What Are The Chances The Hudson Valley Ever Gets Buffalo-Like Snowfall?

However, Marra did say that the Hudson Valley had once experienced a flash snowfall, with deadly results. In 1888 a massive nor’easter, accompanied by sustained hurricane-force winds, ravaged the East Coast, leaving areas blanketed by between 20 to 60 inches of snow, and killing more than 400 people—200 in New York alone. The temperatures dropped so quickly, Marra said, that farm animals froze to death and birds dropped from the sky, brought down by the extreme cold. The wind gusts were so strong that some areas reported snowdrifts as high as 52 feet—a height that was recorded in Brooklyn’s Gravesend neighborhood.

“So we’re going back 100, 200 years, but it isn’t unheard of to have something like this in the Hudson Valley. It would not be from lake-effect, sound-effect, or ocean-effect,” Marra said. “The most likely cause of us getting something would be from a nor’easter that achieves blizzard criteria and it would have to be probably a very slow moving storm, blowing up into something more powerful. Basically a very deep and powerful nor’easter.”

Snow-covered train tracks, rooftops and arches of the Brooklyn Bridge seen from the rear of a train during the Blizzard of 1888

Brooklyn children after the blizzard in '88. Due to the hurricane-force winds that accompanied the storm, not everywhere saw as deep snow drifts as the record-setting areas.

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New Britain, Connecticut, March 13, 1888.

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