to the west the snows were lighter, but New York City still recorded it's third straight winter with over ...

See: 2004 - 2005 Winter Season Recap


Winter of 2004-5 goes out on a snowy note on Long Island

Street in Smithtown after fifth snowstorm in 3 weeks, March 12, 2005On February 2nd, numerous groundhogs and other furry critters were alleged to have seen their shadows and declared that winter would last another 6 weeks. As if to underscore the point, a minor snowfall deposited between 2 and 4 inches of snow across most of Suffolk County on February 3rd and 4th, with lesser amounts in Nassau County. However, following that snow, the weather became unusually mild for a couple of weeks while the existing snowpack gradually withered away. While many might have been entertaining dreams of an early spring, long range computer models were consistently cooking up a return to a wintry pattern ... but the switch back to the more wintry pattern held off until late February at which time a series of moderate snowstorms accumulated roughly 30 inches of new snow in less than 3 weeks.

See our photo feature on this unusual run of five consecutive snowstorms: The Late Winter Storms of 2005


Snowfall Patterns on Long Island

Snowfall at the Smithtown railroad station, February 24, 2005There are distinct patterns of snowfall that can be observed across the different parts of Long Island. There are a number of factors that influence this and the interaction of these factors can be quite complex. This article explores some of these factors and how they influence the local winter weather.

There is in fact a considerable variation in annual snowfall across Long Island and the presence of the ocean is probably the single biggest factor in that variation. However, it is not the sole influence and each of the factors discussed here can impact the amount of snow that falls in any one location...

See: Snowfall Patterns on Long Island


The Blizzard of 2005

Blizzard conditions occurred over most of the region during the storm of January 22-23, although at many locations the conditions may not have met the criteria for official designation as a blizzard. The Blizzard designation requires that certain criteria for high winds (greater than 35 MPH) and low visibility (less than 1/4 mile) be met for 3 consecutive hours. Snow and blowing snow in Smithtown during the blizzard of January 23, 2005

Heavy snowfall had already occurred over Long Island Saturday afternoon and evening by the time a secondary coastal low began to intensify rapidly and dramatically increase the winds on Long Island. However, the pattern of snowfall became quite erratic with numerous lulls in the snowfall passing over Long Island as the temperatures dropped and the winds howled overnight. This kept most locations from meeting the 3-hour criteria, in spite of the blizzard conditions that occurred at times. Before daybreak on Sunday, heavy bands of snow on the backside of the low pivoted through causing blizzard conditions island-wide. With temperatures in the teens, heavy snow falling and winds gusting over 50 miles per hour, visibilities did drop to near zero ...

See: The Blizzard of January 2005


Ocean Effect Snow

On Wednesday January 19, 2005 an unusual Ocean Effect Snowfall developed on a south wind and left between 3 and 6 inches of snow across most of Suffolk County.

Arctic air had been in place over the region for days and caused heavy lake effect snow in western New York State. An approaching Alberta Clipper turned the winds starting just above the surface to a long south-southwesterly fetch over the ocean while temperatures above the surface remained very cold.

The resulting instability combined with extra lift from the approaching clipper caused multiple bands of ocean effect snow to develop during the morning...

See: An Ocean Effect Snowstorm on Long Island - January 19, 2005


Does Lake Effect contribute to Long Island Snowfall?

Read the rest of this article...During the evening of January 7, 2002, a significant local enhancement of snowfall near the Long Island Sound occurred. That evening, an upper level disturbance caused some very light snows over Long Island, with most accumulations being a half inch or less. Along the immediate north shore, a stationary band of snow formed and persisted for a few hours dropping up to 3 inches of snow in spots between Huntington and Stony Brook. It was not a major storm, and while not strictly speaking a pure sound-effect snowfall, it was clearly a sound enhanced event.

There were several factors involved in causing the enhanced area of snowfall...

See: A Lake Effect-like snowfall on Long Island's North Shore


Fall Color on Long Island

Fall color on Long Island is quite variable in its appearance. While the colors can be quite vibrant, the wide varieties of native and non-native tree species found on Long Island tend to reach their peak colors at different times, denying us the concentrated explosion of color celebrated in other parts of the northeast. However, there are some exceptions.

The earliest and one of the more concentrated displays of fall color on Long Island are those that occur in and near wetland areas. In many of these areas, the fall colors are usually noticeable beginning in September and are past peak by ...

See: Fall Color on Long Island