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20 photos that sum up the ferocity of winter 2017-18

By Kevin Byrne, AccuWeather staff writer
March 28, 2018, 10:33:10 AM EDT


Storms packed a punch from coast to coast this winter.

Whether it was multiple storms undergoing bombogenesis off the East Coast or heavy rain triggering rivers of mud and rocks in Montecito, California, this past winter had no shortage of disruptive weather.

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A piercing cold blast marked the shift from 2017 to 2018 in the eastern United States. At least 30 states experienced below-normal temperatures on New Year's Day morning.

In California, the state endured a distinctly dry weather pattern from November through early February, once again raising drought concerns in the state.

"Not only did the state lack significant rainfall, but more importantly, the snowpack across the Sierra Nevada was also in record-low territory," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Jordan Root.

However, a pattern change in late February brought the storm track across California, which led to rounds of rain and mountain snow for the state, according to Root.

Other parts of the winter were notable for a distinct lack of cold air.

Periods of unusually warm weather lingered throughout the eastern U.S. in February. In Florida, several major cities set new average record highs for the month.

Tampa, Florida, set a new average February high of 74.2 degrees Fahrenheit, breaking the old record of 70.1 from 1949. Other cities that set new average February records include Orlando, Jacksonville, Tallahassee and Miami.

In the Northeast, cities such as Philadelphia and New York City approached 80 F on Feb. 21.

While some in the Northeast may have thought the surge of warmth in late February was a sign that winter was over, they would learn quickly that it wasn't.

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Three consecutive nor'easters bombarded the region from March 2-14. While the frequency of the storms may have seemed unusual, it's actually not uncommon for multiple nor'easters to strike in succession over a period of a few weeks.

winter storm accuweather winter recap

A vehicle parked on Abbott Avenue is engulfed by snowdrifts during a snowstorm that hit the New Jersey Shore, Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018, in Ocean Grove, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)


Even after the seasons transitioned from winter to spring, a fourth nor'easter unleashed more snow on the region on March 21.

Four back-to-back nor’easters in a month are not unprecedented, according to AccuWeather Chief Operating Officer and Expert Meteorologist Evan Myers. We’ve experienced barrages of snowstorms like this year’s onslaught of nor’easters within the past decade, he explained.

“Here in the AccuWeather global headquarters, it’s our goal to get out information, especially on these snowstorms, as quickly and as accurately as possible,” said AccuWeather Chief Operating Officer and Expert Meteorologist Evan Myers.

While other sources forecast 12-18 inches of snow ahead of the most recent nor’easter in New York City, AccuWeather accurately predicted that 6-10 inches of snow would fall. In the end, 8 inches of snow fell in Central Park. That amount of snow is a once-in-22-years event for mid- to late-March.

Months before the set of back-to-back March storms pummeled the northeastern U.S. with snow, a team of the most talented expert operational meteorologists in the world warned that a snowier-than-average March loomed.

In a March poll, 68 percent of AccuWeather readers voted that they were done with winter storms and ready for spring warmth. Twenty-six percent of people did, however, weigh in that they loved the snow and wished it would keep on coming. Regardless of the poll outcome, spring arrived on Tuesday, March 20, and it's only a matter of time before warmer weather is here to stay.

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