Nov 20, 2010

Past Thanksgiving Day Weather for Albany NY

A brief climatology of Thanksgiving Day (TGD) weather for Albany, NY:

The warmest 1883 a high of 68 degrees and a low of 56, giving the warmest daily mean of 62.
The coldest was 1901 with a maximum temperature of  19 degrees, as well as, the coldest daily mean temperature of 15 degrees. The lowest minimum temperature was 5 degrees set in 1972.

The wettest TGD for Albany: 1886 - 1.77 inches of liquid equivalent precipitation ( 8" of snow was observed on this day).

Not too far behind this  particular TGD was 1971 with its 1.64 inches of melted precipitation which on this holiday was all snow and the most for Albany for TGD: 21.8 inches! (The snow actually started on Thanksgiving Eve ( the night of the 24th) thus the storm total was 22.5".)

Looking at the 20 greatest snowstorms of all-time for Albany this snowstorm  ranks as the 8th greatest single snowfall amount from one storm and for November's top 10  snowstorms it ranks as #1.


First let me say, I usually work most Thanksgiving Days  and I really don't mind it either. I'll work my "normal" shift that entails me doing NEWS10 in the Morning and NEWS10 at Noon then home for TGD dinner in the afternoon.

The "joke" about working TGD is that as far as the weather goes its an every other year thing, that is on alternating years the weather is either "active" or "benign".  (Last year's TGD weather was "benign" this year's may be "active" or at the very least not the best weather for the holiday.  I'll be updating this blog a lot over this weekend and upcoming days about this year's holiday and post holiday weather as it does look "interesting" for sure.)

Now for a bit of reminiscing on what had to be one of the wildest days that I ever have worked at WTEN . It was on Thanksgiving Day 2004!

The morning was warm and muggy for late November and I remembered driving in to work through areas of patchy dense fog and I also remember leaving early to get into work because there was the chance that it could prove to be a busy day.

Here's a bit of a clue as to why: The high temperature that TGD was 64 degrees (the 2nd warmest TGD on record for Albany) the low later that day was 30!

In a nutshell a strong area of low pressure and its associated cold front moves across Eastern NY State and Western New England resulting in a high wind and severe weather event late that Thanksgiving Day morning.
I remember saying on air that early morning to those who were watching that "I am not crazy but there is the chance for severe thunderstorm's this TGD!"

All told nearly 60,000 + customer lost power that day after the severe squalls moved through. Especially hardest hit were Saratoga, Washington and Rensselaer Counties in NY State. The power interruption became th big news story of the day: Folks whose homes were all electric scrambling to find a place to either cook their TGD dinner or somewhere to eat.

Below is a map from SPC on the severe weather reports  for that day along with a list of the reports and a "loop" of the hourly surface reports from that day.


SPC Storm Reports
1200 UTC November 25, 2004 - 1159 UTC November 26, 2004
20041125's Storm Reports

Note: All data are considered preliminary
Tornado Reports (in CSV format)
No reports received
Hail Reports (in CSV format)
TimeSize LocationCountyStateLatLonComments
1320 75 OLD FORGE LACKAWANNA PA4137 7574 (BGM)
1512 75 GALWAY SARATOGA NY4302 7403 PENNY SIZE HAIL AT PROVIDENCE (ALY)
Wind Reports (in CSV format)
TimeSpeed LocationCountyStateLatLonComments
1340UNK CARBONDALE LACKAWANNA PA4157 7551 NUMEROUS TREES AND WIRES DOWN (BGM)
1345UNK BEACH LAKE WAYNE PA4160 7515 TREES AND WIRES DOWN (BGM)
1345UNK EQUINUNK WAYNE PA4185 7522 TREES AND WIRES DOWN. TRAILER FLIPPED. (BGM)
1420UNK JEFFERSONVILLE SULLIVAN NY4178 7493 TREES AND WIRES DOWN ACROSS WESTERN AND NORTHERN PARTS OF THE COUNTY (BGM)
1430UNK HANCOCK DELAWARE NY4195 7528 TREE DOWN (BGM)
1512UNK HURLEY ULSTER NY4191 7406 TREES AND WIRES DOWN (ALY)
1512UNK HARDENBURG ULSTER NY4200 7467 TREES AND WIRES DOWN (ALY)
1512UNK MALTA SARATOGA NY4297 7379 TREES AND WIRES DOWN (ALY)
1540UNK TAGHKANIC COLUMBIA NY4214 7368 TREES DOWN. (ALY)
1545UNK SALT POINT DUTCHESS NY4181 7379 TREES AND WIRES DOWN (ALY)
1600UNK SADDLE BROOK BERGEN NJ4090 7410 TREES DOWN CAUSING DAMAGE TO PRIVATE HOMES (OKX)
1605UNK SCHODACK CENTER RENSSELAER NY4255 7368 TREES DOWN (ALY)
1635UNK CLARENDON RUTLAND VT4352 7297 RUTLAND STATE POLICE REPORTED TREES AND POWER LINES DOWN IN CLARENDON AND SHREWSBURY. (BTV)
1635 59 RUTLAND RUTLAND VT4361 7298 (BTV)
1641UNK LANESBOROUGH BERKSHIRE MA4252 7323 WIRES DOWN (ALY)
1645UNK GOSHEN ORANGE NY4140 7433 TREES AND BILLBOARDS DOWN ON RT.17 AND HARRIMAN DRIVE CAUSING DAMAGE TO COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS (OKX)
1715UNK CABOT WASHINGTON VT4441 7231 MIDDLEBURY STATE POLICE REPORTED NUMEROUS TREES AND POWER LINES DOWN NEAR CABOT AND MARSHFIELD. (BTV)
1810UNK 3 SW LISBON GRAFTON NH4418 7195 LIMBS AND POWERLINES BLOWN DOWN ON MOSES CLARK ROAD. (GYX)
1815UNK 1 NW LITTLETON GRAFTON NH4432 7178 TREES BLOWN DOWN ON NORTH LITTLETON ROAD. (GYX)
Full report in comma-separated values (CSV) format
Fields marked UNK are unknown
All Times UTC
Wind Gusts in MPH
Hail Sizes in 1/100 of an Inch (75 = 0.75")


Java Loop of surface reports for TGD 2004

An excellent write-up on the severe weather of that day was done by Tom Wasula a meteorologist at the NWSFO in Albany, NY. Here is a link to his write-up: Wind and Severe Wx Event from TGD 2004

In the wake of the severe weather strong NW to W winds prompted wind advisories to be issued for the afternoon and evening hours of that day and to top it all off, after the morning warmth and severe weather many locations across Eastern New York and Western New England saw brief snow showers or flurries that TGD night!

Well its time to check the latest Saturday AM data to see what will or won't happen this upcoming TGD. I'll likely have another blog update later today (probably late tonight).