N.H. State Climatologist Says Snowfall Records Could be Broken

By Sharon Keeler
UNH News Bureau

March 5, 2001

DURHAM, N.H. -- Southern New England could be heading for a record snowfall, if the current weather systems stay on course.

"The potential is definitely there," says Barry Keim, N.H. state climatologist and professor of geography in the University of New Hampshire's Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space. "The weather patterns have joined for a classic Nor'easter. Snow totals will be high because the storm is expected to stall offshore and intensify."

Current record snowfalls in three areas of the state are:

  • Durham, 26 inches, Feb. 24-26, 1969

  • Concord, 28 inches, Dec. 26-27, 1969

  • Hanover, 31 inches, Feb. 16-17, 1958
  • During the Blizzard of 1978, Durham recorded 18 inches of snow, although more than three feet fell in areas south.

    According to Keim, March is the time of year when we are likely to see snowstorms of this proportion.

    "Sea surface temperatures down south are warming, and weather systems are carrying more moisture," Keim says. "But you still have cold air coming down from Canada. "When the two air masses merge, you can get really big snowfalls, especially if the storm is a slow-mover like this one is predicted to be. "

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