Blizzards Take Aim at New England, Northeast
Before we get to enjoy Punxsutawney Phil's early Spring, we've still got some winter left to endure.
Winter Storm Mars slammed into the New England coast on Monday, bringing heavy snow and strong winds, and other parts of the eastern United States are expected to see rain and snow from a second storm emerging from the Midwest.
The National Weather Service issued winter storm and blizzard warnings from New York's Long Island all the way to northern Maine, and reported snow accumulations of as much as 9 inches in some Massachusetts towns by mid-afternoon Monday, along with winds of 30 to 40 miles per hour. As the storm moved across Cape Cod, wind speed exceeded 50 miles per hour, and visibility was reduced to less than a quarter mile according to the Boston Globe.
Fortunately motorists heeded official warnings and pretty much stayed off the roads in Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker said at a press conference. "We appreciate that the public appears to be taking this storm seriously," he told reporters.
As Mars exits New England on Monday evening, cleanup crews will in New Hampshire will have to work quickly to clear the roads and sidewalks to accommodate voters heading to the polls in that state's closely-watched presidential primary elections on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, a separate storm is expected to spread across the Mid-Atlantic region through Tuesday night. While the storm will bring only a light to moderate accumulation of snow in most places, road surfaces could become slushy and slippery, according to AccuWeather.
The forecasting organization predicted that the heaviest snow - between 6 and 12 inches - would fall over the mountains along the borders of Virginia, West Virginia, western Maryland and south-central Pennsylvania. Fortunately, that's a lot less than the 20 to 40 inches that fell during the previous big storm in late January.
Satellite imaging shows the storm that slammed into New England on Monday.
OK, so January's Winter Storm Jonas on the East Coast and the Groundhog Day blizzard in the Midwest this week have been a bit rough. But just to get some perspective, here's a list of the some of the other nasty winter storms in U.S. history. The massive blizzard of 1888 dumped 40 to 50 inches of snow on Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York, and kicked up winds of 85 miles per hour. 400 people died as a result of the storm, and at one point, 15,000 were stranded inside trains in New York.
This November gale, a blizzard with 60-mile-an-hour winds, caused 35 foot-high waves on the Great Lakes and killed 250 people. Chicago, Cleveland and other cities suffered the brunt.
The two-day snowstorm dumped as much as three feet of snow on the Mid-Atlantic Region. The name comes from Washington, D.C.'s Knickerbocker Theater -- its roof collapsed during the storm and killed 98 people.
This one, which varied from blizzard conditions to heavy rain and wind, formed over North Carolina, and then pounded the Southeastern United States before hitting Ohio. It caused 354 deaths, and spurred efforts to track and forecast winter storms. Amazingly hardy fans showed up to watch Ohio State and Michigan played a football game during the storm.
The Great Midwest Blizzard cut a swath through the center of the United States, from the Great Lakes to New Mexico. In Chicago, it caused an astonishing 23 inches of snow to fall in a single day. Seventy six people lost their lives in the blizzard.
Possibly the weirdest winter storm of all time, the so-called Super Bowl Storm started in the Pacific Ocean and then took an unusual route over the Rocky Mountains. It caused 45 tornadoes in the Southeast and then zoomed north into the upper Midwest, where its warm, moist air collided with a cold front from the Arctic. The result was a brutal weather disaster that took 58 lives.
This one combined a blizzard with a cyclone, and battered the eastern coast of North America from Cuba to Canada. New York state got 40 inches of snow. It closed down much of the southern United States and caused 310 deaths and $6.6 billion in property damage.