National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


A major winter storm impacted eastern New York and western New England December 1-3, 2019. Snowfall began during the late morning and early afternoon of the 1st ahead of a weakening low pressure system approaching from the western Great Lakes. Snowfall rates of 1-2" per hour occurred from the afternoon into the evening, with the heaviest along the I-90 corridor. As the primary low pressure system weakened, it transferred its energy to a coastal low, which strengthened as it remained nearly stationary for much of the 2nd. This allowed snow to continue to accumulate throughout the day. As the low finally pulled away late on the 2nd into the early morning hours of the 3rd, one final heavy snow band crossed the area before the snow finally pulled out prior to daybreak on the 3rd.

Storm total snowfall amounts were heaviest in the central Mohawk Valley, Helderbergs, northeastern Catskills, Capital District, southern Vermont, and the Berkshires, where totals of 18-28" were common. The 22.6" recorded at Albany International Airport made this the 8th largest snowstorm on record, the 4th largest December storm, and the largest since the March 1993 superstorm. It snowed for 39 hours and 14 minutes consecutively. Many schools were closed for two consecutive days, and numerous flights were delayed or cancelled. The governor declared a state of emergency for several of the hard-hit counties, and deployed the National Guard to assist in cleanup efforts. Speed restrictions were also placed on area interstate highways. Amounts of 8-18" were common elsewhere, except for southern portions of Dutchess and Litchfield Counties due to warmer temperatures and mixed precipitation, and northern portions of Herkimer, Hamilton, Warren, and Washington Counties which were on the fringe of the heavier precipitation.

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