Will East Coast Snowstorm be Bigger Than 2010’s Snowmageddon?

Snowfall Potential Through Sunday The heaviest forecast total snowfall is in the darker purple and pink contours.
Snowfall Potential Through Sunday
The heaviest forecast total snowfall is in the darker purple and pink contours.

An East Coast snowstorm, Winter Storm Jonas, is expected to produce prolific amounts of snow in parts of the East, rivaling infamous snowstorms of the recent past.

While the critical forecast details remain, Winter Storm Jonas has the potential to produce over a foot of snow for tens of millions of residents of the East Friday through Sunday. Some locations may see much more than that.

“The mechanisms coming together for a major snowfall are textbook,” wrote NOAA Weather Prediction Center forecaster and Northeast snowstorm expert, Paul Kocin, in a NOAA forecast discussion Tuesday.

Let’s explore how this storm may resemble or contrast with infamous snowstorms of the recent past. Then we’ll list the top 5 snowstorms of record for several Eastern cities.

Snowmageddon/Snowpocalypse 2010

For the first time, social media helped named this event, and the back-to-back storms definitely lived up to the hype.

A swath of 20-inches-plus of snow buried parts of the Mid-Atlantic States including Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh.

This first Snowmageddon storm (Feb. 5-6) remains the heaviest snowstorm of record at Washington’s Dulles Airport (32.4 inches), second heaviest in Philadelphia (28.5 inches) and fourth heaviest in Baltimore (25 inches).

Just three days later, another snowstorm pummeled the Mid-Atlantic States, dumping another 10-inch-plus swath from northern Virginia to New York City.

After using empty parking lots, city parks and even the Pimlico Race Course, the city of Baltimore resorted to dumping excess snow in the Inner Harbor.

Hundreds of thousands were left without power and roofs collapsed in some areas due to the weight of the snow. One-quarter of Washington, D.C.’s snowplows were put out of commission due to the sheer amount of snow to remove.

The combination of these two storms, a late February storm and a mid-December nor’easter, shattered seasonal snowfall records in Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Atlantic City in New Jersey, and Wilmington in Delaware. Snowiest month records were obliterated in New York City, Pittsburgh and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, as well as the Mid-Atlantic locations above.

It’s worth noting the first “Snowmageddon” storm left out New England, while the second storm days later brought heavy snow to New York, but did little in Boston and Hartford.

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SOURCE: The Weather Channel – Jon Erdman