Cape Gazette

Last blast? Coastal storm brings seven inches of snow

Forecast for rain and warmth may make this a quick memory
By Chris Flood | Mar 17, 2014
Photo by: Dennis Forney A robin, its feathers puffed for warmth, perches on the branch of a beech tree in an upland woods near Milton Monday morning. A coastal storm sweeping up from the southwest dropped about eight inches of snow on Delaware's Cape Region over the night. Starting at about 8 p.m. Sunday with a mix of rain and snow, the temperature soon dropped a couple of degrees and a quiet and steady snow started covering roads, yards, marshes and trees. The snow fell without pause at least until daylight MondayNational Weather Service forecasters were all over this storm predicting starting and stopping times and total accumulation with impressive accuracy.State, municipal and private plowing teams worked overnight to keep main roads passable and, by morning, Route 1 was wet as a result of pre-storm brining, temperatures hovering just above and below freezing, and a wetter and heavier snow than other storms earlier this winter brought.

LEWES — For the second time this month, a snow storm covered the Cape Region in inches of snow over an 18-hour period.

The storm began late March 16 and lasted well into March 17 covering Sussex County in three to seven inches of snow. Kent County received between 2-5 inches and New Castle County received between one and three inches. There was a steady northeast wind at 10 to 20 mph, with gusts up to 30 mph, said the National Weather Service.

Before the first snowflake fell Sunday night, the Cape Region had already seen 20 times more snow this month than the average for March.

According to Evan Duffey, meteorologist, the normal snowfall total for March in Dover, the closest location they keep such information, is .3 inches; their records show 6.5 inches had fallen before this most recent storm.

The snow that fell on Sunday and Monday, more than doubled that percentage.

“This has been one of the snowiest Marches in Delaware,” said Duffey.

Temperatures are expected to reach the low 40s on Tuesday, so this snow should melt faster than the snow that fell at the beginning of the month, said Duffey.

He said this month has also been considerably colder than normal. From March 1 to March 16, the average temperature has been 6.1 percent below normal, which he categorized as pretty significant.

Duffey expects the unseasonably cold weather to continue for the rest of the month.

“Basically, the cold air from Canada has been willing to sink south this year,” he said. “Winter is definitely going to continue. It may not be snow, but it looks like a couple of cold rains are shaping up for the future.”

All schools in Kent and Sussex Counties were closed March 17 as were state offices.

And while many people spent another day cooped up waiting for warmed weather, some took the white stuff in stride.

Chae Sade, a bartender at Hammerheads in Dewey Beach, said the restaurant was open for business at 9 a.m. Monday.

“We might get some people for breakfast, but I think they'll come in a little later in the day,” she said. “It'll end up being a local thing because all the nonlocals left before the storm hit.”

Sade said this year's St. Patrick's Day was one of the slowest ones she can remember. Many people left early because the holiday fell on a Monday and the storm was approaching, she said.

“We were busy on Saturday, but I believe it was weather related,” she said, keeping a positive attitude though. “We're always happy with the patrons we get.”



A City of Lewes employee plows Gills Neck Road Monday morning. (Photo by: Dennis Forney)
The Smith family's menhaden mansion on Gills Neck Road in Lewes took on a Dr. Zhivago appearance from the storm. (Photo by: Dennis Forney)
Winter's not over yet.  Lewes still has its snowflake banners flying and the historic Ryves Holt House on Second Street looks more Christmasy than ever in a snow storm just a few days before the official beginning of Spring. (Photo by: Dennis Forney)
A great blue heron breaks from a marshy resting spot along New Road in Lewes. (Photo by: Dennis Forney)
No sand was visible at Lewes Beach March 17. (Photo by: Nick Roth)
Bay Avenue in Lewes was a winter wonderland. (Photo by: Nick Roth)
A perfect winter scene on the Lewes and Rehoboth Canal. (Photo by: Nick Roth)
A City of Lewes truck plows Pilottown Road. (Photo by: Nick Roth)
The Great Marsh was very picturesque following the latest winter storm. (Photo by: Nick Roth)
Ducks were unfazed by the snow and cold water as they took a St. Patrick's Day swim near Roosevelt Inlet. (Photo by: Nick Roth)
After this harsh winter, all Delawareans are now experts in snow removal. (Photo by: Nick Roth)
The captain stands watch at the Wharf in Lewes. (Photo by: Nick Roth)
The latest winter storm dumped 6 to 10 inches on the Cape Region. (Photo by: Nick Roth)
Warmer weather should soon be on the way and fishermen will be lined up for bait. (Photo by: Nick Roth)
Spring may be only three days away, but it certainly doesn't look like it in the Cape Region. (Photo by: Nick Roth)
The latest snow made for beautiful scenes. (Photo by: Nick Roth)
Early Monday morning City of Rehoboth Beach workers are busy clearing downtown sidewalks. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
City of Rehoboth Beach crews used snow blowers as well as shovels to clear off sidewalks and the area around the Bandstand. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
The Hopkins' farm barn near Lewes is covered with wind-driven snow. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
This most recent hit from winter will be remembered as the St. Patrick's Day snow. This Lewes resident reminds people of the holiday by flying an Irish flag. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
Getting around streets early Monday was not easy, especially on a bicycle as this rider is doing in Rehoboth Beach. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
The area around Silver Lake in Rehoboth Beach is converted into a winter wonderland whenever it snows. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
Snow clings to this old barn and tractor on a Cape Region farm. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
In stark contrast from the weekend, snow and a cold north wind combine to make the coast a place to avoid. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
Wet snow creates odd shapes on newspaper boxes in front of Ibach's Candy by the Sea store in Rehoboth Beach. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
The statue of John Milton on Mulberry Street was wrapped majestically in a cloak of snow after the the storm went through the town of Milton. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Curtis Bellman removes the snow from the drive of Dogfish Head brewery in Milton. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Megan Busche,7, and Kaitlyn Morris,5, slide down the hill on Mulberry Street in Milton. Schools were closed on Monday, March 17 due to the snow. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
The Milton Memorial park was silent after the snowfall. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Snow covered Milton Memorial Park where the Milton Clipper Express is safely tucked away in it's terminal. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Lynn Brittingham clears the walkway in front of her house on Union Street in Milton. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
A waterway off Cave Neck Road in Milton right after the snowfall displays nature's beauty. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Workers clear ther snow from the Mulberry Street sidewalk and dump it into Wagamon's Pond. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
Cole Quillen,12,takes a nose dive snow surfing the hill on Mulberry Street in Milton. (Photo by: Dan Cook)
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