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

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 11:08 PM GMT en Febrero 06, 2010

Share this Blog
4
+

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.

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

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: 529 - 479

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15Blog Index

halftime
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
I can hear Pat now all the way in Florida (:


If he didn't throw a beer thru the TV
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I can hear Pat now all the way in Florida (:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Oh...bad call
Arm chairs are going to have a ball with that one.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BahaHurican:
Hmmmm..... could this solar flare be impacting Dish Network and DirectTV transmissions? [I admit freely I don't know all that much abt. solar flares etc....]
possible but they are reporting only some slight charging of the ionosphere at this time nothing more 5 percent chance of a bigger event in coming days
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Geeze...there are more commercials than game...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hmmmm..... could this solar flare be impacting Dish Network and DirectTV transmissions? [I admit freely I don't know all that much abt. solar flares etc....]
Member Since: Octubre 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21592
good just chillin watchin the game
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
How are ya, Keeper, my friend?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Orcasystems:


From what I can see... Saints appear to be playing College ball. You know that expression... bring a knife to a gun fight


maybe we should go with what dat instead
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
iam waitin on a big one not sure where or when but it will be an 8.1 or higher been a while since anything real big so we are almost due


We are almost over due for a big one :(
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
colts got to do nothing else but stop em from scoring now and who thats the game


From what I can see... Saints appear to be playing College ball. You know that expression... bring a knife to a gun fight
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
515. Floridano 7:22 PM EST on February 07, 2010
GO SAINTS, GO SAINTS; DOWN WITH THE COLTS, DOWN WITH THE COLTS, GEEZE, :(.
Action: Quote | Ignore User



have a good ole bud and chill out
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
55 here now. Beautiful week ahead for our neck of the woods:

Local Text Forecast for
West Palm Beach, FL (33409)

Feb 7 Tonight
Clear to partly cloudy. Low 47F. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph.
Feb 8 Tomorrow
Sunshine and clouds mixed. High 72F. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph.
Feb 8 Tomorrow night
Clear to partly cloudy. Low 59F. Winds ESE at 5 to 10 mph.
Feb 9 Tuesday
Plenty of sun. Highs in the upper 70s and lows in the low 60s.
Feb 10 Wednesday
Mix of sun and clouds. Highs in the mid 60s and lows in the mid 40s.
Feb 11 Thursday
Mix of sun and clouds. Highs in the mid 60s and lows in the low 50s.
Feb 12 Friday
Showers possible. Highs in the upper 60s and lows in the low 60s.
Feb 13 Saturday
Times of sun and clouds. Highs in the low 70s and lows in the low 60s.
Feb 14 Sunday
Mostly cloudy, chance of showers. Highs in the low 70s and lows in the low 60s.
Feb 15 Monday
Partly cloudy. Highs in the low 70s and lows in the mid 50s.
Feb 16 Tuesday
Abundant sunshine. Highs in the low 70s and lows in the mid 50s.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
GO SAINTS, GO SAINTS; DOWN WITH THE COLTS, DOWN WITH THE COLTS, GEEZE, :(.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
iam waitin on a big one not sure where or when but it will be an 8.1 or higher been a while since anything real big so we are almost due


can't say I disagree,one of the first things I do in the AM is check Orca's & Keeper's earthquake maps.... and Keeper's Solar pics.....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Post 507 - I might have goofed it the first time - it should reference the book that discusses this..... I can read -but I'm computer-challenged -sorry
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
colts got to do nothing else but stop em from scoring now and who thats the game
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
instead of who dat it should be who what
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hurrah :)
TD
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting surfmom:
highlights from this Link

The strongest solar storm on record is the Carrington Event of 1859, named after Richard Carrington, an astronomer who witnessed the super solar flare that set off the event as he was projecting an image of the sun onto a white screen. In those days, of course, there was nothing much to damage. A high-intensity burst of electromagnetic energy shot through telegraph lines, disrupting communications, shocking technicians, and setting their papers on fire. Northern Lights were visible as far south as Cuba and Hawaii. But otherwise life went on as normal.

The same would not be true were a solar storm of similar magnitude to erupt today. Instead, the infrastructure we depend on would be wiped out. Most of us would not adapt well to this sudden return to a pre-industrial age.


How likely is a repeat of the Carrington Event? Scientists say it is not only possible — it is inevitable. What they don’t know is when. The best estimates suggest that super solar storms occur once every 100 years — which means we are 50 years overdue.

Both the EMP Commission and a 2008 study by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) call for a response: hardening the electrical grid and other components of the infrastructure to increase the chances they would survive, as well as pre-positioning spares of essential, complex components of the electrical grid and other infrastructure critical to communications and emergency public services.

And it would certainly help if scientists could learn to forecast solar storms reliably. If we know one is coming, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the destruction. In particular, the electrical grid could be shut down; planes could be grounded (Air Force One is designed to withstand an EMP attack, but other planes would fall from the sky); citizens could be instructed not to leave home — in particular, to stay out of their cars, which would stop working — until the storm subsided.


Non-HTTP link?
Member Since: Agosto 30, 2008 Posts: 8 Comments: 2835
Current score: Saints 0 - Colts 3
Member Since: Agosto 30, 2008 Posts: 8 Comments: 2835
highlights from this LinkAuthors: Committee on the Societal and Economic Impacts of Severe Space Weather Events: A Workshop, National Research Council Authoring Organizations Description: The adverse effects of extreme space weather on modern technology--power grid outages, high-frequency communication blackouts, spacecraft anomalies--are well known and well documented, and the physical processes underlying space weather are also generally well understood. Less well documented and understood, however,

The strongest solar storm on record is the Carrington Event of 1859, named after Richard Carrington, an astronomer who witnessed the super solar flare that set off the event as he was projecting an image of the sun onto a white screen. In those days, of course, there was nothing much to damage. A high-intensity burst of electromagnetic energy shot through telegraph lines, disrupting communications, shocking technicians, and setting their papers on fire. Northern Lights were visible as far south as Cuba and Hawaii. But otherwise life went on as normal.

The same would not be true were a solar storm of similar magnitude to erupt today. Instead, the infrastructure we depend on would be wiped out. Most of us would not adapt well to this sudden return to a pre-industrial age.


How likely is a repeat of the Carrington Event? Scientists say it is not only possible %u2014 it is inevitable. What they don%u2019t know is when. The best estimates suggest that super solar storms occur once every 100 years %u2014 which means we are 50 years overdue.

Both the EMP Commission and a 2008 study by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) call for a response: hardening the electrical grid and other components of the infrastructure to increase the chances they would survive, as well as pre-positioning spares of essential, complex components of the electrical grid and other infrastructure critical to communications and emergency public services.

And it would certainly help if scientists could learn to forecast solar storms reliably. If we know one is coming, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the destruction. In particular, the electrical grid could be shut down; planes could be grounded (Air Force One is designed to withstand an EMP attack, but other planes would fall from the sky); citizens could be instructed not to leave home %u2014 in particular, to stay out of their cars, which would stop working %u2014 until the storm subsided.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Tropical Cyclone Fourteen. One down, three or four more to go.





Some news on the Canary Islands flooding, for when y'all come back from watching Super Bowl: Link
Member Since: Agosto 30, 2008 Posts: 8 Comments: 2835
Quoting Bordonaro:
482. Unfortunately, once every 200-500 years the New Madrid Fault rips loose, causing several major quakes and thousand of aftershocks. Hopefully that will not happen any time soon!
iam waitin on a big one not sure where or when but it will be an 8.1 or higher been a while since anything real big so we are almost due
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
No, it isn't an indication of warming. It indicates the climate has flipped back to cooling, possibly as a result of the recent reduction in the frequency of sun spots.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I'm pulling for the ones that use proper grammar! Go Colts!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
thanks kog!
Member Since: Agosto 11, 2008 Posts: 3 Comments: 1582
Quoting charlottefl:
Was gonna ask I noticed the Charlotte__. Is FL not a mentionable word right now?


LOL! Not at all, in fact the reason I asked about weather and driving conditions is because I have an open invitation to visit a friend in Venice, FL!

(I had mental-pause while typing...couldn't remember which Charlotte...it happens, called CRS -- Can't Remember Sh**) :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting leftovers:
the stadium gets hot in the summer time not a great place to watch a baseball game it wiil be cooking tonight go saints


Been there in July early evening games aren't bad, I can see how it would be during the heat of the day tho.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


eit images

EIT (Extreme ultraviolet Imaging Telescope) images the solar atmosphere at several wavelengths, and therefore, shows solar material at different temperatures. In the images taken at 304 Angstrom the bright material is at 60,000 to 80,000 degrees Kelvin. In those taken at 171 Angstrom, at 1 million degrees. 195 Angstrom images correspond to about 1.5 million Kelvin, 284 Angstrom to 2 million degrees. The hotter the temperature, the higher you look in the solar atmosphere.


Wow- almost as hot as the center of the earth! (according to Al Gore) :))

Sorry folks- swamp gas made me do it! :))
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CatchMeifUCan:
Joe Robbie Stadium/Pro Player Stadium/Dolphins Stadium/Land Shark Stadium/Sun Life Stadium

SuperBowl site has South and North facing endzones

Wind: 18.3 mph from the South
Wind Gust: 18.3 mph


Sorry, it's more like WNWxESE;

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Was gonna ask I noticed the Charlotte__. Is FL not a mentionable word right now?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AwakeInMaryland:


Just saw this, as we just got in from shoveling (I should say, more shoveling). Thanks, and hope you and yours are well and fine! Plows have been through here twice, and we can get out...but not going to!

ADD: Have been reading back posts; thank you also Bordo, amd, Charlotte__ , all helpful; seriously considering road trip.

WHOOPS, while adding on -- SUPER BOWL TIME! ENJOY!!!



I was gonna say driving through DC in good weather is not fun, but I can understand being stuck in the house. Cabin fever sets in. It's not pretty lol.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting WaterWitch11:


so if i sound stupid what can i say? wouldn't be the first time!

Why are all 4 pictures different colors?


eit images

EIT (Extreme ultraviolet Imaging Telescope) images the solar atmosphere at several wavelengths, and therefore, shows solar material at different temperatures. In the images taken at 304 Angstrom the bright material is at 60,000 to 80,000 degrees Kelvin. In those taken at 171 Angstrom, at 1 million degrees. 195 Angstrom images correspond to about 1.5 million Kelvin, 284 Angstrom to 2 million degrees. The hotter the temperature, the higher you look in the solar atmosphere.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting weathergeek5:


That was the infamous winter of legends. I have a feeling this one will replace that one.

Especially in many areas in the Mid Atlantic region. These poor folks may be setting all time snowfall records here in the next week or so. I feel for them.

In 1977-78, about 80" of snow fell in W Hempstead, LI, in Central Nassau County, where normal snowfall each winter averages near 24". And I was the 16 year old snow removal machine that year!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:







so if i sound stupid what can i say? wouldn't be the first time!

Why are all 4 pictures different colors?
Member Since: Agosto 11, 2008 Posts: 3 Comments: 1582
Quoting Bordonaro:
Dear God in Heaven, please bring the CONUS springtime, about 1 month early please. This is the weirdest weather I have seen in the Eastern CONUS since the winter of 77-78!


That was the infamous winter of legends. I have a feeling this one will replace that one.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Do we have to choose between this or The Who at half-time? Oh, Nooooo :(

(from Yahoo Sports)

The Puppy Bowl also returns for a sixth go-round on Animal Planet. If you've never seen it, I could tell you that it features a group of puppies running around in a football-themed pen, but that doesn't come anywhere near capturing the insane levels of cuteness that will be achieved. If you don't smile when watching the Puppy Bowl, you may need medical attention. Or your team might be down 30 at halftime.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
482. Unfortunately, once every 200-500 years the New Madrid Fault rips loose, causing several major quakes and thousand of aftershocks. Hopefully that will not happen any time soon!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting drg0dOwnCountry:
Seastep wrote that Co is not a polutant. He is wrong as you can read.

And you might want to read some PETM scenarios/mass extinction.
Quoting drg0dOwnCountry:
Seastep wrote that Co is not a polutant. He is wrong as you can read.

And you might want to read some PETM scenarios/mass extinction.


Sorry for the quote if you have him on iggy.

LOL. Again, you are trying to reinforce a bogus claim. Just stop.

No possible way human CO2 emissions can reach even close to a harmful level. Don't even think there's enough fossil fuels in existence to do it.

It is not a pollutant. Who is it that doesn't like facts?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
sorry bo but yeah the mid atlantic is gonna get beat up bad real bad as storm track remains locked south of grt lakes region therefore our lack of snow is there demise

I remember the winter of 1977-78 in West Hempstead, Long Island. We has 13" of snow, with a 1/4" layer of ice on top. One week later 24" fell, making for a total of around 30-32" total. Then 3 days later it ALL melted at ONCE, with a major rainstorm of about 1". EVERYTHING flooded bad. Hope that DOES not happen in the Mid-Atlantic region later this winter!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Today in Earthquake History
Earthquake History for February 7th
M7.4 - 8.0 - Missouri, 1812
One of the Largest Earthquakes in the United States. The largest historical earthquake in Missouri. This was the fourth earthquake of the 1811-1812 series. Several destructive shocks occurred on February 7, the last of which equaled or surpassed the magnitude of any previous event. The town of New Madrid was destroyed. At St. Louis, many houses were damaged severely and their chimneys were thrown down. The meizoseismal area was characterized by general ground warping, ejections, fissuring, severe landslides, and caving of stream banks.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
362. drg0dOwnCountry

You can't be serious about Hypercapnia.

Only Mountain climbers need to worry about that.

Stop the fear mongering. You've now clearly shown your lack of knowledge.

Sorry, had to respond to make sure folks don't simply accept the stuff you post.

100,000ppm to directly cause death, but OSHA works. 1% for minor affects. Current total atmospheric is 0.0387%. 387ppm.

Good luck getting to 5000ppm. LOL.

OSHA standard is 5000ppm and lower is safe.

Believe it is dangerous to anyone but mountain climbers if you want.

In the last 350 million years, highest ever is about 2100.



In terms of long-term, we are at historically low levels.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Agosto 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
actually my wife says she has a feeling we are gonna get socked in at the end of winter which normally is late mar mid april so we still got a chance of seeing some good snow yet at the moment it just don't look that way i think entire grt lake region is in a snow drought this year and may mean a long dry hot summer ahead
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 529 - 479

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15Blog Index

Top of Page

About

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

Local Weather

Clear
48 ° F
Despejado