From the ABC 7 Weather team

Blizzard of 13: How much snow really?

February 11, 2013 - 04:30 AM
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How much snow did the blizzard dump on the Northeast?

 

I admit I'm a bit weird and grew up loving weather. Here is an example and a fun calculation of why. 

This is a great satellite picture taken on Sunday at about noon of snow covered New England and the Northeast from the TERRA satellite, thanks to the great MODIS today site at the University of Wisconsin.

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How much snow do you think is there?  Let's calculate it.  Here are the "Blizzard of '13" snow totals:

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Here's the total melted precipitation for the last two days from this great NWS site over the Northeast:

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This entire region has an area of about 180,000 square miles.  Let's say roughly 1 inch of precipitation fell over that area from the 2-day blizzard.  Certainly Boston, Hartford, Providence, New York CIty and Portland, Maine got 20 to 30 inches of snow, or 2 to 3 inches liquid.  Let's be conservative and estimate about 1 inch of melted snow for the Northeast. 
We know 1 inch of rain per square mile is about 17 million gallons of water.  So 12 inches of snow (1 inch of  rain) over 180,000 square miles gives us about 3 trillion gallons of water, and at 8 pounds of water per gallon, about 10 billion tons of snow from the blizzard.
This doesn't even include the snow that fell on the ocean and melted.
So, let's imagine if all of that snow that fell from the "Blizzard of '13" was piled on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
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All the snow that fell in the Northeast totals about 400 cubic miles. But the National Mall is only about one-quarter mile in area, so all that snow would pile up 1600 miles high!

Nature and storms are pretty impressive, aren't they? Glad we don't have to shovel 1600 miles of snow.

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