For many parts of the country, this winter has been particularly mild. Central New York cities like Rochester and Syracuse, for example — areas infamously known for massive snowfall — have seen relatively none this year compared to a normal winter season. According to the snow tracking award site GoldenSnowball.com, Syracuse had seen 41.7 inches of snow (normal average to date: 81.6) and Rochester a measly 24.7 inches (61.5 average) at the time of this writing in early February.
While those areas enjoy a temporary relief, many other parts of the Eastern seaboard have seen more than their fair share of snowfall. Winter Storm Mars is the latest weather condition to strike many parts of New England, according to The Weather Channel’s website.
While it was short-lived, only lasting about a day, the storm did pack quite a sizable punch. Official blizzard conditions and coastal flooding resulted from the storm, causing a myriad of problems for local residents. Wind speeds of 65 miles per hour were reported in some parts of Massachusetts even saw 10 inches of snow in just the one day.
The reason for the sudden storm was due to a specific low pressure meteorological process.
“That area of low pressure underwent what meteorologists call bombogenesis,” The Weather Channel explained. “This is a term generally applied to a storm whose minimum pressure drops at least 24 millibars in 24 hours, indicating a strong and rapidly intensifying storm system. In the case of Mars, the pressure dropped from 1004 millibars at 7 a.m. EST Sunday to 979 millibars by 1 a.m. EST Monday, or 25 millibars in 18 hours.”
Digging out of a mess this extensive, which hits quickly and leaves little time to prepare, can make a tough time even tougher. Having the right equipment, like quality snow pushers, at your disposal is crucial to getting a city back on its feet after storms like this.
“It’s critical that local governments and snow and ice professionals have the proper equipment during events like this,” said Jered Shuknecht, marketing director for Pro-Tech, a national snowplow manufacturer. “Storms like this call for round-the-clock snow removal and if your equipment isn’t durable and can’t keep up with the snowfall rate, you could be in trouble.”
Snow Storm Mars, while mainly hitting parts of New England, did even creep as far south as North Carolina. Light sleet and snow accumulations in that area resulted in multiple traffic accidents early Sunday morning.