What is a major winter storm?
There have been dozens weather events that could be classified as major winter storms since weather reporting began in the late 1800s. To some extent this classification is determined by the amount of snow, the wind speeds and temperatures.
- Storm of the Century 1993
- Valentine's Day Storm 2007
- Snowmageddon 2010
- Hurricane Sandy Radar Loop
- Winter Storm Stella 2017
- Nor'easter December 2020
Generally there is also an unofficial bias towards storms that have had a significant impact on humanity. Because of this impact, the most historic winter storms have fallen on the east coast, with an emphasis on the northeast corridor, between Boston and Washington DC.
The NESIS Scale, developed by the National Weather Service is a relatively recent metric, created to measure impact. It takes into account the size of the storm and it’s impact on people. Two roughly equivalent storms, meterologically, that affect different areas, based on population, can achieve very different NESIS scores.
While NESIS is an important metric, our focus is just a bit different. We’re most interested in storms that impact New York skiers, so our collection of a major winter storms includes those that have fallen on the New York metro and the ski areas of New York and Vermont.