How To Get Connecticut Snowfall Totals

Doppler Versus Snow

This time of year there’s a steady barrage of incoming messages looking for Connecticut snowfall totals. Some folks are curious. Others want to make sure their plow contractor isn’t overcharging, or they’re plow contractors who’d like to charge more!

The info isn’t easily obtained, especially for smaller towns. If you’re looking for Connecticut snowfall totals, here’s where I go.

The most complete source is the Connecticut Department of Transportation Weather Roundup. These are collected every two hours at DOT yards across Connecticut. Because of the methodology used the cumulative snowfall total is always more than what’s actually settled on the ground.

The National Weather Service splits Connecticut between three Weather Service Forecast Offices. That makes things more difficult. You’ll have to look at all three Public Information Statements to put the info together.

Shoreline counties: National Weather Service Forecast Office, Upton, NY.

Hartford, Tolland and Windham Counties: National Weather Service Forecast Office, Taunton, MA.

Litchfield County: National Weather Service Forecast Office, Albany, NY.

Snowfall and other weather data is often critical in accidents and contract disputes. For those more exacting cases when just numbers on paper (or a screen) aren’t enough I provide forensic meteorological services for attorneys and insurance companies.

We Went To Kent (Photos)

The more I get into photography the more I realize I can’t just run-and-gun and be happy with my shots!

Here’s the best baker’s dozen from today’s trip into the Litchfield Hills. Looking back my only regret was not taking a tripod! The more I get into photography the more I realize I can’t just run-and-gun and be happy with my shots!

Though the photos are right below this text, they’re viewed better larger. Here’s a link to the larger full screen slideshow on Flickr.

We Went To Kent

It rained for the first half hour of our trip. Helaine gave me the evil eye you give the weatherman when he takes you sightseeing on a rainy day.

On TV I’ve been telling everyone how poorly the fall foliage is doing. I based that on reports from trusted sources, but I wanted to see for myself and get some photos of whatever it is we’re getting. This afternoon Helaine and I hopped in the Subaru and headed north.

We really didn’t start with a specific destination. I barked, “Kent, Connecticut” at the Google Navigation applet built in to my new phone and let it figure out the rest. The trip was estimated a little under 1:30 without stops. We stopped!

As we drove the back roads that lead from Hamden to Bethany I began to think, “Why the hell are we going all the way to the Litchfield Hills? It’s pretty countrified here… and pretty pretty!”

It was a right on Route 69 to 42 to 63 then north on Route 8.

Route 8 north of Waterbury is Connecticut’s prettiest divided highway, right? South of Waterbury it’s easily Connecticut’s most treacherous! What the hell were they thinking when they built that snake through the Naugatuck Valley?

It rained for the first half hour of our trip. Helaine gave me the evil eye you give the weatherman when he takes you sightseeing on a rainy day.

I knew hoped it would clear up as the Sun began to get a little lower in the sky. These were instability showers and they needed warmth at ground level to get going.

We passed some farms. I thought about pulling over, but not until it was too late. The same with a few medium sized lakes.

We were driving parallel to a small river, so I took a right onto Town Hill Road in Warren… maybe… I’m not sure… and pulled to the shoulder.

While Helaine waited I walked into the woods and down to the river bank. If the river’s got a name it’s not obvious on the maps I’m looking at&#185. A few trees were bare. Most still had leaves–mostly green and yellow with big dark spots indicative of the weather related problems that have dulled the foliage.

I got some shots and got back in the car.

By this time we were getting pretty close to Kent. I needed to commit.

We could visit the Kissingers? Maybe Seth MacFarlane’s boyhood home? Paul Leka, the guy responsible for “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” is up the road in Sharon in the Colgate Mansion (Note to self: Write iconic hit song. Achieve financial security. Lather. Repeat.). Of course I don’t know any of them.

By this time we were seeing signs for Kent Falls.

We made a right into downtown Kent, drove past the tourists scouring the antique shops and headed toward the falls. I’d heard of them. Until today I’d never been.

The stream begins in the town of Warren, draining an area of six or seven square miles. It then flows west to the big fall where it plunges approximately 70 feet in a dramatic cascade. From here the stream descends in a series of lesser falls and cascades to the valley, where it enters the Housatonic River some 200 feet below the brink of the big fall only a quarter mile away. Much of the limestone over which the brook flows has been carved into interesting shapes including numerous potholes of all sizes.

Even without a fiery color show the Kent Falls is spectacular. I walked a slippery trail up the right side, past the “This Area Closed To The Public” sign to a flat ledge at the base of the first fall. Knowing my (dead)cat-like reflexes I moved slowly with every muscle tensed.

I started with single shots then decided to try some three shot clusters for HDR processing.

We continued north on Route 7 stopping briefly at a farmer’s field on the west side of the road. More HDR shots. Disappointing. I thought the vantage would be better.

Route 7 crosses the river as it continues northward toward Lakeville and the Berkshires. We stopped at the foot of the covered bridge that leads to West Cornwall.

By this time it was getting dark. HDR photography isn’t understanding of noisy pictures taken at high ISO settings nor the shake that comes from a slow shutter. I had a monopod which helps. Bringing my tripod would have been better. It is what it is.

All-in-all I hit the shutter 270 times. Many of those are duplicates or in the case of HDR sets triplicates. I’ll spend the rest of the evening editing them and post a few tomorrow.

I’m tired, sore and glad we went!

&#185 -In the comments Mike A. reveals it is Waramaug Brook AKA Sucker Brook. So now we know!

We’re Off To See The Daffies

It’s my understanding the daffodils were planted in 1941 by a husband and wife from New York who’d bought a home in this countrified piece of the Northwest Hills.

A few years ago I got a tip from my friend (and competitor) Bob Maxon. He knew I was into photography. What he didn’t know was whether I knew about the amazing daffodils in Litchfield County?

Uh, no.

Since Bob’s original email I’ve been back each year. Last year it was with my friend and photo buddy Steve. Today it was with Helaine and my parents who are visiting from Floria.

It’s my understanding the daffodils were planted in 1941 by a husband and wife from New York who’d bought a home in this countrified piece of the Northwest Hills. As far as I know the daffies grow wild now with little help.

My parents and Helaine were impressed. I’ll be back next year.

Return To Daffodil Hill

It is acre upon acre of daffodils growing wild and free. Four shots from that trip are now framed and hung in the eat-in portion of our kitchen.

geoff-photographer.jpgLast April as daffodils began to bloom Bob Maxon from Channel 30 posted a comment on the blog.

Geoff,

Have you ever been to “Daffodil Hill” in Litchfield County? With your love of photography, and a rag top, you should venture up there next weekend, as its still little early for the hills to be blooming. It is a breathtaking spot…if you want directions, drop me a line.

He said the magic word–“photography.” It’s more obsession than love. I asked for directions.

This weekend last year I drove up, fell in love and shot a few hundred photos at one of the most beautiful spots in Connecticut. I walked out of the car and looked at acre upon acre of daffodils growing wild and free. Four shots from that trip are now framed and hung in the eat-in portion of our kitchen.

I don’t know the full story, but in 1941 Virginia and Remy Morosani planted them “for all to enjoy.” It’s now run by the Laurel Ridge Foundation.

This year I asked my photo buddy Steve if he wanted to come along? We met on site late in the afternoon (his wife’s idea to get more dramatic lighting). The daffodils didn’t sem quite as fully in bloom as last year. Maybe that’s a product of our brutal winter?

Here’s how I know photography has become an obsession. I brought a backpack and a separate bag with my tripod! This was going to be a technical exercise for me.

It didn’t take more than a few minutes for the tripod to be unpacked with my camera placed on top. The tripod and camera were low enough I had to lay on my belly to focus and shoot. My idea was to get sharp foreground and fuzzy background, meaning a long lens (my 70-300mm at 300mm) and fast shutter speeds.

Much of the rest of the afternoon was spent executing this very specific game plan. I’m not sure if this is how photography is supposed to work? It’s only recently that I’ve been taking a large portion of my shots this way.

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time you know I feel photography is much more technical execution than artistry. I’m just following my own advice and, at least this time, I was happy with the results.

At one point a man walked by carrying a tiny dog. I asked if I could take a few shots? As I did a woman walked by with a little girl. The man asked if the girl wanted to pet the dog?

As the dog was put down on the ground the little girl began to giggle uncontrollably. I think my best shot of the afternoon was a candid, handheld, of the girl with the dog. i wish the lighting was better, but this was really on-the-fly.

I’m Wishing It Was Spring

I’ve been thinking about spring because with the re-do in the kitchen I have convinced Helaine to let me hang a few springtime photos from Daffodil Hill in Litchfield County.

As forecast (my favorite phrase) it’s a nasty Saturday. More clouds than sun. Scattered sprinkles. Windy and chilly. As glad as I am my forecast verified I’d rather have real spring.

I’ve been thinking about spring because with the re-do in the kitchen I have convinced Helaine to let me hang a few springtime photos from Daffodil Hill in Litchfield County. I have a ‘gallery’ upstairs, but this is a lot more visible. These will be 8x10s on the two walls bordering a large window.

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