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Feb 5-6 2010 - Snowmageddon


Ian
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We could have a 50" storm and PDI will still be #1 for me. When I hit the garage door opener shortly after sunrise, my life changed forever. I had never seen such a spectacle and I immediately became addicted to big storms. The desire to experience them only grew stronger during the decades following. For me, PDI truly was a life changing event. In a good or bad way is hotly debatable 

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10 minutes ago, Bob Chill said:

We could have a 50" storm and PDI will still be #1 for me. When I hit the garage door opener shortly after sunrise, my life changed forever. I had never seen such a spectacle and I immediately became addicted to big storms. The desire to experience them only grew stronger during the decades following. For me, PDI truly was a life changing event. In a good or bad way is hotly debatable 

Hey Bob...I know this is an old thread now but of course today is the 12th anniversary of Snowmageddon (hard to believe that long now!!).

I wasn't here for PD-I but do recall hearing about it in the news even in Ohio.  So mostly I'm responding to agree that there are those sort of "life changing" storms that just stick with you and become the benchmark.  Even if other storms since have been snowier, etc.  For me, it was the Ohio blizzard of 1978 (Jan. 26-27).  Yeah, we didn't get a ton of snow, though hard to measure with winds.  KCLE officially put down like 7" in their records (on top of a fair bit of existing old snow).  But it was so incredibly severe, in a winter that was severe.  Sustained winds over 40MPH, reported gusts of 80-100MPH.  Complete whiteout.  The center of the storm went right through northeast Ohio with a pressure recorded at KCLE of 28.28 inches (~957 mb).  Temperatures dropped 30 degrees within two hours from the mid-40s at 4AM, and it hovered in the single digits the remainder of the day.  The Ohio Turnpike was closed from gate to gate for the first and only time ever, from what I read.  The storm itself, as I recall, bombed out by over 40 mb in a 24 hour period as it moved north...all over land.  A pretty unique occurrence.

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49 minutes ago, Bob Chill said:

We could have a 50" storm and PDI will still be #1 for me. When I hit the garage door opener shortly after sunrise, my life changed forever. I had never seen such a spectacle and I immediately became addicted to big storms. The desire to experience them only grew stronger during the decades following. For me, PDI truly was a life changing event. In a good or bad way is hotly debatable 

It is our formative experiences with big storms that will always be the most cherished, even if bigger storms happen after we grow up. I wasn't around but people (including @usedtobe) told me that PDI had heavier rates than any other storm they've ever experienced. 

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1 hour ago, Bob Chill said:

We could have a 50" storm and PDI will still be #1 for me. When I hit the garage door opener shortly after sunrise, my life changed forever. I had never seen such a spectacle and I immediately became addicted to big storms. The desire to experience them only grew stronger during the decades following. For me, PDI truly was a life changing event. In a good or bad way is hotly debatable 

The experience of PDI imprinted on my mind with such vivid imagery that it is like it happened yesterday!  And yes, instant addiction to snow and big storms/any storms after that point.  Woke up, just before sunrise.  Looked out the window next to my bed and I could see nothing at all which was strange because usually when it snowed I could see an pink/orange glow of urban lights and could make out snow falling.  I tipped toed down stairs while the rest of my family was snug in their beds (without a clue) and looked out the front door.  Our covered porch had so much snow that the door could not open.  It was snowing at a rate that I could not even imagine possible!  I stood and stared for what seemed hours long as the break of dawn was occurring.  I cherished the time by myself watching the snow fall while everyone else was asleep, as if it was meant for just me!

'83 and '96 also very memorable, but PDI started the addiction.  A week off of school and shoveling out the road with the neighbors was also fun, but nothing beat those first moments of snow glory in the morning!

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Ah, yes, memories.

The day before onset, ordering Thai takeout to last me for several days because if I was going to go out and shovel every couple hours (wasn't waiting until the end) I wanted some Pad See Ew.  And thinking bad thoughts about the plow truck driver even though I knew he was just doing his job.  

It was rather peaceful being outside shoveling at 2 a.m.

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54 minutes ago, fourseasons said:

Ah, yes, memories.

The day before onset, ordering Thai takeout to last me for several days because if I was going to go out and shovel every couple hours (wasn't waiting until the end) I wanted some Pad See Ew.  And thinking bad thoughts about the plow truck driver even though I knew he was just doing his job.  

It was rather peaceful being outside shoveling at 2 a.m.

OK, I know this thread is about memorializing Snowmageddon, and I don't want to take anything away from the absolute historicity of that period in our history, but honestly, the thing that I miss the most is the "surprise snow".  Of course, I was only 11 years old for PDI, but my memory tells me that forecasts were for 1-3 inches or 2-4 inches.  Waking up to 24 inches and the heaviest snow in my lifetime, was amazing.  I don't want to take anything away from the progress we have made in forecasting, modeling and interpretation of meteorology, but there is nothing better than the instant surprise!!!  This simply does not happen (much) anymore, unless it the surprise of "No snow for you!" at the last minute.  We are much more likely to get the rug pulled out from under us, than to get the surprise boom nowadays.  At least that is my anecdotal observation.  I still love tracking snow and trying to understand more about what is conducive to getting snow here, but I miss the "Boom" surprise of days of old when data was limited.

https://www.inquirer.com/news/blizzard-presidents-day-philadelphia-washington-atlantic-city-20190218.html

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13 hours ago, Bob Chill said:

We could have a 50" storm and PDI will still be #1 for me. When I hit the garage door opener shortly after sunrise, my life changed forever. I had never seen such a spectacle and I immediately became addicted to big storms. The desire to experience them only grew stronger during the decades following. For me, PDI truly was a life changing event. In a good or bad way is hotly debatable 

1966 did it for me and I think I know what you mean and how you feel. #1

Snowmaggedon #2

March 1993 with a freaking 28.22 baro and just utter near  darkness at 2pm with snow sleet even bit of rain and constant 30+ winds #3

PD 1 part of the best as Bob described  #4

1983 thundersnow 1” in 12 minutes.  #5 

1996 #6

2016 #7

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23 hours ago, Fozz said:

It is our formative experiences with big storms that will always be the most cherished, even if bigger storms happen after we grow up. I wasn't around but people (including @usedtobe) told me that PDI had heavier rates than any other storm they've ever experienced. 

Although not a giant storm (10"), the 10/10/79 storm cemented my love of snow and weather in general due to the 'surprise' factor and damage caused. Been keeping records since that day. 

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January 25 2000, was the ultimate surprise event aside from the shock of PD1's extreme snowfall.  March 1993 wasn't a severe snowstorm, but I was in Richmond Virginia for an event. I got to witness the low center pass directly overhead. The heavy snow(6 inches) of the overnight turned into heavy wind driven rain and temps in the mid 40's. The rain stopped and the winds calmed as the sky brightened and then temperatures crashed to the upper 10's in a two or three hour period with a flash freeze and wraparound snow accumulating several inches.

January and February 1996 was the best year for overall snowfall in southern Maryland, even eclipsing the very special 2009-2010 season. 1994 had all those icing events.

Hands down the best event of my lifetime is PD1. It was the first major snowfall for me. Could barely see the house across the street through the extreme rates and wind. The car engines ended up snowpacked under the hood from the blowing and drifting.  Vehicles were practically buried in drifts as the snow ended.  Large drifts up to 2nd story windows in southern Maryland and no school for a week as everyone had to help out in digging our street in St. Charles.  Never before or since have we had an issue with not getting plowed in each large snowfall within 24 hours.

 

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23 hours ago, gopper said:

The experience of PDI imprinted on my mind with such vivid imagery that it is like it happened yesterday!  And yes, instant addiction to snow and big storms/any storms after that point.  Woke up, just before sunrise.  Looked out the window next to my bed and I could see nothing at all which was strange because usually when it snowed I could see an pink/orange glow of urban lights and could make out snow falling.  I tipped toed down stairs while the rest of my family was snug in their beds (without a clue) and looked out the front door.  Our covered porch had so much snow that the door could not open.  It was snowing at a rate that I could not even imagine possible!  I stood and stared for what seemed hours long as the break of dawn was occurring.  I cherished the time by myself watching the snow fall while everyone else was asleep, as if it was meant for just me!

'83 and '96 also very memorable, but PDI started the addiction.  A week off of school and shoveling out the road with the neighbors was also fun, but nothing beat those first moments of snow glory in the morning!

We didn't even have to open our garage door to realize this with PDI.  It was dark in the garage!  The windows on both doors were covered with drifting snow.  The tops of the windows were 6 feet off the ground!

The two most impactful events in my lifetime would probably be Jan 25, 1985 (true whiteout thundersnow), and January 26, 2011.  (shellac carmageddon)

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12 hours ago, WEATHER53 said:

 

March 1993 with a freaking 28.22 baro and just utter near  darkness at 2pm with snow sleet even bit of rain and constant 30+ winds #3

 

That was an incredible event for sure!  I was living in the Cleveland area at the time, working for a small, private forecasting company.  Though we obviously didn't get the brunt of the storm, the eastern half of Ohio (especially southeast Ohio) still got hit hard with blizzard conditions.  Northeast Ohio got about 6-12" and similar winds to what you had, with temperatures in the teens.  For that event, I was at work, and one of the places we had to forecast for was the NY State Thruway (what a chore!).  I was literally putting out forecasts to expect on the order of 2-4 FEET of snow across large portions of the Thruway.  It seemed so unbelievable that I actually got a call from them asking about it!!  The place I worked at actually had to put me up in a downtown hotel that Saturday night because conditions were so bad in the Cleveland area that I couldn't have gotten back to my place (many roads closed or partially closed, including the Shoreway, a highway which connects the east and west sides of town).

It's not typical that a nor'easter like that would really affect Ohio much (except perhaps the southern part of the state), but this one impacted such a large area.

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22 hours ago, fourseasons said:

Ah, yes, memories.

The day before onset, ordering Thai takeout to last me for several days because if I was going to go out and shovel every couple hours (wasn't waiting until the end) I wanted some Pad See Ew.  And thinking bad thoughts about the plow truck driver even though I knew he was just doing his job.  

It was rather peaceful being outside shoveling at 2 a.m.

Snowed in with Thai takeout = Good Planning

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3 hours ago, southmdwatcher said:

January 25 2000, was the ultimate surprise event aside from the shock of PD1's extreme snowfall.  March 1993 wasn't a severe snowstorm, but I was in Richmond Virginia for an event. I got to witness the low center pass directly overhead. The heavy snow(6 inches) of the overnight turned into heavy wind driven rain and temps in the mid 40's. The rain stopped and the winds calmed as the sky brightened and then temperatures crashed to the upper 10's in a two or three hour period with a flash freeze and wraparound snow accumulating several inches.

January and February 1996 was the best year for overall snowfall in southern Maryland, even eclipsing the very special 2009-2010 season. 1994 had all those icing events.

Hands down the best event of my lifetime is PD1. It was the first major snowfall for me. Could barely see the house across the street through the extreme rates and wind. The car engines ended up snowpacked under the hood from the blowing and drifting.  Vehicles were practically buried in drifts as the snow ended.  Large drifts up to 2nd story windows in southern Maryland and no school for a week as everyone had to help out in digging our street in St. Charles.  Never before or since have we had an issue with not getting plowed in each large snowfall within 24 hours.

 

I grew up in St. Charles too - Garner Ave. I was a kid during PD 1, but I’m pretty sure that began my love of snow. I have definite memories of ‘79, ‘83, and the Veterans Day surprise of ‘87.  I always loved when we got more snow than Fairfax (unusual, but it would happen as it has this year!) I’ve lived in Fairfax now for 26 years. 
 

I was pregnant with my daughter during PD 2. It was a welcome week off because I was pretty sick that week. 2009-2010 was definitely my favorite year for snow.  I was tracking it and got to have a blast with my kids and my dog. I think my profile pic is from Snowmageddon. 

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1. Feb 5-6th, 2010 (The lead up and the eventual storm was incredible. 32.5" of snow)

2. Feb 12-13th, 2006 (Snowfall rate of 4.5"/hr from 2-3am that morning. Was the storm that full confirmed my commitment to becoming a meteorologist. 20" in 8 hrs.)

3. Jan 2016 (33.5" at work in Germantown; 36" at my apartment in Maugansville near Hagerstown)

4. Feb 9-10th, 2010 (I will never see my neighborhood look that way after that storm and predecessor ever again. 52" base in the backyard. Drifts over 9' high. A Jeb walk to remember that afternoon the 10th)

5. Jan 2000 (I will never forget my dad waking me up because Paul Kocin came on the Weather Channel and mentioned the change to the WSW. Truly one of the most memorable weather experiences of my life)

Honorable mentions: Jan 2011 and PDII (Was sick or injured for both so couldn't fully enjoy them); Dec 2009; Dec 2013 overperformer (Ravens/Vikings snow game I attended)

 

 

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I come from a place where the only month of the year I haven't seen snow coming down from the sky is July.  I had shown up in these parts only a few weeks before the January 25, 2000 event and while walking up the middle of a non-plowed major street in DC after the snow stopped falling I realized that, yeah, it's different around here.

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  1. Feb 5/6, 2010 - Everything that has been said here.  Knowing that it was coming was incredible, and it is impossible to divorce it from the excellent pre-game (11.2" from 1/30 and 2/2), and follow-up.  Just a beautiful event all the way around.  24.7"
  2. Oct 31/Nov 1, 1991 (in Minnesota) - The GOAT storm in Minnesota history.  21" in my location, 28" in Minneapolis, 36" in Duluth.  8' drifts.  Everyone has a story about this one.  Overshadowed nationally by the "Perfect Storm" which was happening at nearly the same time.  Unbelievable long-wave pattern.
  3. Dec 2009 - My first east coast storm will always be special.  19"
  4. Jan 2016 - This was such a great storm, but suffers a bit because of the "what could have been" aspect of the long period of very light snow during the middle.  Still, 24" and good wind will always rank this among the best.

Honorable mentions:  Feb 9-10, 2010 - the superband in the morning was fun, but the Miller B aspect meant it really developed a bit too late (9.5").  Feb. 2014 - simply for the pounding snow overnight, downgraded for the warm temps in the middle (13.7").

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My top events that I remember:

1. December 18-19, 2009 (20" of snow)

2. January 22-23 2016 (I think about 15-18" range)

3. January 3, 2022 (14-15" of snow and crazy rates and happened the day after 70 degree temperatures and I was right in the middle of the jackpot)

4. February 5-6, 2010 (I believe this one actually underperformed, still got about 12". Don't have a clear memory. Of course it didn't matter as that stretch was absolutely crazy everywhere)

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1) PD1 1979,  thee highest hourly snowfall rates I"ve ever seen.  Also, a colleague at work told me the storm was over after the 1st 4" and that we might see another inch with the vort. 

2) Feb 5-6 2010,  my second biggest snowstorm in terms of accumulations. 

3) March 1958.  Much like this storm this year, I had 16" of heavy wet snow that knocked out our power for a week.  We cooked over the fire in the fireplace like cowboys.  I thought that was neat.  My dad and mom weren't as thrilled since they had to keep bailing the basement to keep water from reaching the freezer. 

4) the blizzard or 1966.  Snow drifts reached the second story of my high school.  Wind driven snow in with temps below freezing and the only true ground blizzard for a couple of hours after the snow ended. 

5) December 2009 storm.  The most snow in December i can ever remember from a storm. 

6) honorable mention:  the 1993 storm of the century because I got to do a live interview on the Today show.  My snow turned to rain but then we had a flash freeze and my remaining snow became on huge ice block. 

 

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Might as well share this again.

My favorites in order (IMBY only):

1) Feb 10, 2010 – Around 20" on top of everything that fell 4 days earlier. It had the most incredible blizzard conditions I've ever seen IMBY. Other HECS didn't quite feel like a true blizzard, but that one did.

2) Jan 2016 – 27" with snow all night and throughout the following day. Also had daytime blizzard conditions and everything unfolded just about perfectly. 

3) PDII 2003 – The first HECS I can clearly remember. Total was probably 26-28" but I'm not exactly sure. That one really kept me hooked on this hobby, and it finished off what was already an amazing winter.

4/5) Feb 6, 2010 – 25"

4/5) Dec 2009 – 19". It was my first HECS since 2003, so it was a very big deal and I couldn't believe it was happening in December. Made me confident that the whole winter had a lot more to come.

 

Storms I chased:

Feb 2013, MLK 2022, and October 2011.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Fozz said:

Might as well share this again.

My favorites in order (IMBY only):

1) Feb 10, 2010 – Around 20" on top of everything that fell 4 days earlier. It had the most incredible blizzard conditions I've ever seen IMBY. Other HECS didn't quite feel like a true blizzard, but that one did.

2) Jan 2016 – 27" with snow all night and throughout the following day. Also had daytime blizzard conditions and everything unfolded just about perfectly. 

3) PDII 2003 – The first HECS I can clearly remember. Total was probably 26-28" but I'm not exactly sure. That one really kept me hooked on this hobby, and it finished off what was already an amazing winter.

4/5) Feb 6, 2010 – 25"

4/5) Dec 2009 – 19". It was my first HECS since 2003, so it was a very big deal and I couldn't believe it was happening in December. Made me confident that the whole winter had a lot more to come.

 

Storms I chased:

Feb 2013, MLK 2022, and October 2011.

 

 

Feb 2013 in Mass was #3 overall on my storms list if you included storms outside the area. It was very close to #2, but the factor of that storm confirming me being a meteorologist supersedes it. Still, it's the best true blizzard I remember outside Feb 9-10, 2010. 

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We're reminiscing? 

I have spent all of my life in the Mid-Atlantic, how boring. Grew up in Harrisburg PA, born in the late 80s.  So, here's my ranking.

1) January 1996. We had school closed for an entire week, the plow piles on our road were absolute insanity for a kid. I remember climbing up plow piles in residential driveways that were double my height. It was astonishing! 

2) PDII 2003. We got annihilated by the deform and total accumulation, huge drifts, wind, blowing sand. I remember very heavy rates in the afternoon of that storm. My brother and I jumped off an 8' retaining wall into snow piles in our neighbor's driveway, and I think that is probably the moment when I hit my head funny and became obsessed with snow.

3) The early feb 2010 stretch. I was in college in south central PA at the time in the perfect window to get 20" from the first and nearly 20" from the second. Absolutely unforgettable drifts on back roads, drifts above the roofs of cars, impassable streets everywhere, mountains on car roofs, people shoveling snow off of roofs, it was like we lived in Norway or something. Gets ranked lower because I was older and it wasn't as influential as the first two in terms of my snow obsession, but this is probably when I started to really track snow. 

4) March 1993. I was younger for this one, but I remember building snow caves in our driveway from the accumulations/plowed snow.

5) 1994 ice/glacier stretch - I can remember sliding on top of what seemed like inches of pure ice above the snow. It was unbelievable. 

6) Jan 2016 - great seeing the metro area get buried. 

We're due for another big one :-).  Maybe not this year, but next!

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1 hour ago, Paleocene said:

We're reminiscing? 

<snip)

3) The early feb 2010 stretch. I was in college in south central PA at the time in the perfect window to get 20" from the first and nearly 20" from the second. Absolutely unforgettable drifts on back roads, drifts above the roofs of cars, impassable streets everywhere, mountains on car roofs, people shoveling snow off of roofs, it was like we lived in Norway or something. Gets ranked lower because I was older and it wasn't as influential as the first two in terms of my snow obsession, but this is probably when I started to really track snow. 

<snip>

Shippensburg?

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1) January 1996.  I was a kid living in Central NJ and still ranks as the single highest snowfall I've gotten from a storm.  I can remember the snow piles being like 8 feet high on my block from the plows.

2) Early Feb 2010 stretch.  Missed out on the highest totals from the 2nd storm but the blizzard conditions that morning (on top of the 2 feet we just got) were epic.

3) Dec 2009.  Cold powder and first big event living in the DC area.  It was the first event I tracked on models and thought "heck, if all storms were this easy to track, why is this hobby so stressful?" Heh...

4) January 2016.  Fun storm to track since it was locked in with little drama.  The subsidence for hours on Saturday pushed it down the list from #3 but the CCB blizzard conditions and finishing with 2 feet were amazing.

5) MLK 2022.  Biggest event I've experienced since having the house in Deep Creek.  ~18-20" with blizzard conditions at times, temps in the single digits/teens, and high wind.  Very memorable.

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