Powerful nor’easter "bombed" the East Coast • Earth.com

Powerful nor’easter "bombed" the East Coast

Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features the aftermath of a powerful nor’easter that dumped heavy snowfall across the northeastern United States. 

The storm delivered measurable snowfall to 12 states up the East Coast, from North Carolina to Maine, and eight of those states received more than a foot of snow. 

The National Weather Service (NWS) reports that more than 21 inches of snow were measured in Providence, Rhode Island, while 29 inches fell in Norton, Massachusetts. Boston tied its record for the most snowfall in a 24-hour period with 23.6 inches.

The snowfall was further intensified by hurricane force winds that blew in with the powerful nor’easter. According to NASA, a blizzard is defined as a period of at least three hours with falling snow, persistent wind gusts above 35 miles per hour, and visibility below 0.25 miles. 

The NWS determined that blizzard conditions were reached in multiple locations in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, affecting as many as 11 million people. These conditions persisted in Marshfield, Massachusetts for 12 hours, while the nearby city of Boston endured blizzard conditions for nearly eight hours. 

A multi-year project led by NASA, the Investigation of Microphysics and Precipitation for Atlantic Coast-Threatening Storms (IMPACTS), is the first comprehensive study of snowstorms across the Eastern United States in nearly 30 years. The science team includes researchers from NASA, several universities, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NASA scientist 

The image was captured in the late afternoon on January 29 by Adrian Loftus while he was serving as an IMPACTS mission scientist on NASA’s P-3 Orion research plane. The goal of the study is to gain a better understanding of snowstorms in an effort to improve forecasting.

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory 

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

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