Winter nightmares aren't just limited to dangerous roads and extreme cold. With heavy snowfall comes the threat of building damages and collapses.
According to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), in the first 48 hours after the Groundhog Day snowstorm, there were more than 80 collapses and buildings with structural weaknesses reported to MEMA.
Snow-related building collapses are usually caused by heavy loads of snow on roofs, so this season has been unique because of the extreme weather. Recent rain and sleet made the situation even worse, since the rain could get soaked up by the snow and add even more weight to roofs.
A cubic foot of dry snow weighs about 6 to 8 pounds, while one cubic foot of packed snow could weigh up to 20 pounds. The same volume of ice can weigh three times this amount.
According to a 2008 report from Structure Magazine, causes of snow-related structural problems normally include roof step snow drift, parapet wall snow drift, gable roof snow drift, open air and freezer (uniform loads across the whole roof), sliding snow and ice dams.
Low-pitched and flat roofs are more vulnerable to snow accumulation; lower roofs are of larger risks as well.
How to calculate your roof snow load
How to spot problems with your building
How to remove snow from your roof
(Reference: Public Safety Advisory On Potential Roof Collapses by Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency)
Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.
While no major storms are pressing the northeastern United States in the short-term, milder air will trigger spotty, light snow and freezing drizzle to start the week.
Urduja, known globally as Kai-tak, will continue to unleash life-threatening flooding rain and mudslides as it slowly crosses the Philippines into Monday.
As frigid air plunges into and builds over the central United States, a stormy pattern with snow, ice and rain may unfold from Texas to Maine for Christmas holiday travelers.
Those getting a head start on holiday travel across the Rockies and Midwest late this week may be faced with disruptive snow along the way.
While waves of arctic air will continue to pour across the Great Lakes and New England this weekend, milder air will surge farther northward early this week.
The cold reprieve unfolding across the United States will not last long with waves of chilly air set to invade many parts of the country in the days leading up to Christmas.
Winds will again kick up and become strong, raising the risk of rapidly spreading wildfires in Southern California through Sunday as firefighters continue to battle the historic Thomas Fire.
After an unseasonably quiet start to December in the northwestern United States, a significant storm will set its sights on the region spanning Tuesday to Wednesday.