Tuesday, December 31, 2013


A Nor’easter is a powerful winter storm that impacts the eastern mid Atlantic area.  The name nor’easter comes from the northeasterly winds that accompany these typically massive storms.  Formation occurs within 100 miles of the East Coast then they travel into the Mid-Atlantic/New England area all the way into Canada.  Formation of a nor’easter is similar to a tropical storm but they survive and grow in cold weather conditions, rather than summer.   Nor’easters are able to cause just as much if not more damage than their warm weather counterpart, Hurricanes.  These winter storms typically result in large amounts of snow accumulation for the areas impacted, and like tropical storms produce strong winds and coastal flooding.  The combination of accumulation from rain, snow, and ice coupled with strong winds makes nor’easters dangerous storms for those in its path. 

Many notable historic winter storms are the result of Nor’easters.  The winter of 2009-2010, Richmond experienced 4 separate winter storms between December and February.  All these storms combined resulted in a total snow accumulation of 28 inches.  Two of the four storms from that winter were the result of a Nor’easter.  While these Nor’easters had little impact compared to other great Nor’easters such as The Ash Wednesday Storm of 1962 and the March 1993 Superstorm should still serve as a reminder to be aware and prepare when one is forecasted.