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NATIONAL STORM SUMMARY
1-6: A strong cold front brought heavy rains and severe weather to the East Coast, while also producing a strong winter storm across the Great Lakes region on Wednesday. A low pressure system shifted eastward toward the Great Lakes and flow around this system created a cold front that extended over the Eastern states. This created heavy rainfall by pulling abundant moisture in from the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean. Rainfall totals surpassed 2 inches in parts of Alabama, Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas. Heaviest rainfall was reported in Dothan, Alabama with a midday total of 2.97 inches of rain. Meanwhile, the northern side of this system brought snow showers to the Northeast. Snowfall totals across the region ranged from 2 to 4 inches, with the heaviest snowfall reported by midday on Wednesday up to 6 inches in Dyer Brook, Maine. West of this activity, the back side of this low pressure system brought cold air in from Canada and allowed for additional snow showers to develop across Wisconsin and Michigan. Many areas received over 6 inches of snow, with the heaviest reported in Brown, Wisconsin with a midday total of 8.4 inches of snow.
7-13: A storm grazed the coastal Carolinas with rain and high winds. On February 7 in North Carolina, a wind gust to 72 mph was reported on Cedar Island, while a daily record rainfall total of 1.83 inches occurred in Wilmington. The same storm grazed New England on February 8, resulting in several hours of blizzard conditions on Cape Cod and environs. On
February 8, Boston, MA, received 6.4 inches of snow and reported a peak wind gust to 46 mph. Similarly, Providence, RI, noted 5.6 inches of snow and clocked a gust to 47 mph. Farther west, snow squalls downwind of the Great Lakes led to daily-record totals in locations such as Flint, MI (7.1 inches on February 9), and South Bend, IN (6.6 inches on February 10). Toward week’s end, additional snow spread across the nation’s norther tier, where record-setting precipitation totals for February 13 reached 0.36 inch in Williston, ND, and 0.11 inch in Miles City, MT.
14-20: Severe thunderstorms sweeping across the Southeast spawned more than two dozen tornadoes, according to preliminary reports. Where the moisture interacted with lingering Arctic air, widespread snow, sleet, and freezing rain caused travel disruptions. Salisbury, MD, noted 4.0 inches of snow on February 15, while Youngstown, OH, netted 7.5 inches on February 15-16. On February 16, very heavy snow in upstate New York led to daily-record totals in locations such as Rochester (18.3 inches) and Buffalo (8.9 inches). Farther south, record-setting rainfall totals for February 15 included 2.26 inches in Vicksburg, MS; and 2.06 inches in Texarkana, AR; and 2.00 inches in London, KY. Record-setting precipitation amounts for February 16 reached 1.98 inches (including 3.1 inches of snow) in Syracuse, NY, and 1.65 inches (rain and freezing rain) in Williamsport, PA. Meanwhile, wet weather returned to the Northwest, including Washington, where daily record amounts for February 15 totaled 3.34 inches in Quillayute and 1.64 inches in Bellingham. After mid-week, windy weather accompanied Pacific storminess into the western U.S. On February 18, wind gusts were clocked to 72 mph in Buffalo, WY, and 68 mph in Telluride, CO. Elsewhere on the 18th, Elko, NV, received a daily record snowfall of 2.0 inches. Late in the week, windy weather continued and expanded eastward, especially across the northern half of the U.S. On February 19, gusts reached 76 mph in Mitchell, SD; 70 mph in Grand Rapids, MI; and 68 mph in Valentine, NE.
21-27: The storm responsible for early-week snow in the southern Rockies later produced wind driven snow in the lower Midwest and heavy rain (2 inches or more in many locations) across the South and East. On February 23-24, locally severe thunderstorms and isolated tornadoes swept through the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic States. Farther north, snow fell on February 24-25 from the middle Mississippi Valley into Lower Michigan, causing travel disruptions.
Early to mid-week precipitation was mainly limited to the South and East, where daily-record rainfall totals for February 22 included 2.53 inches in El Dorado, AR; 1.96 inches in Montgomery, AL; and 1.86 inches in Charlotte, NC. The following day, beneficial precipitation in Texas led to record-setting totals for February 23 in locations such as Victoria (1.61 inches), Wichita Falls (1.00 inch), and Amarillo (0.39 inch, including 3.2 inches of snow). Farther east, a significant, late winter tornado outbreak stretched from the central Gulf Coast into the middle and southern Atlantic States. On February 23, three tornado-related fatalities were reported two in St. James Parish, LA, and one in Lamar County, MS. On February 24 in Virginia, tornadoes claimed four lives three in Sussex County and one in Appomattox County. Elsewhere in the East, daily record precipitation totals for February 24 reached 2.77inches in Allentown, PA; 2.61 inches in Baltimore, MD; and 2.22 inches in Poughkeepsie, NY. Meanwhile in Michigan, record setting snowfall totals for February 24 included 7.3 inches in Grand Rapids and 7.0 inches in Lansing. Adding snow from the following day, February 24-25 totals reached 11.2 inches in Grand Rapids and 10.4 inches in Lansing. Significant snow accumulations were noted as far south as northwestern and west-central Arkansas, where some 6- to 9-inch totals were reported in the highest elevations. High winds accompanied both the rain and snow. On February 24, peak gusts were clocked to 62 mph in Gary, IN, and 58 mph in Bridgeport, CT. Early on the 25th, a gust to 83 mph was reported at the Blue Hill Observatory near Milton, MA.
Jim G. Munley, jr.
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