Winter Storms

A storm unlike any in your lifetime…

…but this is NOT the ’93 Superstorm.
I teach high school classes and most of my students are juniors and seniors…I began my classes with the above categorization of the impending Blizzard. (Blizzard warnings have been issued for severael counties in Northeastern PA, Lehigh Valley, and Southeastern PA). For these students (many of whom were born in 1999 and 2000), this will be the greatest snowfall accumulation from a single storm in their young lives. (Northeastern PA missed the brunt of last year’s storm that dropped 33 inches in the Harrisburg area. The 19″ snowfall from the Blizzard of 2010 is the closest thing they have as a reference point).
The most powerful storm of my lifetime was the Blizzard (Superstorm) of ’93. I have seen several comparisons between this storm and the 1993 storm and although this storm may drop more snow in Northeastern PA and surrounding areas, it pales in comparison to the ’93 storm. (The ’93 storm’s sheer power caused snow as far south as Alabama, tornadoes in the Southeastern US, and crippled the entire east coast with heavy snow.) This one shouldn’t be anywhere near as bad…In fact, a friend who lives in Virginia asked me what I thought for her area and I think she’ll only see 3-6″ of snow. The storm really won’t get its act together until later, sparing her of the worst.
Snow will begin from Southwest to Northeast tonight after 11pm. It will snow heavily (heaviest amounts in the Poconos/Lehigh Valley) with snowfall rates of 2-3 inches per hour during the height of the storm. Remember what I said in yesterday’s post about snowfall ratios. The snow will not stop until Tuesday after dark at the earliest. After that, the entire area may pick up another couple inches on Wednesday from lake effect snows/squalls/back-end snow bands rotating around the storm. Many schools in the severely affected areas will be closed for the rest of the week. Blowing and drifting will continue to cause travel issues through Thursday. I think the one thing that is a positive is that for most, the storm will be very cold and therefore a fluffy powdery snow…meaning it won’t stick to trees and power lines, so the likelihood of power outages will be less than in areas where it starts as rain and changes to snow.
Take your time shoveling. I personally don’t plan on even starting to shovel until the storm is completely done because the wind will just rebury the area. As soon as the snow stops and wind dies down, I hope to get the drone in the air and get some aerial photos/video of the aftermath.
Stay safe everyone.

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