Winter Storm Stella Dumps up to 58 Inches of Snow in Northern Vermont
March 16, 2017
Winter Storm Stella was a blockbuster storm that brought 3 to almost 5 feet of snow to parts of New York state, Pennsylvania and Vermont, along with wind gusts over hurricane force to coastal New England.
(MORE: How Winter Storms Are Named | Winter Storm Central)
The Bolton Valley Ski Area, located in the Green Mountains of northern Vermont east of Burlington, reported a storm total of 58 inches of snow early on the morning of March 16.
Stella also became the heaviest snowstorm on record in Binghamton, New York, surpassing Winter Storm Argos in November. From March 14-15, 35.3 inches of snow had been measured at Binghamton Regional Airport, pushing this winter to the snowiest on record in this south-central New York city with 131.7 inches.
(MORE: Binghamton Has Seen Its Two Biggest Snowstorms on Record in Less Than 4 Months)
Other Snowfall Records Set
Stella was the second-heaviest snowstorm in 117 years of records in Burlington, Vermont, and a record for the month of March, with 30.4 inches of snow. Only the Jan. 2-3, 2010 snowstorm (33.1 inches) was heavier, there.
At Bradley International Airport near Windsor Locks, Connecticut, Stella's 15.8 inches of snow on March 14 was the snowiest calendar day in any spring month (March through May) in records dating to 1905.
It was also the third-heaviest March snowstorm in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, topped only by the 1993 Superstorm (20.4 inches) and a late March 1891 storm (18 inches).
Widespread 1- to 3-foot snow accumulations have piled up in parts of the Northeast, led by 48.4 inches in Hartwick, New York. At least one location in 16 states has seen a foot of snow from Stella in the Midwest and Northeast.
(MORE: Stella Wasn't a Forecast Bust...Except Along I-95)The photo above was taken in Sauquoit, New York, just south of Utica, on March 15, 2017.
Here are some top and notable snowfall reports by state:
- Connecticut: Middletown (21 inches), Windsor Locks-Bradley Int'l Airport (15.8 inches), Bridgeport (7.1 inches)
- Delaware: Pike Creek (4.4 inches), Newark (3.6 inches), Wilmington (1.8 inches)
- Maine: Lisbon Falls (22 inches), Portland (16.4 inches), Bangor (14.5 inches), Caribou (14.1 inches)
- Maryland: Bittinger (12 inches), Frederick (10 inches), Baltimore (2.2 inches)
- Massachusetts: Granville (21.5 inches), Lowell (15 inches), Worcester (14.4 inches), Boston (6.6 inches)
- New Hampshire: Stratham (23.6 inches), Concord (15.6 inches), Manchester (11.7 inches)
- New Jersey: Vernon (20.3 inches), Newark (7 inches)
- New York: Hartwick (48.4 inches), Lake Placid (42 inches), Near Utica (36 inches), Binghamton (35.3 inches), Rochester (26.5 inches), Syracuse (24.4 inches), Buffalo (19.6 inches), Albany (17.0 inches), NYC-Central Park (7.6 inches)
- Pennsylvania: Oakland (34.5 inches), Susquehanna (32.3 inches), Honesdale (31 inches), Scranton (23.9 inches), Harrisburg (17.2 inches) Philadelphia Int'l Airport (6 inches)
- Rhode Island: Burrillville (13 inches), Providence (3.3 inches)
- Vermont: Bolton Valley Ski (58 inches), South Burlington/NWS office (30.4 inches)
- Virginia: Winchester (8.1 inches), Washington-Dulles Airport (5.6 inches), Washington-Reagan Airport (0.9 inches)
- West Virginia: Eglon (16 inches), Elkins (6.5 inches), Beckley (4.2 inches)
Winter Storm Stella 72-hour snowfall total estimation map ending 5:57 a.m. EDT, March 16, 2017.
In addition, there were two reports of avalanches on March 14 in northeast Pennsylvania, one in Falls Township and another in Tunkhannock, which closed PA-Route 92.
(MORE: Amazing Weather Images of Winter Storm Stella)
Highest Snowfall Rates
An incredible snowfall rate of 7 inches in one hour was reported in Ilion, New York, on March 14, about 13 miles east of Utica.
Burlington, Vermont, reported 5 inches of snow in one hour, another impressive snowfall rate.
Intense snowfall rates were also observed in Highland Lakes, New Jersey (4.5 inches in one hour reported in Highland Lakes, New Jersey) and New Milford, Pennsylvania (6 inches in 90 minutes).
Binghamton, New York, picked up almost a foot of snow in just 4 hours early on March 14.
Snow fell at the rate of 2 inches per hour in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and 1 inch per hour at both New York's JFK and LaGuardia Airports.
The New York City metro saw a wintry mix (snow/sleet), which was even accompanied by thunder for a period of time on the morning of March 14.
To the south, warm air aloft led to freezing rain in parts of the mid-Atlantic states, including parts of the Washington D.C. metro.
Up to an estimated one-quarter inch of ice accumulation was measured at Baltimore-Washington International Airport. Branches were downed in Chesilhurst, New Jersey, due to 0.4 inches of ice accumulation plus gusty winds.Above: Tree damage from ice accumulation in Charles County, Maryland, south of Washington D.C. on March 14, 2017.
Winds and Coastal Flooding
Wind gusts topped 50 or even 60 mph from the coasts of Delaware and New Jersey to portions of southern New England. Wellfleet, Massachusetts (79 mph), Barnstable, Massachusetts (74 mph), West Island, Massachusetts (71 mph), Winsegansett Heights, Massachusetts (71 mph), Rockport, Massachusetts (68 mph), Orient, New York (68 mph), Fishers Island, New York (67 mph), Milton, Massachusetts (67 mph), and Seaside Heights, New Jersey (65 mph), saw some of the top wind gusts.
Strong winds in combination with the weight of the snow downed tree branches in eastern Pennsylvania and southern New York.
Tens of thousands lost power in Massachusetts due to the high winds downing trees and power lines. Blizzard conditions were officially verified in Worcester, Massachusetts, according to the National Weather Service.
(MORE: Stella Batters New England)
Those strong winds resulted in coastal flooding in New Jersey, inundating some roads and prompting water rescues in the Atlantic City area.
(MORE: Coastal Flooding in New Jersey)
Flooding was also observed along the St. Lawrence River in Quebec City on March 15, as strong northeast winds piled water along the riverfront.
This major nor'easter off the East Coast underwent bombogenesis, meaning there was a rapid drop in atmospheric pressure, indicating strengthening.
(MORE: What is Bombogenesis?)
Stella's Midwest Chapter Recap
Stella impacted the Midwest with light to moderate snowfall accumulations across a large part of that region March 13 and 14.
Areas of lake-enhanced or lake-effect snow continued into March 14, leading to some storm totals locally topping 20 inches in southeast Wisconsin.
Chicago's O'Hare Airport reported 7.7 inches of total snowfall for the storm, 5.2 inches of which was lake-effect snow, according to the National Weather Service.
(MORE: Chicago's No Snow Cover Streak Ends)
On March 14, 4.4 inches of snow fell in 1 hour near Munster, Indiana in a lake-effect snowband.
Below is a recap showing some of the top snow totals from Stella in each state for the Midwest.
Illinois: 14.3 inches near Waukegan, 12 inches near Gurnee, 7.7 inches at Chicago O'Hare Airport
Indiana: 12 inches in Hammond
Iowa: 13 inches in Ringsted, 10.6 inches in Waterloo
Michigan: 15 inches near Wurtsmith Airfield, 5.3 inches at Detroit Metro Airport
Minnesota: 13 inches in Duluth, 6.5 inches in Rochester, 3.7 inches at Minneapolis/St. Paul Int'l Airport
North Dakota: 4 inches in New Town and Williston
Ohio: 12 inches near Geneva, 5.9 inches in Akron, 2.6 inches at Cleveland-Hopkins Int'l Airport
South Dakota: 10 inches near Watertown, 9 inches in Aberdeen
Wisconsin: 21.5 inches in Elmwood Park, 11.2 inches at Milwaukee-Mitchell Int'l Airport
(MORE: 5 Extreme Winter Storms in Spring)
Stella's First Phase Recap: Snow Dusts the South
Parts of the South saw snow from Stella's first phase March 11-12.
Up to 5 inches of snow was reported near Cave City, Arkansas, and 4 inches was measured in Paris, Tennessee.
The morning of March 12, parts of north Georgia, North Carolina and northern South Carolina saw snow from Stella. Most of the accumulations were on grassy and elevated surfaces.
Snow was even observed as far south as Columbia, South Carolina. The National Weather Service said this was just the 17th time it has snowed there in March, dating to 1888.
Wilmington, North Carolina (1.1 inches) saw its first measurable March snowfall in almost 34 years, and its first measurable snowfall since February 24, 2015.
PHOTOS: Winter Storm Stella
The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.