WINTER STORM SUMMARY FOR
JANUARY 28, 2014 TO JANUARY 29, 2014 EVENT
A strong arctic high pressure system built across the Ohio valley and Midwest regions, sending a cold front into the deep south. Low pressure formed along the front in the northern gulf of Mexico on January 28th. This low pressure system brought snow and ice far south across the country. By the night of January 28th, the low pressure system had moved off the Carolina coast and precipitation had begun moving northeastward toward our region. However, dry air across the region from the high pressure system limited the coverage in precipitation to mainly the southern part of our region. This low pressure system quickly moved off the Carolina coastline the morning of the 29th, with bitterly cold air moving in behind it.
A Winter Weather Advisory was issued for Sussex County in Delaware at 9:23 PM on Monday, January 27th. At 3:54 AM on the 28th, the advisory was expanded to include the following areas: Atlantic and Cape May counties in New Jersey. At 2:58 PM on the 28th, the advisory was upgraded to a Winter Storm Warning For Sussex County in Delaware and Cape May County in New Jersey. Also at this time, a Winter Weather Advisory was issued for the following areas: Kent County in Delaware; Caroline, Kent, Queen Annes and Talbot counties in Maryland; Cumberland, Ocean and Southeastern Burlington counties in New Jersey. At 5:42 AM on the 29th, the advisory was cancelled for Kent County in Delaware and Caroline, Kent, Queen Annes and Talbot counties in Maryland. The remaining advisories and warnings were allowed to expire at 8:00 AM on January 29th.
Another cold air mass had moved into the region sending temperatures well below freezing with many spots in the teens when the storm approached. This made for a very dry and fluffy snow. With the dry air mass in place there was a sharp northern cutoff to the snow just northwest of Philadelphia. A heavier band of snow formed due to stronger forcing across central Delaware and Southeastern New Jersey, and this is where the highest snowfall totals of 4 to 8 inches occurred. Snowfall of 3 to 5 inches was noted south of this band in Sussex County, Delaware with the sharp cutoff only producing totals near an inch in Philadelphia. Winds were not excessive during this event.
With cold temperatures in place, snow accumulated quickly leading to slippery, snow covered roads for the morning rush hour on Wednesday January 29th. Schools and businesses closed as a result of the impending storm. Hazardous driving conditions led to multiple accidents on area roadways. Following this system, an arctic air mass, coupled with the snow cover, produced some below zero temperatures across southern New Jersey on the morning of January 30th.
Information contained in this summary is preliminary. More complete and/or detailed information may be contained in subsequent monthly NOAA storm data publications