Scott Kelly

That epic US snowstorm just smashed all kinds of meteorological records

A blizzard for the ages: confirmed.

DAVID NIELD
27 JAN 2016
 

If you switched on the news at any point in the last week, you would have seen the incredible effects of the blizzard dubbed 'Jonas' on the East Coast of the US: the snow was so deep in New York, people were snowboarding through the streets.

Meteorologists predicted it would be "a blizzard for the ages", and it certainly lived up to the expectations of weather-watchers.

 

Gizmodo's Ria Misra has been breaking down some of the statistics surrounding the snowstorm, and the numbers sure are impressive. The tiny town of Glengary in West Virginia was the worst hit: here the clouds dumped an incredible 107 cm (42 inches) of snow - equivalent to a whole year's worth, based on the usual West Virginia averages. Snowfall of around 60 cm (2 feet) was pretty standard for the entire northeast region.

New York's Central Park saw 68 cm (26.8 inches) of the white stuff, a level only bettered by the blizzard of February 2006. Over in Washington, DC, 33 cm (13 inches) hit the White House, giving President Obama a few problems getting home.

Meanwhile, records tumbled at New York's airports: JFK Airport saw 77 cm (30.5 inches) of snow, beating the 66 cm (26 inches) in February 2003; LaGuardia Airport had 65 cm (27.9 inches) of the stuff, beating the 64.5 cm (25.4 inches) in February 2006; while Newark Airport had 71 cm (28.1 inches) of snow to deal with, beating the 70.6 cm (27.8) inches in January 1996.

New Jersey and Delaware both had record-breaking coastal floods, with water levels in some areas even rising above those seen during Hurricane Sandy. Virginia, Massachusetts, and Delaware experienced mid-70 mph (112-km/h) gusts of wind (just short of hurricane strength) and residents in Kentucky, the Carolinas, and Tennessee had to deal with sheets of ground ice up to 1.27 cm (half an inch) thick.

Some 28 storm-related deaths were reported, according to The Guardian, mostly from car accidents. At one point, a total travel ban was put in place in the centre of New York. Flights were grounded across several states and thousands of people were left without power by the effects of the storm.

"It seems the weather forecasters got it right this time," New York governor Andrew Cuomo said at a press conference. "There is a blizzard."

While the blizzard caused plenty of disruption for those on the ground, it provided some spectacular views for the astronauts on board the International Space Station. Scott Kelly tweeted out one amazing picture (see above) of the snowstorm covering the US on Monday.

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