Remembering the blizzard 17 years ago today

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– The weather was just beautiful Tuesday, finally feeling like spring. But that wasn’t the case on this day seventeen years ago.

It all started on a day just like Tuesday. Mild temps, sunshine, and spring fever in the air.  But no, it was no April Fools joke when Connecticut woke up on April 1st 17 years back with almost 2 feet of snow.

The day on March 30th was great! High temperatures in the 60s, lots of sun but as all New Englanders are familiar with, the weather can change at the drop of a hat!

March 31st started off with heavy rain and temperatures near 50. As a cut off low pressure system drastically increased in intensity, it sucked in cold air quickly dropping temperatures across the state.

Rain changed to a wind drive, heavy wet snow on the 31st of March leading to blizzard conditions and winds that gusted to tropical storm force. This rare spring blizzard left over 700,000 people without power in New England, 85,000 of which were in Connecticut.

1997 April Blizzard

Winds were so strong with this storm that in Boston Harbor, the tip of one of the masts of the USS Constitution (“Old Ironsides”) was sheared off completely.

What the population of Connecticut woke up to on April 1st was truly no April Fool’s Joke. Statewide, we all saw snow, but some of the totals were staggering.

Putnam and Norfolk woke up with 21 inches of snow, Avon got 14 inches but impressive snowfall totals made their way farther south as well. Danbury received just over a foot, New Canaan saw 15 inches, and even New Haven managed to accumulate 6 inches from this storm.

While snow this late in the season is uncommon, Monday morning’s snow is a reminder than old man winter still has some fight left in him! For more information on this historic late season snowfall, head over to

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