Share

In One Image, This Facebook Photo Shows the Fury of a Brutal Winter

By Sean Breslin
Published: March 14, 2014

Amanda Hubbard/Facebook

Amanda Hubbard told The Weather Channel her car was totaled by a massive sheet of ice and snow that fell off the roof of her apartment building in Winsted, Conn.

Amanda Hubbard felt the crush of a long, brutal winter when a huge chunk of ice and snow fell off her apartment building's roof and obliterated her car parked on a Winsted, Conn. street.

She posted the above photo to The Weather Channel's Facebook page, stating that she watched in horror as a season's worth of snow and ice slid off the roof and totaled her car parked on the street below.

"It's worth the cost to clear roofs!" she said. "This could have been much worse than just a totaled car!"

(MORE: See How Much of the Snow Season Is Left for Your Town)

During a relentless winter, keeping a roof clear can be a losing battle for residents in the North. Still, it becomes a necessary evil as the weight of snow and ice mounts on top of homes and businesses.

According to Dr. Greg Forbes, severe weather expert for The Weather Channel, since a cubic foot of water weighs 62.4 pounds, a foot of snow with a 10:1 snow-to-water ratio sitting on a 1,000-square-foot roof weighs 6,240 pounds.

Then, accumulated snow and ice can be made even heavier by other factors as the winter progresses.

"A frequent winter problem are ice dams. These form when heat from a home, apartment or condo's ceiling escapes into a poorly-insulated attic, melting snow in the upper reaches of the roof," said weather.com senior meteorologist Jon Erdman. "Lower sections of the roof don't receive as much heat from the attic, thus the meltwater flowing downhill refreezes into a block of ice near the gutters. As temperatures warm, more meltwater backs up behind the ice dam, adding pressure to the dam until it finally breaks free."

(WATCH: See How This House Stays Attached to the Side of a Mountain)

To keep from experiencing a similar situation as Hubbard, keep your roof clear of snow and ice all winter, or hire a crew to clean it off before the spring thaw loosens large chunks. Also, ceilings should be sealed and insulated to ensure heat isn't escaping and creating these ice dams.

Most of all, be observant while outdoors and mindful of where you park your car, because we could see this scene in the weeks ahead as we inch toward spring.

MORE: Winter Storm Vulcan Socks the North

Bob Landon blows snow from a sidewalk in the South End neighborhood on Thursday, March 13, 2014, in Albany, N.Y. Bitter cold temperatures return after a winter storm dumped up to six inches of snow and ice on the Capital Region. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)


Featured Blogs

Invest 95L Drenches Florida’s West Coast; Super Typhoon Soudelor Threatens Taiwan

By Dr. Jeff Masters
August 3, 2015

Already reeling from days of heavy rain, the Florida coastline from Tampa to the Big Bend area got an unwelcome visitor on Sunday night in the form of Invest 95L, which has brought more torrential rain to the area. Meanwhile, Guillermo has weakened to a tropical storm as it continues on a trajectory toward Hawaii, and Super Typhoon Soudelor poses a serious threat to Taiwan later this week. The South Pacific is also boasting what may be its first tropical cyclone on record for the month of July.

Pacific Northwest on Track for Warmest Summer on Record

By Christopher C. Burt
August 1, 2015

Another heat wave has engulfed much of the U.S. Pacific Northwest the past few days with Seattle, Washington now having observed twelve 90°+ temperatures so far this summer, an all-time record (9 such days in 1958 was the previous) and also July has been their warmest month ever observed. For some of the cities in the Northwest this has been the warmest June-July period ever measured and, barring a very cool August, will end up being the warmest climatological summer on record (June-August). Here are some details.

PWS Service Interruption Update

By Shaun Tanner
June 16, 2015

The development team here at Weather Underground has been hard at work producing a new homepage! Please take a look at the sneak peek and tell us what you think!

Meteorological images of the year - 2014

By Stu Ostro
December 30, 2014

My 9th annual edition.

2013-14 - An Interesting Winter From A to Z

By Tom Niziol
May 15, 2014

It was a very interesting winter across a good part of the nation from the Rockies through the Plains to the Northeast. Let's break down the most significant winter storms on a month by month basis.

What the 5th IPCC Assessment Doesn't Include

By Angela Fritz
September 27, 2013

Melting permafrost has the potential to release an additional 1.5 trillion tons of carbon into the atmosphere, and could increase our global average temperature by 1.5°F in addition to our day-to-day human emissions. However, this effect is not included in the IPCC report issued Friday morning, which means the estimates of how Earth's climate will change are likely on the conservative side.