Millions of Americans found themselves digging out this week after the Blizzard of 2016 slammed the mid-Atlantic and parts of the Northeast with several feet of snow.
NOAA announced on Thursday that the blizzard has been rated a Category 4 winter storm on NOAA’s Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale (NESIS). NESIS ranks winter storms on a scale ranging from Category 1, “notable,” to Category 5, “extreme.”
“This storm ranks up there with the great blizzards of the past 100 years in terms of amount of snowfall, size of impacted areas and population affected,” Paul Kocin, co-developer of NESIS and meteorologist of NOAA’s National Weather Service, said. The storm covered about 434,000-square miles and impacted about 102.8 million people.
The Blizzard of 2016 ranks as the fourth worst winter storm to impact the Northeast, behind the Blizzard of 1993, which ranks first, and the Blizzard of 1996, which ranks second.
During the blizzard, heavy bands unleashed snow at rates of 1-3 inches per hour, causing extremely hazardous conditions, AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rathbun said.
At least 52 people died as a result of the snowstorm, according to the Associated Press.
Widespread snowfall totals of 1-3 feet were reported and in several instances road crews had trouble staying ahead of the snow. In Glengary, West Virginia, a staggering 42 inches was measured by a National Weather Service Spotter. [Read More…]