This past weekend, a nor'easter sped through the Northeastern U.S. and Canada bringing heavy snowfall, hurricane-force winds, and coastal flooding to the New England states and its more than 40 million residents.
In coastal Connecticut, snow fell as fast as 6 inches (152 mm) per hour. When all was said and done, Hamden, CT had received a total of 40 inches (1016 mm) of snowfall, the storm's highest amount. One state over in Massachussetts, Boston recorded its 5th highest snowfall 24.9 inches (632 mm) and its 4th highest storm surge 4.2 ft (1.3 m).
For additional storm summary observations, click here.
Why historic? The nor'easter actually formed when two storm systems--one which brought snow to the Great Lakes region near the end of the work-week, and another which brought soaking rains to the Southeast--merged into a single storm. Recently, the waters near the mid-Atlantic coastline have been about 5°C warmer than usual. As the newly-merged low moved off the coast of Virginia, it was able to tap into these warm ocean temperatures, which did two things: provided plenty of moisture to the air and helped further intensify the storm. By Saturday, the storm's central pressure measured 968 mb--a pressure typical of a Category 2 hurricane!
While the storm has now departed, a round of freezing rain tonight may once again impact travel and the 650,000 residents that were without power as of Feb 9. So far, the major winter storm has claimed 9 lives.
Elsewhere...a large storm system crossing the nation's mid-section is forecast to bring blizzard conditions to the Northern Plains tonight into Monday.
Image source: NASA