(2013-02-09 to 2013-02-11)
A massive blizzard hit the Northeast February 9–11, 2013 bringing more than 2.5 feet of snow to some areas, which left thousands of people without power and stranded countless airline passengers. This blizzard rated 3 out of 5 on the Regional Snowfall Index (RSI) scale according to preliminary observations through 7:00 AM Sunday. While the area impacted by this storm was less than many other major storms, the heaviest snowfall landed in more densely populated areas, making it a “major “storm in the RSI categories. Over 49,000 people across 192 square miles saw 30 inches of snow or more as a result of this storm.
(2011-02-01 to 2011-02-03)
This powerful storm affected four regions and was a Cat 5 for the Ohio Valley Region and a Cat 3 for the Southern Region. The storm dropped snow from as far south as Ohio Valley Texas through New England. The heaviest snow fell in a line from Oklahoma City to Chicago where almost two feet of snow fell. The Chicago area experienced near record snowfall and reported thunder snow during the storm. The heavy snow combined with very strong winds to produce blizzard conditions across much of the Ohio Valley U.S. Areas in New England received over a foot of snow including Boston where 13 inches fell. This powerful storm caused over 1 billion dollars in damage and brought travel to a standstill throughout the Midwest and New England.
(2011-01-09 to 2011-01-13)
This very rare storm brought significant snow to parts of Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and South Carolina before it turned up the coast and began impacting the Northeast. The storm really had two features associated with it, one in the south and one over the midwest. They eventually merged off the New England coast and developed into a powerful Nor’easter that brought heavy snow to New England. Cities in the south were ill prepared for the snow due to the rarity of the event. This caused the widespread closure of roads, schools, and buisnesses. The city of Atlanta only had eight plows working diligently to clear the cities streets but there was no way for them to keep up, making many city roads impassable for days. This powerful and rare storm was a Cat 2 in the Northeast, Southeast, and West North Central regions. It was a Cat 1 in the Ohio Valley, Upper Midwest, and Southern Regions.
(2010-12-24 to 2010-12-28)
This storm brought snow from the northern plains down through the south and then up through the Northeast. It was a Cat 3 for the Southeast Region and a Cat 2 for the Northeast Region. The storm brought heavy snow from the mountains of North Carolina through the I-95 corridor. The storm caused six states to declare States of Emergency. The snow accompanied by severe winds caused wide spread power outages in New England and caused a ski lift to collapse in Maine. Eastern New Jersey and New York City took the brunt of the storm where over 20 inches fell in many locations. The snow became such a problem for New York City that the roads were impassable for many days bringing the trash collection service to a grinding halt. It would take weeks after the storm for New York City’s waste management team to finally restore normal trash collection.
(2007-02-11 to 2007-02-16)
This blizzard was a Cat 3 in the Northeast Region, a Cat 2 in the Ohio Valley Region, and a Cat 1 in the Northern Rockies and Plains Region. It brought heavy snow from Illinois to Maine. Maine and Pennsylvania were forced to declare states of emergency and the governor of New York called the National Guard in to assist with snow removal. In the Northeast the storm spared the urban corridor but more interior regions including the Appalachians and the Adirondacks felt the brunt of the storm.
(2005-01-21 to 2005-01-24)
This blizzard was a Cat 2 in both the Upper Midwest and the Northeast Regions as well as a Cat 1 in the Ohio Valley Region. Over six inches of snow fell from eastern Minnesota to Boston, MA where over 22 inches was reported. In eastern Massachusetts strong winds and amazing snowfall rates of up to 7 inches in 75 minutes combined to produce whiteout conditions. Six foot drifts were reported in parts of Massachusetts and many cities in the Northeast were completely shutdown. (http://www.crh.noaa.gov/mkx/?n=biggestsnowstorms-us)
(2003-02-14 to 2003-02-18)
A Cat 4 in the Northeast Region, a Cat 3 in the Ohio Valley Region, a Cat 2 in the Southeast Region and a Cat 1 in the Upper Midwest Region make this one of the most memorable storms on record. The storm dropped a swath over 6 inches from southern Iowa through Massachusetts. Portions of the central Appalachians were hit the hardest where over 40 inches fell in parts of West Virginia and central Pennsylvania. The urban corridor also felt the brunt of the storm with 27.6 inches in Boston, 19.8 in Central Park, 20.8 in Philadelphia, 28.2 in Baltimore and 16.7 in Washington D.C. This storm broke numerous snowfall records and forced travel to shutdown throughout the northeast. (Kocin and Uccellini)
(1996-01-06 to 1996-01-09)
This storm was a Cat 5 in three regions; the Southeast, the Ohio Valley, and the Northeast. It is one of the worst storms ever witnessed in the urban corridor and rivals the Superstorm of 93 for its crippling snowfall. The slow moving nature of this storm allowed snow to pile up throughout the urban corridor. Over 20 inches of snow fell in a swath from central Virginia to southwestern Massachusetts. This included major cities like New York City, Washington DC, Baltimore, and Providence. A large area of over 30 inches fell within this swath which included Philadelphia where 30.7 inches fell. The largest report came from Big Meadows, VA where 47 inches buried the town. The huge amount of snow and the enormous area affected made clean up efforts very slow leaving the urban corridor paralyzed for a week. The storm is estimated to have caused 3 billion dollars in damage and a 154 fatalities. (Kocin and Uccellini)
(1993-03-12 to 1993-03-15)
Registering as a Cat 5 storm for the Northeast, Southeast and Ohio Valley Regions, this is one of the most devastating storms of the 20th century. It wrecked havoc on the eastern third of the country with record snowfall and deadly tornadoes. It covered one of the largest areas ever recorded in snow affecting over 100 million people and causing billions of dollars in damage. The heaviest snow fell from the southern Appalachians to the Canadian border with some locations reporting over 40 inches. Along the eastern seaboard the totals ranged from 6 to 15 inches. The greatest snow report came from Mt. Leconte in Smoky Mountain National Park, TN where 5 feet of snow buried the mountain. In Syracuse, NY, 35.4 inches fell in 24 hours setting the all time 24hour snowfall record. The storm is attributed with the largest interruption of air travel due to weather in the United States. In Florida the storm packed hurricane conditions with a massive storm surge that swept houses out to sea and produced over 27 tornadoes. (Kocin and Uccellini)
( 1983-02-10 to 1983-02-13)
This storm set 24-hr snowfall records across Pennsylvania and Connecticut including Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Allentown and Hartford. Northern Virginia, western Maryland and the pan-handle of West Virginia felt the brunt of the storm with accumulations of over 30 inches. Heavy snow blanketed the urban corridor and snow was reported from the mountains of western North Carolina all the way through southern Maine. There was an outbreak of thunderstorms imbedded in the storm which helped fuel the extremely high snowfall rates of 2 to 5 inches an hour observed from Washington DC to New York City. The storm was a Cat 4 for the Southeast Region, a Cat 3 for the Northeast Region and a Cat 2 for the Ohio Valley Region. (Kocin and Uccellini)
(1979-02-17 to 1979-02-20)
This storm shutdown Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City with over a foot of snow. Heavy snow blanketed the mid-Atlantic from North Carolina to southern New York. Dover, DE reported 25 inches and Baltimore, MD received 20 inches. Washington D.C. wasn’t far behind with almost 19 inches and even Richmond, VA reported 11 inches of snow. This storm registered as a Cat 4 for the Southeast Region and a Cat 1 in the Northeast and Ohio Valley Regions. (Kocin and Uccellini)
(1978-02-04 to 1978-02-08)
This blizzard was a Cat 4 for the Northeast Region that packed hurricane force winds, record breaking snowfall and white out conditions. Heavy snow fell from northeastern Maryland into Maine. Record snowfall smothered Long Island, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. A small portion of Rhode Island reported over 50 inches of snow and many schools and businesses across the area were closed for over a week. (Kocin and Uccellini)
(1969-12-25 to 1969-12-29)
This storm spared the eastern seaboard where heavy snow changed over to rain greatly reducing the snow accumulations. But for more inland locations, like western and northern New York, this is one of the biggest storms on record. Heavy snow fell from the mountains of western North Carolina into interior New England where locations received over 40 inches making this storm a Cat 4 for the Northeast Region and a Cat 2 for the Southeast Region. Parts of central New England also experienced a severe ice storm after warmer air was drawn inland making this storm even worse. (Kocin and Uccellini)
(1966-01-28 to 1966-02-01)
This blizzard brought a large area of heavy snow from central Arkansas all the way up through Maine registering as a Cat 4 in the Northeast Region, a Cat 3 in the Southeast Region, and a Cat 1 in the South and Ohio Valley Regions. The hardest hit areas were where “lake- effect” combined with the storm to produce record snowfall accumulations. The eastern and southern shores of Lake Ontario felt the brunt of the storm with accumulations ranging from 39 inches in Syracuse up to 100 inches next to the lake. This storm also brought strong winds in excess of 50 mph causing widespread blizzard conditions. (Kocin and Uccellini)
The Kennedy Inaugural Snowstorm
(1961-01-18 to 1961-01-21)
This storm dropped over 10 inches of snow over a large area from central West Virginia all the way to southeastern New Hampshire. Over 20 inches was reported in a narrow band from central Pennsylvania through New Jersey and into southeastern New York. Parts of Connecticut reported over 20 inches and another band of over 20 inches fell from northern Massachusetts through extreme southern New Hampshire. This storm was a Cat 2 for the Northeast Region and a Cat 1 in the Southeast Region. (Kocin and Uccellini)
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The Great Appalachian Storm of 1950
(1950-11-22 to 1950-11-30)
To this day, this is the greatest snowstorm the Central Appalachians have ever experienced. Over 30 inches of snow was reported in a band from Erie, PA southward into the heart of West Virginia, where there were several reports of at least 50 inches. The greatest snowfall amount was reported in Coburn Creek, WV where an amazing 62 inches of snow was reported. This storm also packed extreme winds and cold, Newark; NJ reported a wind gust of 108 mph and on top of Mt. Mitchell in North Carolina, the mercury fell to -26F and just 3F in Atlanta, GA. This powerful storm was a Cat 5 in the Ohio Valley Region, a Cat 4 in the Northeast Region and a Cat 1 in the Southeast Region. (Kocin and Uccellini)
The Blizzard of 1947 “The Big Snow”
(1947-12-25 to 1947-12-27)
This Cat 3 storm for the Northeast Region and Cat 1 for the Southeast Region blanketed New York with snow. Central Park reported 26.4 inches in just 24 hrs and the southeastern part of the state and northern New Jersey reported as much as 32 inches of snow. This storm was New York City’s greatest snowfall until it was finally surpassed in 2006. The mayor enforced a 4-day ban on automobile travel in the city to help municipal workers clear the streets but even a week later, half of the cities roads remained impassable. (Kocin and Uccellini)
Valentines Day Storm of 1940
(1940-02-13 to 1940-02-15)
This powerful storm was a Cat 2 in the Northeast Region and a Cat 1 in the Ohio Valley Region. The storm covered most of Pennsylvania, southern New York, and Massachusetts with over a foot of snow. In Boston, the heavy snow and high winds combined to produce near blizzard conditions making the storm especially bad. (Kocin and Uccellini)
The Knickerbocker Storm
(1922-01-26 to 1922-01-30)
The Knickerbocker Storm dumped the heaviest snowfall ever recorded in Washington DC history and registered as a Cat 4 for the Southeast Region and a Cat 2 in the Northeast Region. The snow began at 4 pm, on the 27th and 16 hours later at 8 am on the 28th, 18 inches of snow had fallen. By 2 pm, 25 inches of snow had fallen and it had only been 22 hours since the first flakes fell. Heavy snow continued to fall through the day and ended just before midnight. At around 9 pm, the roof of the Knickerbocker Theater collapsed under the weight of the snow crushing and killing around 100 of the 300 movie goers. Snow totals from this storm in the D.C. area ranged from around 24 to a staggering 38 inches. This storm brought snow from South Carolina all the way to southern Massachusetts. (Kocin and Uccellini)
BLIZZARD OF 1888
(1888-03-11 to 1888-03-12)
An unseasonable and devastating snowstorm struck from the Chesapeake Bay to Maine. The cities of Washington, Philadelphia, Boston and New York City were paralyzed. This incredible “Nor’easter” dumped 50 inches of snow in Connecticut and Massachusetts while New Jersey and the state of New York had 40 inches. Drifts of 40 to 50 feet high buried houses and trains. From Chesapeake Bay to Nantucket, 200 ships were sunk with 400 lives lost.
Information coutesy The National Climatic Data Center