Heavy Snow Blasts New York: Snowiest Month in City's History

Article excerpt

Heavy snow and high winds added up to a 'snowicane' in New York. After so many winter storms, one meteorologist says, 'I'm ready for spring.'

Late on Friday afternoon the sun finally came out over New York, illuminating the 21 inches of snow that fell on the city as a result of storm called a "monster" by meteorologists.

Around other snow-pelted areas around Big Slushy Apple, it was just as bad, if not worse. Harriman, N.Y., dug out from 32 inches of snow, West Milford, N.J., had 28 inches of snow, and Monroe, N.Y., had 31 inches. And, that's before the drifts, which some people said were seven feet high. (Monitor feature "This week in Weather" here.)

Yes, the storm, dubbed a "snowicane" by AccuWeather, lived up to its advance billing as it slowly moved offshore.

"The radar did show it with a hurricane-type eye," says Josh Nagelberg, a meteorologist for AccuWeather.com in State College, Pa. "It does have the signature of a tropical system, but obviously it is not."

Winds gusted to hurricane level

Some of the wind gusts made it feel like a hurricane. New York's LaGuardia Airport recorded a wind gust of 45 miles per hour with sustained winds of 33 miles per hour. And the minimum central pressure of the storm would have made it a Category 2 hurricane, says Mr. Nagelberg. The wind brought down trees and powerlines and left an estimated 1 million residents without electricity.

However, unlike a hurricane, the long-term effect on land may not be as bad.

The actual economic effect of the storm was expected to total into the hundreds of millions, if not more, counting airline shut downs, lost sales at the malls, the cost of overtime for road crews, and shuttered construction projects. But it could have been worse - from the economy's standpoint, February is one of the slowest months. …