All Weather News

Recapping This Historic Nor’easter

18 Dec 2020, 1:00 pm

The Northeast just got pummeled by one of the largest, and most disruptive December winter storms in a while.

After an initial area of low pressure dropped snow in the southern Plains, the system went on to spawn a coastal storm along the Eastern Seaboard, intensifying into a powerful Nor’easter packing rain, wind, ice, and FEET of snow.

Impacts began in the Carolinas and Virginias, where sleet and freezing rain led to numerous slick spots.

Heavy rain soaked much of the immediate Mid-Atlantic coast, while a strong onshore flow led to power outages, coastal flooding, and beach erosion. Wind gusts reached up to 60 miles per hour along the Jersey Shore.

As precipitation continued to move into bitter cold air heavy snow began farther north, including the I-95 corridor. Philadelphia was thumped by 6.6 inches of snow before a changeover to ice marking the largest winter storm there since 2018, and more snow than the city saw ALL of last winter.

They weren’t alone. Several other large Pennsylvania cities blew past last winter’s snow total with this storm, including Harrisburg, State College, and Allentown. It also became Williamsport’s largest snowstorm on record.

New York City was next in line. Heavy snow turned the Big Apple into a winter wonderland. Six to twelve inches of snow blanketed the city, also more snow than was observed in all of last winter.

As the Nor’easter continued to track northward, wind-driven snow eventually overspread southern and central New England, including the Boston area. Many areas got close to, or eclipsed a foot of snow.

The biggest wallop of snow was concentrated where a persistent, intense snow band set up from northern Pennsylvania into upstate New York. Snow was falling at rates of 3 to 6 inches PER HOUR during the height of storm, leading to localized snowfall totals of up to 4 FEET!

The Nor’easter left many roads temporarily impassible, and many towns with a grueling cleanup process.

About the author
Summer of 1993, New England Dragway. That's when and where Steve knew he wanted to become a meteorologist. More than 20 years later he is extremely fortunate and blessed to be able to live his childhood dream. As a lover of math and science, Steve had a consistent interest in weather in elementary, middle, and high school before discovering you can major in meteorology. He attended Lyndon State Co... Load Morellege in Vermont where he received a bachelor's in meteorology-broadcasting and associate's in television news. He has worked as a meteorologist and reporter in Winchester, VA, Burlington, VT, and most recently in West Palm Beach, FL. He's recognized by the American Meteorological Society with the Certification of Broadcast Meteorologists.