Weather Intelligence

Top 10 Weather Events For 2014 | Part II

Top 10 Weather Events For 2014

The countdown of Schneider Electric’s Top 10 weather events for the year 2014 continues with with top 5. If you missed the first post of the Top 10 Weather Events, you can find it here.  The events were chosen unscientifically and the primary ranking factors were news media coverage, damage, casualties, and the overall meteorological significance of the event as compiled by Schneider Electric’s Staff Meteorologist, Kyle Schanus.

5) Buffalo, NY | Lake Effect Snow 

As an unseasonably cold air mass drifted across the Great Lakes, ideal conditions developed for heavy lake effect snow on November 18th. One particularly intense lake effect snow band set up just to the south of downtown Buffalo, NY on November 18th and remained nearly stationary into November 19th. This lake effect snow band included snowfall rates up to 4-5 inches per hour, near zero visibility, and even some thunder. While the north side of Buffalo only saw a few inches of snow, the south side of Buffalo saw up to 6-7 feet where this snow band was most persistent.

 Lake Effect Snow 5

 4) California Drought

Through 2014, the state of California experienced its worst drought in recorded history after three consecutive years of below normal precipitation. The winter of 2013-2014 and the spring of 2014 were particularly dry leading to rapid intensification of the drought. Through the spring and summer of 2014, up to 75% of the state was either classified as extreme or exceptional drought.

4 CA Drought

 3) East Coast | Hurricane Arthur

Hurricane Arthur became the earliest known hurricane to make landfall in North Carolina. Arthur developed on July 1st off the Southeast U.S. Coast and made landfall between Cape Lookout and Beaufort, NC as a Category 2 hurricane on July 3rd. The strongest wind gust reported was 101 mph at Cape Lookout, NC. Arthur then emerged back into the Atlantic and accelerated to the northeast on July 4th while paralleling the East Coast and approaching Nova Scotia, Canada.

3 Hurricane Arthur

2) Arctic Air Invasions

Through the first few months of 2014, several rounds of Arctic air spilled through the central and eastern U.S., leading to a particularly cold start to the year. The greatest cold departures from normal occurred from the Upper Midwest through the Great Lakes and the Ohio Valley. The most notable cold outbreak to affect the country was during the January 5-8 time period where near record cold spilled through the Midwest, Great Lakes, and eventually the Northeast. On the morning of January 6th, wind chill values plummeted as low as -60 degrees Fahrenheit for portions of Minnesota. The Minnesota governor cancelled all K-12 public schools statewide on Monday January 6th, 2014. The last time that the Minnesota governor cancelled schools due to cold was in 1997.

1) February 12-14th Winter Storm

On February 12-14th, a classic coastal winter storm developed over the Gulf of Mexico and tracked northeast along the East Coast spreading rain, snow, ice, and high winds north from the Southeast through the Mid-Atlantic and eventually the Northeast. Moisture spreading over the top of cold surface temperatures led to a significant ice event for much of central and eastern Georgia into the Carolinas. Ice accumulations in these areas approached one inch in spots, leading to power outages and significant tree damage. The heaviest snow amounts with this system were noted across the mountains of western North Carolina on northward through western Virginia and into portions of Pennsylvania where amounts reached up to 12-20 inches. A few amounts up near 2 feet were noted near Roanoke and Blacksburg, Virginia. This storm was the 3rd largest single storm snow event in recorded history for both Roanoke and Blacksburg, VA.  Image credit: Noaa.gov

1 Winter Storm

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