Snowmageddon storm clobbers the Mid-Atlantic with 2 - 3 feet of snow

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 11:08 PM GMT on February 06, 2010

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It's a very white world in the Mid-Atlantic today, where the historic blizzard of 2010 has buried residents under a record-breaking two to three feet of snow. The storm, which President Obama referred to as "Snowmageddon" in a speech before the Democratic National Committee winter meeting, set the all-time record for heaviest snowfall in Delaware history, thanks to the 26.5" that fell in Wilmington (old state record: 25" in the President's Day storm of 2003). "Snowmageddon" dumped the second heaviest at Philadelphia 28.5"), second heaviest at Atlantic City (18.2"), third heaviest at Baltimore (24.8"), and the 4th heaviest at Washington D.C. (17.8"). Several locations in Maryland have seen over three feet of snow, with the northern Washington D.C. suburb of Colesville receiving 40", and the southern Baltimore suburb of Elkridge receiving 38.3". While the blizzard was not an exceptionally strong storm--the central pressure was a rather unimpressive 986 mb at the height of the blizzard, at 9am EST Saturday--it was an exceptionally wet storm. The melted equivalent precipitation for the blizzard exceeded three inches along its core snow belt. That's an phenomenal amount of moisture for a winter storm. The blizzard formed a very unstable region aloft where thunderstorms were able to build, and there were many reports of thundersnow during the height of the storm. These embedded thunderstorms were able to generate very heavy snow bursts of 2 - 3 inches per hour.

A new storm expected to affect the area Tuesday may add to the immense pile of snow on the ground, though the precipitation may partially fall as rain. With only a slow warm up in store for the mid-Atlantic over the next ten days, the snow will stick around for a while. This is a good thing, since a sudden thaw or heavy rain event could generate considerable flooding, if the three inches of precipitation locked in the snow is suddenly released.

Today's blizzard is the second major snowstorm of 16+ inches to affect the Washington D.C./Baltimore region this winter--the other being the 16.4" storm of December 19 - 20. According to the National Climatic Data Center, the expected return period in the Washington D.C./Baltimore region for snowstorms with more than 16 inches of snow is about once every 25 years. Thus, a one-two punch of two major Mid-Atlantic Nor'easters with 16+ inches of snow in one winter is something that should happen only once every 625 years. Such an event has not happened since the beginning of the historical record in 1870. The numbers are even more impressive for Philadelphia, which has had two snowstorms exceeding 23" this winter. According to the National Climatic Data Center, the return period for a 22+ inch snow storm is once every 100 years--and we've had two 100-year snow storms in Philadelphia this winter. That should happen only once every 10,000 years, in today's climate. Of course, the last ice age was just ending around 12,000 years ago, so this probability number has to be viewed with a some skepticism. Still, the two huge snowstorms this winter in the Mid-Atlantic are definitely a very rare event one should see only once every few hundred years.


Figure 1. "Snowmageddon", the Nor'easter of February 5 - 6, just off the Mid-Atlantic coast, at 12:01 pm EST Saturday 2/6/10. Image credit: NASA GOES project.

The top 10 snowstorms on record for Baltimore:

1. 28.2", Feb 15-18, 2003
2. 26.5", Jan 27-29, 1922
3. 24.8", Feb 5-6, 2010
4. 22.8", Feb 11-12, 1983
5. 22.5", Jan 7-8, 1996
6. 22.0", Mar 29-30, 1942
7. 21.4", Feb 11-14, 1899
8. 21.0", Dec 19-20, 2009
9. 20.0", Feb 18-19, 1979
10. 16.0", Mar 15-18, 1892

The top 10 snowstorms on record for Washington, D.C.:

1. 28.0", Jan 27-28, 1922
2. 20.5", Feb 11-13, 1899
3. 18.7", Feb 18-19, 1979
4. 17.8" Feb 5-6, 2010
5. 17.1", Jan 6-8, 1996
6. 16.7", Feb 15-18, 2003
7. 16.6", Feb 11-12, 1983
8. 16.4", Dec 19-20, 2009 (Snowpocalypse)
9. 14.4", Feb 15-16, 1958
10. 14.4", Feb 7, 1936

Top 9 snowstorms for Philadelphia:

1. 30.7", Jan 7-8, 1996
2. 28.5", Feb 5-6, 2010
3. 23.2", Dec 19-20, 2009
4. 21.3", Feb 11-12, 1983
5. 21.0", Dec 25-26, 1909
6. 19.4", Apr 3-4, 1915
7. 18.9", Feb 12-14, 1899
8. 16.7", Jan 22-24, 1935
9. 15.1", Feb 28-Mar 1, 1941

I'll have a new blog on Monday, when I'll discuss if record snow storms are inconsistent with a world experiencing warming. Have a great Super Bowl weekend, everyone!

Jeff Masters

cleaning up the cars (chills)
cleaning up the cars
Blizzard 2010 (TonyInDC)
Blizzard  2010
winter scenic (gingyb)
From the looks of the cars we may never dig out.
winter scenic
Hubby Tries to Clear the Snow. (Proserpina)
Hubby tried to use the snow-blower to clear the snow, unfortunately for him the snow is too deep for the snow-blower. The shovel and his arms will have to do the job.
Hubby Tries to Clear the Snow.

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I will admit the team who wanted it the most won. (Which, unfortunately was not the team I bet on.) Well played game, Saints.

And regarding the halftime show, some thought the Who sucked, but actually, I thought they were relatively entertaining, but I wasn't expecting much to begin with, so I was pleasantly surprised. I mean, c'mon. These are 65 year old men who have been doing this for 40+ years. Cut em some slack. How would your voice sound after that long?
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Quoting Patrap:
I tell yas Like i did here at the Superdome reopening in Sept 06,on MNF.

"We all New Orleanians tonight" ..

I gotta find a dress to wear at the Saints Parade here Tuesday Evening..

A Promise is a promise.

The New Orlean Saints first Superbowl, and they win by 14 points against a excellent football team like the Colts. this is one victory that will not be forgotten anytime soon. It is great that they won Pat.
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Quoting HadesGodWyvern:
Fiji Meteorological Services
Tropical Disturbance Advisory #2
TROPICAL CYCLONE PAT (09F)
12:00 PM FST February 8 2010
======================================

A TROPICAL CYCLONE GALE WARNING IS NOW IN FORCE FOR SUWARROW,MANIHIKI AND RAKAHANGA

At 0:00 AM UTC, Tropical Cyclone Pat (995 hPa) located at 11.4S 161.4W has 10 minute sustained winds of 40 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving southeast at 10 knots. Position FAIR based on GOES visible/enhanced infrared radar imagery with animation.

Gale Force Winds
Now this is intresting
Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 11 Comments: 2032
More and more conservatives call for action on clean energy bill and to prevent more climate shifts.

And the military aswell. I think what currently see from sceptics are the last affords to confuse the public - and to further waste time and risc future generations.


The Pentagon? A Liberal Hotbed?
This week, the Pentagon called climate change a threat to national security that "may spark or exacerbate future conflicts." The assessment was part of the Pentagon's official review of military risks, and labeled global warming "an accelerant of instability."

With this report, the Pentagon has put global warming on the geopolitical map. It has also given a briefing that even skeptical senators -- especially those on the Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees -- can't ignore.

Members of the Tea Party who support strong defense but deny the existence of climate change will also have a hard time ignoring this one.

Remember, these are not fleece-clad environmentalists telling you that global warming is a security threat. These are the men and women in military uniform, the ones whose lives are on the line when danger erupts.

It is their job to anticipate future risks and to protect our servicemen and women. We can't doubt their motives on this: they are trying to keep our country safe.

And in order to do that job, they have access to information that you and I don't. In addition to publicly available scientific evidence, they see confidential intelligence data. And in the new Quadrennial Defense Review, Pentagon officials wrote:

"Assessments conducted by the intelligence community indicate that climate change could have significant geopolitical impacts around the world, contributing to poverty, environmental degradation, and the further weakening of fragile governments."

Personally, I find this report downright alarming. I am not a soldier. I am one of the lucky ones who has never had to pick up a gun to protect my country.

But I am an American who has experienced the terror that gets exported from fragile governments and unstable regions. I was on Capitol Hill on 9/11, and evacuating the building as fighter jets flew overhead was the most frightening thing I have ever done. My husband and I lived down the street from the Pentagon and for weeks, we could smell the smoke from the smoldering plane crash.

I would never compare these experiences to the dangers our servicemen and women face every day in Iraq and Afghanistan, but they certainly brought home the concept of "security risk." If climate change is now in this category and we have the power to stop it, how can we sit back and put more lives at risk?

For the risk is clearly growing. Security analysts have long recognized that terrorism spreads in nations crippled by poverty. Climate change is going to be a poverty multiplier -- like we didn't already have enough. It will cause devastating droughts in already overtaxed regions, crop failures in marginal lands, and mass migrations through unstable nations.

People can do stupid things when they are hungry, scared, and desperate. And while those unstable regions might seem far away now, 9/11 taught us how quickly they can be brought to our shores.

This is what our servicemen and women are fighting to prevent. We can help them by passing a clean energy and climate bill that will defuse the threat of global warming.

The veterans at Operation Free see the power of this bill to secure our nation. Operation Free was founded by young veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. They have seen firsthand the dangers of extremism, and they believe that stopping global warming and ending our dependence of foreign oil are powerful tools for combating it.

I hope senators will listen to these veterans and to the many military voices being raised in support of a clean energy and climate bill.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/heather-taylormiesle/the-pentagon-a-liberal-ho_b_449026.html
Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 11 Comments: 2032
624. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Fiji Meteorological Services
Tropical Disturbance Advisory #2
TROPICAL CYCLONE PAT (09F)
12:00 PM FST February 8 2010
======================================

A TROPICAL CYCLONE GALE WARNING IS NOW IN FORCE FOR SUWARROW,MANIHIKI AND RAKAHANGA

At 0:00 AM UTC, Tropical Cyclone Pat (995 hPa) located at 11.4S 161.4W has 10 minute sustained winds of 40 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving southeast at 10 knots. Position FAIR based on GOES visible/enhanced infrared radar imagery with animation.

Gale Force Winds
===============
120 NM of the center in sectors from northeast through southeast to southwest and within 60 NM elsewhere

Convection remains persistent in the last 6-12 hours. Overall organization is good. Outflow remains good. TC PAT lies in a diffluent region aloft in a low sheared environment.

Dvorak analysis based on 0.6 wrap on LOG 10 spiral yielding DT 3.0, PT=3.0, MET=2.5. FT based on DT.

Dvorak Intensity:

The system is currently steered by northwest deep layer mean flow into area of decreasing shear. Most global models generally agree on a southeast movement and further intensification before gradual turning southward.

Forecast and Intensity
======================
12 HRS: 13.1S 159.7W - 40 knots (CAT 1)
24 HRS: 14.2S 158.5W - 45 knots (CAT 1)
48 HRS: 16.9S 157.3W - 55 knots (CAT 2)

The next Tropical Disturbance Advisory on TC PAT will be issued at around 08:30 AM UTC..
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Quoting Chicklit:
Saints win with 14 point victory.
Who were awesome tho definitely retro!


Who were awesome?
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Saints win with 14 point victory.
Who were awesome tho definitely retro!
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I think Matt is out of town...and I am surprised no one from Portlight even posted their link for the Super Bowl prediction contest. Here is the link for those who participated and thank you. Portlight
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----
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Quoting Patrap:
I tell yas Like i did here at the Superdome reopening in Sept 06,on MNF.

"We all New Orleanians tonight" ..

I gotta find a dress to wear at the Saints Parade here Tuesday Evening..

A Promise is a promise.



Photos, my brother, we need photos!

Congratulations, Patrick, you and all New Orleanians have earned this for all your years of patience...enjoy the glory!
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I'm a Panthers fan, but in Saints vs. Colts, definitely was pulling for the Saints. Love Nawlins and the folks there. Congrats to all my proud Cajun friends! (Yes, that is still politically correct, according to them.)

That said, we have gotten more snow this year since anyone can remember... the older folks talk about blizzards and snowfall back in the 1920's and even are producing family records of the 1800's. One week in Dec of this past year had three days of -47 wind chill. I like it - I love the cold! - but every time someone brings up "climate change", I have to snicker audibly. There seems to be a lot of hemming and hawing and backtracking since the 'global warming' hysteria changed to 'climate change'. I guess the only way to quieten the peak-to-peak dancing, bring folks back to earth, and develop realistic ways to survive whatever happens, is to get them to admit that humans have very little to do with the "Mini-Ice Age" or Maunder Minimum of the past, or the changes of the future. But since that will never happen (power-hungry people just can't let it go; they have to be RIGHT no matter what the cost -to others) we'll have to listen to the excuses and attempts at explanations... and spend double to heat our homes next year. Some people would insist even as their hands froze to their steering wheels - in June. I look forward to the ongoing endless insistence... NOT.

It's been lightly snowing off and on for 4 days here... Sigh. So lovely, like quiet kisses from the gods.
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Quoting PcolaDan:


We were hoping for a costume malfunction to make it memorable. Someone here renamed them "The Was". Think - bad Karaoke.

oh no! I get enough of that at work
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Quoting AussieStorm:
I caught a bit of the game but didn't see the end, Glad the Saints won. What did everyone think of the HT show?


We were hoping for a costume malfunction to make it memorable. Someone here renamed them "The Was". Think - bad Karaoke.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


I was busy during half time. Who performed?
the who was
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Quoting AussieStorm:
I caught a bit of the game but didn't see the end, Glad the Saints won. What did everyone think of the HT show?


I was busy during half time. Who performed?
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I caught a bit of the game but didn't see the end, Glad the Saints won. What did everyone think of the HT show?
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15935
Never disagree with the Greyhounds!

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611. xcool
i'm so happy we made itttt
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And one heck of a game too. We've had some great ones the past few years after a stretch of snoozers.

Gotta love it.
Member Since: September 9, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 3414
Congrats Pat and all Saints fans.
Member Since: September 9, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 3414
608. BtnTx
spare us please no photos!
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I tell yas Like i did here at the Superdome reopening in Sept 06,on MNF.

"We all New Orleanians tonight" ..

I gotta find a dress to wear at the Saints Parade here Tuesday Evening..

A Promise is a promise.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127807
Patrap you and New Orleans are the man.
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Quoting swampliliy:
Congrats Saints! Great game :))


Who's on first now...the Saints!!!!
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Congrats Saints! Great game :))
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WOWSA..itsa wild Uptown NOLA right now..

The Parade is Tuesday at 5pm.!

Who Dat?

We Dat.

Super Bowl 44 Champions

Saints Finished strong indeed.

Bring it on Home.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127807
CANDELAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA; GANAMOS, GO SAINTS!!!!!! CANDELAAAAAAAAAAAA, :).
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Aww I wanted the colts to win.

We're now at T-3 hours and HOLDING for the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour in 6 hours, 18 minutes.
i wanted the best playing team to win and i guess they are the best of the best
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Aww I wanted the colts to win.

We're now at T-3 hours and HOLDING for the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour in 6 hours, 18 minutes.
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So cool when the saints scored 31. Dman i missed the first parts ...
Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 11 Comments: 2032
Quoting BtnTx:
Saints 31 Colts 17 FINAL


I posted it first! Trusty old Wikipedia. :P
Member Since: August 30, 2008 Posts: 8 Comments: 2835
597. BtnTx
Awesome Game!
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great game
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and the saints go marching in
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WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!!
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the Saints won
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Neat game!
Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 11 Comments: 2032
590. BtnTx
Saints 31 Colts 17 FINAL
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Let's put up that Portlight link so we can do our thing!
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Incomplete, the Saints gonna do it ;)
Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 11 Comments: 2032
Saints 31; Colts 17.
Member Since: August 30, 2008 Posts: 8 Comments: 2835
saints 31 colts 17

congrats super bowl champs
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classic
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play of the game
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...dat?!?!?!?!?!
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581. BtnTx
Thanks Peyton for that pass Go Saints!
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Who...
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TOUCH DOWN NEW ORLEANS
Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 11 Comments: 2032

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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