A look back at October snowstorm 2011

Weather News

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – On this day 10 years ago, conditions were quite different from the mild temperatures and quiet weather we have now.

Friday marks 10 years since the infamous October 2011 snowstorm in Massachusetts that cut power to thousands of residents for days and close to a week in spots, as a foot of snow blanketed the area. That resulted in major tree damage, and shortages of food and gas.

Why was it such a powerful storm?

Storms in October can be notably strong because it’s still considered hurricane season. That means the ocean is still relatively warm, and that allows for extra moisture to come up from the south. Moisture is fuel for storms. Additionally, most trees that year still had their leaves. Those leaves act almost like a sail, and can knock down more trees with less wind than it takes with trees without leaves.

The snow that fell was also very wet and heavy and that worsened conditions. It still stands as our most significant October snowstorm since records began in Chicopee in the 1940s.

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