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Record-breaking blizzard buries mid-Atlantic with over 2 feet of snow

By By Brett Rathbun, Meteorologist
January 28, 2016, 9:17:53 PM EST

The Blizzard of 2016 rattled the mid-Atlantic states on Friday and Saturday, producing widespread snowfall totals of 1 to 3 feet.

At least 48 people were killed as a result of the storm, according to the Associated Press. Several deaths were due to heart attacks that occurred while shoveling snow.

Washington, D.C., Baltimore and New York City received more than 2 feet of snow during the event. Philadelphia received just under 2 feet. All four major cities shattered daily records for the most snow on Jan. 23.


Philadelphia received a typical entire season's worth of snowfall, 22.4 inches, from the blizzard.

In New York City's Central Park, Saturday was the snowiest day on record. The previous record was 24.1 inches from Feb. 12, 2006. Central Park fell 0.1 of an inch short of tying the previous all-time record storm total snowfall of 26.9 inches from Feb. 11-12, 2006.

"Baltimore received the most snow on record for a storm on Sunday, surpassing the old record of 26.8 inches set during the President's Day storm of 2003," AccuWeather Meteorologist Brian Edwards said.


Local emergency management reported that there were three roof collapses of weak buildings and mobile homes in Page County, Virginia, where totals were around 2 feet.

While there were widespread totals of 2 to 3 feet, a few localized locations even topped that threshold from northwestern Virginia to south-central Pennsylvania. A National Weather Service spotter reported 42 inches of snow near Glengary, West Virginia.


Strong wind gusts between 30 and 50 mph led to extensive blowing and drifting snow and near-zero visibility. Most cities were shut down with travel bans in place to keep vehicles safely off the roads.

Travel bans forced those heading outdoors to travel by foot. Some people traveled by cross-country skis and a sled.


Heavy bands of snow set up across portions of the mid-Atlantic producing snowfall rates of 1 to 3 inches per hour. Snow crews were unable to keep ahead of the storm. This led to some vehicles being trapped on the roads for more than 24 hours.

Hundreds of thousands of people from the Tennessee Valley to the mid-Atlantic were without power at some point during the storm. Thousands of flights were cancelled as major hubs were shut down.

This storm also produced coastal flooding and beach erosion along the mid-Atlantic coast. Icy flood waters flowed down several roads across eastern New Jersey.

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It may take days for all roads to be cleared of snow. However, calm and dry conditions will aid those digging out from the storm.

Before the storm invaded the mid-Atlantic, immobilizing snow fell across portions of Kentucky, Tennessee and Arkansas. North Carolina was also hit hard.

Portions of Kentucky received more than 1 foot of snow while over 6 inches of snow fell in Nashville and Little Rock, Arkansas, on Friday.


Snow showers even extended into portions of Florida, including Jacksonville during Saturday.

While the storm has ended, anyone with photos and videos of the event can still share them with AccuWeather.


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