December 26-27, 2010 Boxing Day Blizzard

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Post by Frank_Wx on Wed Aug 21, 2013 7:40 pm

A pretty boring weather pattern coming up. If you got that summertime sadness, I put together a short blog looking back at the Boxing Day Blizzard of 12/27/10.

http://njstrongweather.blogspot.com/2013/08/a-trip-down-memory-lane-december-26-27.html

What do you remember about the storm?

What was your favorite moment with this storm?

When did you realize "oh crap, I'm about to get 12-30 inches of snow" ?


Last edited by Frank_Wx on Sat Oct 03, 2015 11:55 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by sroc4 on Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:01 pm

This storm was exceptionally memorable for me because I was sitting in sunny So Cali. Watching the accuweather board explode with posts all the while I was supposed to fly home from Cali late on the 26th. I remember my family thinking i was crazy follow it from 3000 miles away. I kept telling them our flight would be cancelled. I got stuck in California at my mother in laws for 4 extra days as that was the earliest flight I could get for me and my family.

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December 26-27, 2010 Boxing Day Blizzard  Empty Re: December 26-27, 2010 Boxing Day Blizzard

Post by Quietace on Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:11 pm

Whos ready for a long yet very boring written story/ timeline of this amazing storm...
oh and the story is from the prespective of a 12 year old...lol
I remember this storm very vividly. It was a dream come through..ahhhh... well it was when i joined the 7online board. For days up in advance i had no idea anything major was  going to occur, all the pro mets were saying, "its going OTS, don't worry...." Well, they were spot on...lol
Anyway, i heard Bill mention something like a weather chat, so i was like sure let em check it out. I think that was about 2 days before the storm. No one was saying anything major so it just kept  checking back every couple hours then all a sudden, i remember posts saying that models were all sudden bombing this thing out and tucking this into the coast. And of coarse me, not knowing anything about weather at the time, tried to explain it to my dad...he said "if we get more than 30 inches of snow, ill give you a thousand dollars." (he does that alot) SO then the night of storm i was on the chat seeing peoples snow maps, then it hit. I was ike, holy crap, im getting f**cking 20 inches of snow,...i think i jumped up a few times, but i do remember being to excited and stubbed my toe on the bed, that im pretty sure really hurt but yeah. lol. It was like 7pm and i went to sleep just because i wanted it to be tomorrow. So the next day all day as the snow came down, i remember  watching all the NYC TV station mets try and rapidly up their totals. It was hilarious. I remember watching my dad just stare at the tv and saying "oh f**k i didnt get gas for the snow blower..." and by the time he went out, their as none at any of the stations around. Any how the snow came down, and came down some more. I remember seeing about 5 minutes of sleet as the dynamics of the system were just unheard of and just rapidly cooled the atmosphere and the temperature went from 32 to the mid 20s. The convective bands were just completely amplified from the ocean water, and were crazy DBZ, and one after another just pounded my area. I remember hearing 1 or two rumbles of thunder. The wind was tremendous and i remember looking out my window and seeing nothing but white. Well i woke up again the next morning at 5am to not being able to walk out the front or back door. The snow drifts were 2 story high in the back, and one full story in the west facing front of the house.  We opened the garage, as being the only way out, and the whole entire garage was filled from the imploding snow. So we used the snow blower and shovels and too us a full 3 hours just to remove that snow. A short break, and it took another full 4 hours to do the drive way(which isnt that big....and the snow  blower ran out of gas.) So while my dad was siphoning gas from his car...that was a sight to see..lol....we had to shovel a story of snow away from the house, while dodging falling ice from the power lines as it was pretty hot theat day. It was night time by that time we had been working since 6am till about 7 at night....i never slept a better night in my life lol. But it took us a full week to remove the snow from the front and back yard, and a week and a half to get our street plowed. I remember their was so much snow on the streets that most 2 lane roads were only 1, and the side streets were almost impassible, and too tight.
Absolutely crazy, and my number one storm in my lifetime...i just hope to have another. I know my dad has pictures somewhere, ill try to find them....You picked a good one to look back on frank...lol
And thats the last time i have had over 9 inches of snow in a event.....pretty depressing lol
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December 26-27, 2010 Boxing Day Blizzard  Empty Re: December 26-27, 2010 Boxing Day Blizzard

Post by Frank_Wx on Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:34 pm

@Scott- that really sucks you weren't here to track. Not to mention all the travels problems. But if you were reading on the forums and you shut your eyes, just maybe you could picture yourself actually in the storm.

@Ryan- great story. It's amazing how much we can remember for something we LOVED experiencing so much.

My favorite memory is me on the couch awaiting the 12z GFS run. The 00z GFS the night before (I believe this was Xmas Day), showed this storm going out to sea. I told myself "if the 12z GFS doesn't cave here, this might just go out to sea with no phase."

Of course, the 12z GFS shows a massive hit. My heart was racing because I was so adamant 1 whole week before the storm even happened that it was going to happen. The 500mb pattern was so perfect in my eyes that I couldn't see a scenario in which this would go out to sea.

Immediately I contacted family and friends and warned them. TV Mets continued to downplay it and people were buying into their crap. Next thing I know, this was the first "Roidzilla" I ever experienced and I ended with 34 inches of snow in northeast NJ. I'm hoping it won't be once in a lifetime for me, but I really think it will be. The intense snow bands set up perfectly over my location and it was just continuous hours of 2-3 inch snowfall rates, with thunder, and winds in excess of 50 mph.

If you looked at those images in my blog, the pattern was so amplified it was insane.

However, people still say 1996 was better. I don't remember that storm. I was only 4. Maybe some of the old timers on here can compare the two?

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Post by CPcantmeasuresnow on Mon Oct 28, 2013 11:04 pm

What made the 1996 storm better was two things. Temperature and duration. The temperatures during most of the 96 storm were in the teens throughout most of our area. In Orange County it was 5 degrees when the heavy snow started. It rose to the mid teens here by the end of the storm. We ended up with 34 inches in Orange County. . The official 20.2 in NYC was the idiot zookeeper that measures the snow at his worst. Newark airport 6 miles away saw 28.8. The Bronx and Staten Island were in the 25 to 30 inch range and the ignoramus in the Central Park zoo comes up with the absurd total of 20.2 which of course is the official measurement for New York City for that storm, despite the fact it is way off the mark. Anyway back to the storm. The storm lasted for 24 hours solid and the drifts because of the light powdery consistency because of the extreme cold temperatures were unreal. Also many of us already had substantial snow packs before that storm. In Orange County we had over a foot on the ground before the storm began. By the end of that storm our snowpack was nearly 4 feet. That is the deepest snowpack I have ever seen in these parts. What is surprising is I've seen at least a half dozen storms since that come pretty damn close. We've been in a very active pattern for big storms the past two decades. The boom or bust period I call it. Let's hope this year is a boom.
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Post by amugs on Tue Oct 29, 2013 1:15 pm

Cp, I whole heartidly agree with you. The BD blizzard was intense but the '96 storm was incredible - low temps, sub zero wind chills, high winds, white out conditions for an elongated period of time (8-12 hours), the duration of the storm with blizzard conditions, crazy drifts and a great amount of snow but like you said CP light and fluffy. I can remember I lived in West Paterson on Garret Mountain at the time about 1 mile from Interstate 80 - it was a scene out of an armegedon movie. The storm hit on a Sunday and lasted through until Monday night and Tuesday when we finally shovelled in the late morning out we took a walk to Rt 80 and the road was totally covrered closed - not even plowed - there was a drift about 14'+ that went from the road and covered a prt of the overpass!! They used massive plows and a snowblower/thrower (where they got this equipment from?) like you would use out in the Rockies to clear the roads - intense as I watched later that evening in amazement! I remember driving home from my girlfreinds in Nyack - the GSP was a total white sheet by Paramus Park mall - open land and I could not see the mall which is in close proximity - not even a mile from the Parkway - hellish drive in my '88 Nissan Sentra (AKA"The Tin Can"). I pulled up to pay the toll in Wash Twshp and the collector (no ez pass back then guys)said the road was closed I had to get off at the next exit - I knew if i did i would have been screwed with no way to get home on the backroads. My neighbor who works for the DPW in Dumont said they actually went back (were called back by the admin)to the garage to wait out the storm for a good number of hours (like 4-5)that Sunday night due to the intense white out conditions!! The plows that tried to plow my street , on a hill of about a 15' incline got stuck and they called in the county plows to help them plow my street and the hills in my town. I also distinctly remember a freind of mine, history teacher, who said to me the Monday before that a guy he knew who was an amatuer met said we were looking at a massive storm and everyone laughed at him except me - it sucked that there were not any boards let alone the internet as we know it - had to rely on a NOAA radio station and the TWC (much better back then). I remember the Friday before Al Roker stating that the storm woudl bring us snow measured in feet. I called my co-worker and told him of the latest and said we would easily be closed from school for 2-3 days - and that we were - shoudl have been four cause all the roads were still bad - snow packed and you could not see around corners due to the mounds of snow. Wow, I have written probably too much but as a young man, 25 at the time I was so impressed with the verocity of this storm and only wish that it may happen again in the near future for all of us to blog about and enjoy. One last note, at our school we lost all the parking spaces in teh parking lot along the curb due to the mounds of snow that measured 20+ in height and we had a drift measured 18' that totally blocked an entrance to our building! Crazy stories. BOOM!BOOM!BOOM!

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December 26-27, 2010 Boxing Day Blizzard  Empty Re: December 26-27, 2010 Boxing Day Blizzard

Post by CPcantmeasuresnow on Tue Oct 29, 2013 2:15 pm

When discussing that storm it's hard to know when to stop. I could spend a whole day talking about it.
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Post by Math23x7 on Wed Dec 25, 2013 9:02 pm

I am bumping this because at this time three years ago I was preparing for the blizzard that was about 12 hours away. For me, this storm is the gold standard for big blizzards even though I got nowhere near the jackpot amount (I got 18" of snow while places in northeastern NJ got up to 32"!)

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December 26-27, 2010 Boxing Day Blizzard  Empty Re: December 26-27, 2010 Boxing Day Blizzard

Post by Frank_Wx on Wed Dec 25, 2013 9:09 pm

Yup that was me... 32 inches of snow. Unbelievable. Maybe once in a lifetime.

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December 26-27, 2010 Boxing Day Blizzard  Empty Re: December 26-27, 2010 Boxing Day Blizzard

Post by amugs on Thu Dec 26, 2013 11:38 am

What do you remember about the storm?
Ahhhh this was a great one to say and Ryan a great write up of the remembrance - that is what is what like for me in the 1983 blizzard that all the pro mets up until that morning before school said we would expect 1-3" then by noon time they put up blizzard warning and snet us home early - that was a thrill for me at that ripe age of 12 as well. A short digress there sorry folks.
I remember most of what everyone else has said that the pro mets said even on xmass eve that the storm was OTS and that we would see maybe an 1-2". Then on xmass day I was at my brother in laws - a good guy - borrowed his computer and went onto accuweather to check the forecast after dessert - did not know about the channel 7 board at that time - bummer for me but found it a month later thank god - and I could not believe my eyes - posted in red - BLIZZARD FOR NYC!! - I jumped up and down even at 41 years old - see it doesn;t matter how old you are tehir is tsill that youngness in yuor heart for things yuo love - and ran to the tv to put on TWC who were going nuts at that time. Everyone in my family - well my in-laws - said I was nuts until they came in to see for themselves - then they got mad - these tv mets suck, who wants a blizzard etc. - Debbie Fn downers. Got hom ethat night and prepped with moving the snowblower into my garage and Ryan I had two tanks of gas that I fill every Nov and put stabil (gas stabilizer) in so i was set. On teh 26th went over to a friends house across town at about 4PM and by about 8PM we were on our way home with a good 2-3" on the ground and I followed a plow right to my block. It was coming down light to moderate at that time and it was cold out. Then my wife challenged Mother Nature and said is this really going to be bad or did they hype this storm - and then it started coming down and the winds kicked up and she looked at me and said is it going to get any worse - my how her tone changed from skepticism to OMG!! Woke up the next morning to 23" and snow drift about 10-12' tall against my house. Crazy one area, spot of my backyard SW side was bare no snow - thank God my neighbor has an excavating company and brought home his front bucket loader and in about 5 minutes cleared my driveway and then next hour worked on our street.

What was your favorite moment with this storm?

At about 11PM looking at the window and I literally could not see my neighbors house across the street - awesome!!


When did you realize "oh crap, I'm about to get 12-30 inches of snow" ?

Looking at the radar on TWC at about 10PM and seeing how deep the storm was and the intensity of the heavy bands that would be moving through NENJ overnight with snowfall rates of 1-3" per hours - crazy!!

@Frank - thanks for posting this and letting us share our memories on one the great blizzards of the 21st century!!

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December 26-27, 2010 Boxing Day Blizzard  Empty Re: December 26-27, 2010 Boxing Day Blizzard

Post by 31MBP on Fri Dec 27, 2013 12:22 pm

I remember having to work the next day on Monday, was home down the shore and caught the last train up to the city before NJTransit shut down.....we went to the bar to watch teh Giants game...I remember that storm was a mean one...wasnt a 'nice snow' i remember walking out of the bar around 8pm to teh sound of thunder snow and a flash of what remember being an almost blue lightning streak

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Post by Dtone on Sat Dec 28, 2013 1:41 pm

The stranded and abandoned nyc sanitation trucks at all sorts of funny angles while attempting to plow was a first for me. Ambulances stranded as well. Left abandoned even after 24 hrs. Plus the account of personal cars just left in the streets, some for days. Not even in 96 did I see that to the same extent. The city buses stuck all over the place. I remember some cars on fire in a McDonald's parking lot. Fire department couldn't get close because of the gridlock of abandoned vehicles that the large trucks couldn't navigate so it was left to burn.

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Post by Dtone on Sat Dec 28, 2013 1:48 pm

...the about 5 week period to follow had snow accumulations unrivaled before in such a short time frame. If I remember right almost all that winters snowfall fell by February. The snowfall from the last few days of December and month of January was crazy. The long term snow pack that accumulated was pretty unprecedented for NYC. Driving and parking was the worst hassle ever that I could remember . Alternate side parking was suspended for like five weeks straight

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Post by docstox12 on Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:41 am

Hilarious to hear the Mets saying a few days before this would be OTS, and then seeing the day of the storm red blizzard warnings everywhere.One of the nicest blizzards I have ever seen and I've been watching 54 years.Wind, heavy snow, cold.Over 20 inches here.A great memory stored in the data bank!

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December 26-27, 2010 Boxing Day Blizzard  Empty Re: December 26-27, 2010 Boxing Day Blizzard

Post by Quietace on Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:10 pm

Somehow searching through some old videos and found this time lapse from Wall NJ, a few towns away from me. Pretty awesome showing the snowfall rates we had on the shore regions.

December 2010 Blizzard Timelapse: Mike Black from Michael Black on Vimeo.


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Post by Quietace on Sun Mar 23, 2014 2:36 pm


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Post by Frank_Wx on Thu Dec 25, 2014 9:47 pm

4th anniversary coming up. This storm has a special place in my heart

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Post by Frank_Wx on Thu Dec 25, 2014 9:48 pm


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December 26-27, 2010 Boxing Day Blizzard  Empty Re: December 26-27, 2010 Boxing Day Blizzard

Post by Math23x7 on Thu Dec 25, 2014 11:45 pm

I mentioned this to Frank last August but I joined the 7-online chat board in August 2010 to point out an slight error that Jeff Smith made on the air (he said it was the 29th 90 degree day for CPK instead of the 30th and the next morning he replied acknowledging that mistake).  As it turns out, however, I was unimpressed with the board over the next month and I (temporarily) left the board.  

Now, by mid-Fall 2010 I started following Accuweather.com meteorologists such as Jim Kosek and Joe Bastardi (both of whom have left).  I also had a strong case of nostalgia over the previous winter which outside of February 5th-6th, 2010 was an epic winter with 51.4” of snow in CPK and I kept wondering if the winter of 2010-11 would be topped.  Well on Accuweather, someone mentioned that December 2010 had the strong potential for a blockbuster snowstorm along the I-95 corridor but then the rest of the winter would be quiet.  I remember several possibilities that month, but many of them did not occur such as the December 11th-12th storm which ended up giving Minnesota a blizzard (remember when the Metrodome collapsed before the Giants and Vikings were schedule to play), Also, December 19th-20th, 2010 was a possibility but it ended up going way east (Boston and beyond).  They mentioned one more threat during the month, in this case around Christmastime.  Well I remember the back and forth between yes and no to the question of will we get a snowstorm.  On the evening of December 23rd, Joe Bastardi wrote on his Facebook page that models had shifted eastward and that he would wait one more day before throwing in the towel on this system.  But since it was before I started viewing models, and since the other snow potentials did not materialize,  I wrote it off and felt that the winter of 2010-11 would have little, if any, snowfall.  

Well, the evening of the 24th I did my annual Christmas Eve evening tradition of wrapping presents while watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” on Channel 4.  As usual, I kept the TV on after the film to watch the newscasters bring about joyous Christmas news. Well, during the introduction (occurring at 11 PM), they talked about an upcoming winter storm for Boxing Day and I was like “Wait, WHAT?! I thought this storm was a goner!.” About 15 minutes later, I turned it to Channel 7 to watch Lee Goldberg present the weather forecast as a result of this shocking feeling.  He mentioned 6-12” for NYC and 12”+ for LI starting the evening of the 26th and it put me to bed happy.  

The next morning after we finished opening Christmas presents I went to my laptop to get some updates from Accuweather.com and throughout the day on the 25th  I went through an surreal experience.  The snow total forecast was raised with each update.  It went from 7-13” to 8-14” to 9-15” to 10-16” to 12-18”+ for NYC as the morning and afternoon rolled along.  By late afternoon when the NWS issued a Blizzard Warning for NYC the next two days I was like “This is getting serious!.”  Adding to it was the fact that we were planning to go to a family party in Woodside the next day (about 15 miles from here) and the forecasted start time for the blizzard was late morning rather than the evening.  As a result, I feared that we would get snowbound along the way.  So I spent the evening prepping for survival in case this did occur (i.e. charge all portable electronic devices and have out multiple layers of coats).  Fortunately, they did end up cancelling the party with the blizzard forecast.  

Anyway, I did film some sort of a documentary of the storm with before shots and during the event, I videotaped every one to two hours it was just amazing to watch the blowing and drifting.  As shown in the video, the drifts went onto cars and created mini-hills on the street.  After the storm passed on the morning of the 27th I went outside to measure not only on the sidewalk but also on the drift peaks.  I measured about 18” with drifts exceeding 3’!  Besides the main roads, many streets remained unplowed for days, my block, however, was of those blocks fortunate to get plowed 12 hours after the event.  

Three days later on the 30th I learned that January 2011 would not be so mild after all as after the New Year’s weekend thaw, it would cool right back down and there were snow potentials the first one being for the 7th.  At this point, I felt like I needed more information and then went back into to the 7-online chat board which I had left several months earlier, this time it was filled with more posts, none of which stood more than this guy named Frank ( lol! ) He had detailed analysis (with threads entitled Blog #1, Blog #2, etc.) of each storm with the dynamics involved.  From this point forward, the chat board became my primary weather source.  This would continue until 2013 when issues with that board led to Frank making his own forum which is this one.  Simply put, I would have never been a part of this had it not been for that epic Boxing Day storm.  And Frank’s illustrations got me into viewing models as by the spring I would spread information to family and friends about model runs and with each event, I gain more knowledge about meteorology.  I am not in the meteorological field but it has become a top hobby for me.

Here are my Youtube videos from the storm. Enjoy!

Part 1 (contains the first half of the storm): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nVGQXRD18w

Part 2 (contains the second half (and aftermath) of the storm): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Em2dmQEg0o8

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December 26-27, 2010 Boxing Day Blizzard  Empty Re: December 26-27, 2010 Boxing Day Blizzard

Post by docstox12 on Fri Dec 26, 2014 6:10 am


It doesn't get much better than this.My only criticism of the storm was that it was mainly a more coastal affair rather than the widespread events of March 1993 and Jan 1996.Areas not far west of NYC, such as Scranton PA, got mere inches in Dec 2010 while some Jersey Shore towns got 36.I was in an area, Mahwah NJ, that got 20, splitting the difference.A majestic, monumental storm and you are not going to see very many of these,folks, in your lifetimes around here.
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December 26-27, 2010 Boxing Day Blizzard  Empty Re: December 26-27, 2010 Boxing Day Blizzard

Post by Frank_Wx on Fri Dec 26, 2014 10:17 am

Michael- that was very detailed, vivid, and just awesome. Thanks for the memories. 

Doc- this was definitely your typical coastal event. My town got 34 inches of snow and I honestly do not think I will ever see that again. That was basically a Frankzilla

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2013-2014: 62.1"
2014-2015: 56.0"
2015-2016: 34.0"
2016-2017: 31.5"
2017-2018: 35"

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December 26-27, 2010 Boxing Day Blizzard  Empty Re: December 26-27, 2010 Boxing Day Blizzard

Post by docstox12 on Fri Dec 26, 2014 3:04 pm

Yes, Frank, my Sister at the Shore,Ocean Grove, had 36 inches with massive drifts.It took 3 days for front end loaders to clear her block.She's a Snow Weenie like me and I am so glad she experienced that. You're right, could be a once in a lifetime storm for those shore areas.
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December 26-27, 2010 Boxing Day Blizzard  Empty Re: December 26-27, 2010 Boxing Day Blizzard

Post by snow247 on Thu Mar 05, 2015 10:13 pm

Since I'm young, the best snowstorm I can remember was the Boxing Day Blizzard in 2010. Extremely heavy snow from around 2PM to around 12AM. Finished with around 2 feet. Impressive for such a short duration. I remember reading something about a possible blizzard over a week before on the 7online board, then I forgot about it since I didn't follow the forums as much back then. On the morning of the 25th, I turned on the TV and it was on NBC 4 I believe, and the first thing I heard and saw was like "major blizzard to hit the area tomorrow". I was extremely happy and excited, to say the least.

I remember the day of the storm. Still in shock, I was watching live cams in NYC since snow was supposed to start there first, it did, and it took almost an hour after that to start up here, I was actually starting to call bust lol, needless to say, only a few hours later I was in paradise.

And with that, I leave you with a photo that was taken around 8 or 9 PM that night, and one taken the morning after. I have never seen a storm nearly as good since then, hopefully I do real soon. I want a new favorite!

December 26-27, 2010 Boxing Day Blizzard  Img_2912

December 26-27, 2010 Boxing Day Blizzard  Img_2913



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December 26-27, 2010 Boxing Day Blizzard  Empty Re: December 26-27, 2010 Boxing Day Blizzard

Post by Frank_Wx on Fri Apr 03, 2015 4:37 pm

UHGGGG I WANT THIS AGAIN!!!!!! My Frankzilla storm. Well, 2" shy of a Frankzilla

December 26-27, 2010 Boxing Day Blizzard  Umno


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2013-2014: 62.1"
2014-2015: 56.0"
2015-2016: 34.0"
2016-2017: 31.5"
2017-2018: 35"

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December 26-27, 2010 Boxing Day Blizzard  Empty Re: December 26-27, 2010 Boxing Day Blizzard

Post by docstox12 on Fri Apr 03, 2015 5:27 pm

Well, you would have waited 9 years from the Feb 1969 snowstorm of 19 inches to the Feb 1978 snowstorm.Then waited 5 years from the Feb 1978 to Feb 1983.Then 13 years until the Jan 1996 snowstorm......My point is something like Boxing Day is a rare event around these parts, not so much the last 15 years but in the snow drought 70's, 80's and 90,s....Rare.

This December will be 5 years from Boxing Day so maybe this winter to come will be the charm.Only thing, Frank, get back to Cranford if one is coming.Don't think Hackettstown did very well on Boxing Day, all big snowstorms S and E these recent years.
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December 26-27, 2010 Boxing Day Blizzard  Empty Re: December 26-27, 2010 Boxing Day Blizzard

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