Mid-Atlantic sets all-time snow records

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:15 PM GMT on February 11, 2010

Share this Blog
3
+

The second ferocious blizzard in a week to pound the Mid-Atlantic continues to intensify, but has now moved out to sea away from the coast. That's a very good thing, because with a central pressure of 969 mb, the storm is as intense as a Category 1 hurricane. The blizzard brought wind gusts as high as 51 mph at Massachusetts' Nantucket Island last night. The snow has pretty much ended over the Northeastern U.S., but the mighty blizzard dumped 1 - 2 feet of snow over much of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, with a peak snowfall of 27.5" recorded at Ortanna, Pennsylvania. When combined with the 1 - 2 feet of snow still on the ground from last weekend's blizzard, the snow depths in the Mid-Atlantic are reaching ridiculous proportions. This morning, Baltimore reported 35" of snow on the ground, which would break their previous all-time record of 30" on snow on the ground, set on February 13, 1899. The 19.8" that fell on Baltimore from the blizzard was that city's 10th greatest snowfall on record. Philadelphia's 15.8" was its ninth greatest snowfall. The winter of 2009 - 2010 now has three spots on the top ten all-time heaviest snowfall list for those cities. Record keeping began in the late 1800s, and I'm not aware of any major city in the U.S. that has that many record snowfalls in one winter. If there is, I want to hear about it! Washington D.C.'s 10.8" snowfall from the storm missed making its top ten list of heaviest snows, so that city has only two storms from the winter of 2009 - 2010 on the list. The snow blitz that the Mid-Atlantic has endured with the three record-setting Nor'easters of the 2009 - 2010 is truly a rare event that has no parallel in the historic record.


Figure 1. The Nor'easter of February, 11, 2010 in a infrared satellite image taken at 9:40 pm EST. Image credit: NASA GOES project.

Top 10 snowstorms on record for Philadelphia:

1. 30.7", Jan 7-8, 1996
2. 28.5", Feb 5-6, 2010 (Snowmageddon)
3. 23.2", Dec 19-20, 2009 (Snowpocalypse)
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. 15.8", Feb 10-11, 2010
10. 15.1", Feb 28-Mar 1, 1941

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 (Snowmageddon)
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 (Snowpocalypse)
9. 20.0", Feb 18-19, 1979
10. 19.5", Feb 10-11, 2010

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 (Snowmageddon)
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

Snowiest winter on record for Baltimore, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Atlantic City, and Wilmington
The snow from this latest blizzard have pushed snow totals for the 2009 - 2010 winter season to a new record for Baltimore, Washington D.C., Wilmington, Philadelphia, and Atlantic City. As of midnight last night, here were the snowfall numbers so far for the 2009 - 2010 winter, and the records they have broken:

Baltimore, MD, 79.9". Old record: 62.5", winter of 1995 - 1996.
Washington D.C. National Airport, 55.9". Old record: 54.4", winter of 1898 - 1899.
Washington Dulles Airport, VA, 75.0". Old record: 61.9", winter of 1995 - 1996.
Wilmington, DE, 66.7". Old record: 55.9", winter of 1995 - 1996.
Philadelphia, PA, 71.6". Old record: 65.5", winter of 1995 - 1996.
Atlantic City, NJ, 49.9". Current record: 46.9", winter of 1966 - 1967.

For comparison, the average snowfall amounts for a season for these cities ranges from 16 - 22". This winter's snowfall amounts are similar to what Anchorage, Alaska and Portland Maine typically receive (about 70"). All this comes with the end of winter still more than a month away--and more snow is likely to fall yet this winter. The latest runs of the GFS and ECMWF models show yet another Nor'easter hitting the D.C./Baltimore/Philadelphia region next Monday. However, next Monday's storm is likely to be much weaker than the last two Nor'easters, with perhaps 2 - 8 inches of snow falling. It is too early to be confident of this prediction, though, and it is possible that the storm will miss.

The extreme amounts of snow on the ground in the Mid-Atlantic will melt only slowly over the coming week, as temperatures are expected to climb only into the low to mid-thirties. That is a good thing, because a sudden thaw could create significant flooding problems. The latest long-range forecast from the GFS model predicts continued below-average temperatures for the mid-Atlantic region for at least the next week, with a possible significant thaw occurring the last week of February.

A new winter storm takes aim at the Deep South
A powerful and fast-moving low pressure system is developing over the Gulf of Mexico today, and will pull in a significant amount of Gulf moisture over the very cold air mass in place over the Deep South today and Friday. A band of moderate snow will develop over Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, bringing 4 - 6" of snow to the southern portions of those states. Florida's Panhandle will see mostly rain, but some snow is expected to mix in, with accumulations around an inch possible in the extreme northwest Panhandle near the Alabama border, away from shore. Among the major cities likely to get 2+ inches of snow are Mobile, Jackson, and Montgomery. The record heaviest snowfalls for those cities are 6", 11.7", and 11", respectively.

Snow avalanches in Afghanistan kill 172
The U.S. isn't the only part of the world with heavy snow problems this winter. Heavy snow in Afghanistan triggered avalanches Monday that killed at least 172 people traveling along the road over 12,700 foot high Salang Pass through the Hindu-Kush Mountains, according to media reports. The death toll makes this avalanche one of the ten deadliest in world history. The ten deadliest world avalanche disasters, as compiled using Scientific American and the book, Natural Disasters and How We Cope, are:

1) 218 B.C. Avalanches decimate Hannibal's army as it crosses the Alps with elephants. Twenty thousand soldiers and many elephants are lost.

2) 1970. The Huascaran Mountain, Peru avalanche of May 31, 1970. A magnitude 8.0 earthquake caused a huge chunk of snow-covered glacier to collapse and roar down the mountain, killing up to 20,000 people.

3) 1916. A series of avalanches during a WW I battle kills at least 10,000 Austrian and Italian soldiers over a 48-hour period. Many of these avalanches were triggered by artillery fire.

4) 1962. Huascaran Mountain, Peru avalanche of January 10, 1962. Avalanches from heavy snows killed up to 4,000.

5) 1618. Plurs, Switzerland: the Rodi avalanche buries the town of Plurs, claiming 2,427 victims. Note: since this avalanche occurred in August, it is likely that is was actually a rock avalanche, and therefore does not belong on this list. Thanks go to Randy Head for pointing out this error that has made it into many Internet locations.

6) 1951. A January avalanche in the Alps' The "Winter of Terror" kills 275.

7) 1991. Bingol, Turkey: an avalanche hits several towns, killing 255 people.

8) 1954. Vovarlberg disaster of January 12, 1954, killed 225 in the Austrian Alps. Nine hours later, a second avalanche killed 115 survivors and rescue workers.

9) 1979. Lahaul Valley, India. A series of avalanches bury the valley, leaving at least 200 victims .

10) 2010. Salang Pass, Afghanistan avalanche kills 166.

The worst avalanche in U.S. history is the Wellington, Washington avalanche of March 1, 1910, which killed 96 people on a train and at a train station.

Jeff Masters

Top Hat (Outdoorsgirl)
Top Hat
Maryland or Alaska?? (katscarb777)
The view coming up our driveway!My dog Cody walking up the driveway!
Maryland or Alaska??
Frosted Forest (CecileWNC)
Frosted Forest

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

Sign In or Register Sign In or Register

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 972 - 922

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23Blog Index

Quoting PensacolaDoug:
It's almost painful watching the line barely moving south right now.... Lol
It really is. What is really painful is when it disapears back to the N.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
It's almost painful watching the line barely moving south right now.... Lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
969. code1
Jay and Molino areas now reporting snow per WEAR 3.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
i bottomed out at 35.8
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
It looks like there is a bubble over Mobile County, keeping the snow away from us!! come on for CRYIN OUT LOUD!! Im not known for my patience! LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting FLPandhandleJG:
my temp was at 36.7 degree's and now its up to 37.3.. wth? stupid warm air lift.. grrr I really think allen strum's model is possessed or voodoo.. lol


Ours went up too in central GA.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Think SNOW!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting simonchickasaw:
I'm constantly taking pictures and youtube videos. I'll post them later. As of now the snow just switched back to rain and back to snow and back to rain/snow. IT NEEDS TO MAKE UP IT'S MIND. I WANT SNOW!!!
Its being a TEASE!!!
my temp was at 36.7 degree's and now its up to 37.3.. wth? stupid warm air lift.. grrr I really think allen strum's model is possessed or voodoo.. lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Looks like on the accuweather radar, that the snow line is starting to dip over the AL/FL line, in the NNW tip!
Quoting simonchickasaw:
It's snowing and raining at my house in Chickasaw,al


well, send it on down to the me!..I am just north of I-10 but work out by USA..thanks!..lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I'm constantly taking pictures and youtube videos. I'll post them later. As of now the snow just switched back to rain and back to snow and back to rain/snow. IT NEEDS TO MAKE UP IT'S MIND. I WANT SNOW!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
We need pictures of the Dallas and Florida snow.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
957. IKE
Looks like moderate snow now at Baton Rouge.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
956. IKE
Quoting simonchickasaw:
It's snowing and raining at my house in Chickasaw,al


Your are just WNW of Mobile...I see where you're at now.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting simonchickasaw:
It's snowing and raining at my house in Chickasaw,al
I live in Georgetown, so were about the same latitude.
954. IKE
I see it's snowing in Jackson,AL...which is north/NW of Mobile,AL...Andalusia has switched back to rain...

Schools are open in Walton county Florida today.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting stormsurge39:
I live in NW Mobile county and i can see snow mixed with rain! The snow line is only about 30 miles N! I hope it doesnt stop, wave and leave! That would be my luck! Watching this radar is torture! UGH GASP SHEESH------- HURRY UP! LOL

That's what it's doing here. Its stoping and waving. It should do that several times
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
It's snowing and raining at my house in Chickasaw,al
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good morning.

The snow is slowly making it's way here..I am beginning to wonder if it will ever get here..now I hear that TWC is here in Mobile - so, IF I don't get snow, it will be their fault!...grrrr
but since the snow hasn't made it's way here, I am off to work!..lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I live in NW Mobile county and i can see snow mixed with rain! The snow line is only about 30 miles N! I hope it doesnt stop, wave and leave! That would be my luck! Watching this radar is torture! UGH GASP SHEESH------- HURRY UP! LOL
Quoting alaina1085:
Snowing in Baton Rouge, LA


Yayy!! who dat!! lol ;)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 192 Comments: 59075
947. IKE
Moderate snow.....
Jackson, Mississippi (Airport)
Updated: 18 min 48 sec ago
Snow
32 °F

Snow Fog
Windchill: 24 °F
Humidity: 93%
Dew Point: 30 °F
Wind: 9 mph from the NNE
Pressure: 29.95 in (Falling)
Visibility: 0.5 miles
UV: 0 out of 16
Clouds:
Mostly Cloudy 800 ft
Overcast 1600 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Snow Depth: 1.0 in
Elevation: 344 ft
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
946. IKE
Quoting PensacolaDoug:
Sigh........


LOL....don't give up.....yet.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Snowing in Baton Rouge, LA
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
944. code1
I heard on one of the local channels that CNN even has a crew down here waiting to see. Sure is nice for the region to be posting about an event without fear though! Hope you up around 10 get your snow. Still won't believe it will happen on the coast until I see it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Sigh........
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting IKE:


It'll probably take until noon to get down here. I noticed the snow line is progressing east and south.


indeed.. they really want it to snow in Fl, b/c they never really have a snow cover in all 50 states at once lol.. they have a crew in mobile,ala and sayin they could c it change in a hour or so.. that theres been report of northern baldwin county of rain switching to snow..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Haitians need shelter ahead of storm season: Red Cross

Over a million Haitians will need emergency shelter ahead of the upcoming hurricane season, the International Red Cross says.

David Pappiat of the British Red Cross told a press conference in Montreal that around 1.2 million people are without shelter.

He estimates that 700 camps have been set up in Haiti's quake zone and that thousands are sleeping in the streets.

The Red Cross's current priority is to ready shelters for Haiti's hurricane season.

"Many of these people will be in settlements for years to come," said Mr Pappiat.

Haitian Red Cross president Michael Amedee Gedeon says the Red Cross wants to provide shelter that is not just temporary.

"We're trying to set up shelters that can withstand the coming rainy season, the hurricane season, and that can last three to five years," he said.

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has deployed some 600 people to help Haiti with relief efforts. They will also focus on providing water and sanitation, health services, and boosting the local community.

But the emergency, recovery, reconstruction and long-term development needed for survivors are "significant and bigger than any single organisation," the International Red Cross said in a statement.

Coordination with the United Nations, other humanitarian organisations, and governments "will be critical to the success of operations."

- AFP
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
940. unf97
Good morning everyone

It is a rainy, raw and chilly morning. Current temp at my home location 40.3 degrees. The GOM Low is deepening this morning, already 1002 mb at 12Z. Ike, you are correct in that a stronger Low pressure system will delay the changeover to snow. A warmer thermal layer is preventing the changeover to happen for areas with 50 miles of the coast currently. Inland more than 50 miles
Is where the air column and thermal profile is sufficent enough this morning to support snow. Late last night and early this morning as the precip initially developed with the isentropic lift, it passed thtougha very cool dry column at the surface, thus all the sleet. But, now the column for now has warmed, so the sleet has ended for most areas within 50 miles of the coast.

As the Low continues to deepen and move east approaching near Tampa Bay later this afternoon, colder air in the upper levels will wrap in behind the system as the day progresses. Interior areas of Southern MS, AL, and GA will see the accumulations in the 1-3 inch range, with some 4 inch totals in the heavier snow bands.

The rain/snow line will gradually move south and east as the Low pulls eastward, and the changeover probably wonlt happen until around late morning to noon over the interior FL panhandle areas to Mobile and finally to coastal regions by early afternoon. Snow acculations may reach an inch or so around Mobile and eastward to areas along and just north of I-10 in the interior FL panhandle. I think it will only be a rain/snow mix at the immediate coast with little acculation, maybe a coating at best.

The Low will move across the Central Fl peninsula rapidly this evening and emerge off into the Atlantic just east of Cape Canaveral. It also will be intensifying, and the winds will begin to increase, especially tonight. Wrap around moisture and colder air column will continue around the back side of the departing Low. Rain will gradually changeover to light snow over SE GA and likely, we will see rain/snow mix in the Jax area this evening just before the moisture ends and pulls out as the strenthening Low pressure moves farther out in the Atlantic. There may be accumulations up on a line from Valdosta to Waycross to Jesup GA and areas northward into SC.
I am tempted to take a hour or so drive up the road from here today to see the event.

Interesting weather day for sure to say the least. Many will see significant snowfall today well north of Interstate 10 especially. Ike, Pensacola Doug and all of the FL panhandle bloggers, you will see snow, but not likely the significant snows they will have just to the north and northwest of you.
Member Since: September 25, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1193
Colbert mocks Fox News for using snowstorm to deny global warming


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/11/colbert-rips-fox-news-for_n_458075.html
Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 11 Comments: 2060
938. IKE
Quoting FLPandhandleJG:


we r so close Ike, we didnt come this far now, to get so close lol.. we need to get it down to 34 or 33.. c'mon snow!


It'll probably take until noon to get down here. I noticed the snow line is progressing east and south.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting IKE:
Nowcast as of 6:49 am CST on February 12, 2010

Now
Moderate to heavy snow can be expected along and north of a line stretching from Wiggins Mississippi to just north of Mobile to Andalusia in Alabama through the remainder of this morning. Snow fall rates up to one inch per hour at times can be expected. This will likely produce total snowfall amounts of 3 to 5 inches County wide with locally higher amounts possible through noon. Some County officials have also reported some roads down to one Lane due to clearing of snow.


we r so close Ike, we didnt come this far now, to get so close lol.. we need to get it down to 34 or 33.. c'mon snow!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
If you have time watch the animals and feed birds.
Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 11 Comments: 2060
935. IKE
Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Airport)
Updated: 15 min 25 sec ago
Light Snow

34 F
Light Snow
Windchill: 31 F
Humidity: 92%
Dew Point: 32 F
Wind: 4 mph from the NNW
Pressure: 29.94 in (Rising)
Visibility: 2.0 miles
UV: 0 out of 16
Clouds:
Mostly Cloudy 1300 ft
Overcast 3000 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 69 ft


McComb, Mississippi (Airport)
Updated: 17 min 13 sec ago
Light Snow

32 F
Light Snow Mist
Windchill: 26 F
Humidity: 92%
Dew Point: 30 F
Wind: 6 mph from the North
Pressure: 29.93 in (Rising)
Visibility: 1.5 miles
UV: 0 out of 16
Clouds:
Mostly Cloudy 800 ft
Overcast 1200 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 410 ft
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
934. IKE
Nowcast as of 6:49 am CST on February 12, 2010

Now
Moderate to heavy snow can be expected along and north of a line stretching from Wiggins Mississippi to just north of Mobile to Andalusia in Alabama through the remainder of this morning. Snow fall rates up to one inch per hour at times can be expected. This will likely produce total snowfall amounts of 3 to 5 inches County wide with locally higher amounts possible through noon. Some County officials have also reported some roads down to one Lane due to clearing of snow.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting HurricaneSwirl:
916. Going to the south of us?


I hope not, that would be strange.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


there still calling for atleast 2inches for me in niceville, fl lol .. we will c! Im still keepin positive
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
931. IKE
I've had .59 inches of rain from this system at my house.

Down to 36.9 outside.

I see Opp,AL. getting it now too....

299/84 Bypass - Hub Brown Rd, Opp, Alabama (PWS)
Updated: 0 sec ago
Light Snow

34.3 °F
Light Snow Mist
Windchill: 34 °F
Humidity: 91%
Dew Point: 32 °F
Wind: 4.0 mph from the NNE
Wind Gust: 5.0 mph
Pressure: 29.91 in (Steady)
Visibility: 2.0 miles
UV: 0 out of 16
Clouds:
Overcast 3400 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 280 ft
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Opp, Al reporting light snow mist.. thats in southern alabama.. I had a feeling that somehow it will b lil warmer.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
926. IKE
So close I can taste it now. About 50 miles NNW of me....

Andalusia, Alabama (Airport)
Updated: 15 min 7 sec ago
Light Snow

35 °F
Light Snow Mist
Windchill: 32 °F
Humidity: 85%
Dew Point: 31 °F
Wind: 4 mph from the ENE
Pressure: 29.93 in (Steady)
Visibility: 2.0 miles
UV: 0 out of 16
Clouds:
Overcast 3400 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 308 ft
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Crucial point...
Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
916. Going to the south of us?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting IKE:

Here comes my snow! Dig south!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 972 - 922

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

JeffMasters's Recent Photos

Dunham Lake Sunset
Carrot Nose in Danger
Deep Snow in Brookline, MA
Sunset at Fort DeSoto