January 28, 2016
Massive Blizzard For the Ages Heading Straight For the East Coast
A blizzard of epic proportions blanketed much of the East Coast in more than two feet of snow on the weekend of Saturday, January 23.
As early as Wednesday, forecasters were already using terms like “Blockbuster Blizzard for the Ages,” and “perfect winter storm,” to describe the incoming winter weather system. Paul Kocin, the meteorologist who literally wrote a textbook about Northeast winter weather, has since referred to the storm as “textbook,” with models showing a coverage of more than a dozen states.
In official meteorologist speak, the National Weather Service assured residents of the target areas of its “above average confidence” that “high impact winter weather” would develop by Friday afternoon, especially in the mid-Atlantic region. In fact, forecasters pinpointed the event as the first time in almost 15 years that the entire Northeast Megalopolis (Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.) sees snowfall from the same storm.
Experts said that subsequent flooding from all that snow could end up at hurricane levels. So far, though, this winter has been mild compared to the winter of 2014-2015, when the NOAA found that 63.4% of the contiguous U.S. still had snow on the ground in March.
While armchair meteorologists might be excited about the prospect of a freak weather event like the Nor’easter, winter blizzards can come with terrible economic and human costs.
In 2014 alone the U.S. saw an estimated $3.7 billion in losses because of winter weather-related disasters, including $1.4 billion in uninsured losses. A study from IHS Global Insight found that just a single-day shutdown in new York City could cost $700 million in economic costs; retailers alone would lose $152 million.
Without the best, most reliable equipment, a winter storm can have particularly devastating effects for local economies. In 2014, a freak blizzard dropped more than seven feet of snow on the city of Buffalo, NY, even shutting down the Buffalo Bills football team. It’s no wonder that exactly a year later the Bills ordered a Pro-Tech Turf Pusher to keep their stadium clear and operational. The Steel Edge, the latest Pro-Tech Sno Pusher, even removes hard pack snow, clearing the way for life to go back to normal.
Citizens aren’t the only ones who must take special precautions ahead of a severe winter storm. Cities, companies, and property owners also need to prepare for the sudden effects of blizzards. Even a short interruption in normal operation can have massive economic consequences.
When winter weather hits, dedicated snowfighters armed with top of the line equipment, like Steel and Rubber Edge Sno Pushers from Pro-Tech, are often the only ones keeping our towns and cities running safely. Rest assured, they’ll keep parking lots, airports, and even pro-football fields clear when the perfect storm finally arrives.