Monthly Archives: December 2018

Biggest Winter Storms of 2018

Here is a recap of some of the most significant winter storms in the United States during 2018.

January 3-5 – Eastern US storm pummeled the northeastern states

With snow up to 22 inches in Maine and wind gust up to 76 MPH in Massachusetts, this storm threw a mighty punch to welcome in the new year!

January 12-13, 2018 – Winter Storm dumps up to 14 inches of snow in Tennessee and Ohio Valleys to Lower Great Lakes and New England

Snow maxed out at 14.2 inches in New York, but its effects were felt throughout the Great Lakes region, and its impact reached all the way down to Arkansas and as far West as Missouri.

January 17-18, 2018 – Southern and Eastern U.S. Snowfall – North Carolina gets buried!

Image Credit:NOAA

While many Midwestern and Northeastern states were impacted by this storm, North Carolina received up to 12 inches of snow which is unusual for that state.

January 21-24, 2018 – Rockies to New England Winter Storm

This storm left a ton of snow in its wake, dumping its contents on almost all the Northern and Central states.  Colorado and Nevada topped the charts with up to 18 inches of snow while Minnesota and Nebraska were tied the champion of the Midwest shoveling out from under up to 17 inches.  Maine led the rankings in the Northeast with up to 8 inches of snow from this storm.

February 7-8, 2018 – Central U.S. to Northeast Winter Storm

This little gift to the snow removal industry dumped over a foot of snow in multiple states.  It started producing significant snow as far west as Nebraska, and it built up steam as it marched northeast.

February 9-10, 2018 – Central Plains to Northeast Winter Storm

Saving most of its punch for the Midwest, this storm dumped up to 15 inches of snow throughout the Midwest but then had a last little hurrah by leaving almost 22 inches of snow in Lorraine, New York.

February 20-25, 2018 – Southern Plains to Ohio Valley Heavy Rainfall and Freezing Rain Event

Dumping almost 10 inches of rain in Mississippi, this winter storm reached out to the north and started to leave freezing rain farther north, extending all the way to New York.

March 2-3, 2018 – Great Lakes to New England Winter Storm with Coastal Wind and Rain

Image Credit:NOAA

With gusts up to 93 MPH, this early March storm left up to 39 inches of snow in New York and almost 24 inches of snow in some locations within Pennsylvania.  Most of the significant snowfalls stayed further north, not affecting states south of Michigan, Pennsylvania, or New York beyond a few inches.  This storm also brought rain, which complicated cleanup efforts.

March 5-6, 2018 – Northern Plains to Upper Midwest Winter Storm

Leaving up to 20 inches in western states and up to 14 inches in midwestern states, this storm was able to whip up the falling snow with gusts of wind that stretched out to 74 MPH.

March 7-9, 2018 – Mid-Atlantic to Northeast Winter Storm

Up to 3 feet of snow fell from Virginia to Maine with Vermont accepting the honor of Grand Snow Champion this storm boasting or 36.0 inches in Woodford, Vermont.

March 12-15, 2018 – Mid-March Nor’Easter

Touching as far down as Georgia and as far west as Missouri, the greatest punch happened in the northeastern states gracing the ground 20-30 inches of snow in the upper Northeast.

March 21-22, 2018 – Mid-Atlantic and Northeast U.S.


Image Credit: NOAA

Occurring early spring, this holdout storm did not read the calendar and brought about 6-15 inches of snow from Tennessee to states both north and east.  New York was able to bring in totals up to 20 inches from this storm with both Maryland and Pennsylvania seeing up to 16 inches.

March 25, 2018 – Northern Plains to North Carolina Winter Storm

Mason City, Iowa found itself under 17.5 inches of snow from this storm that reached from Montana to Virginia and North Carolina.  Most snowfall measurements were in the 6-16 inches range.

March 31, 2018 – Fading heavy snow in Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin

While late in the season for some, this end of March storm brought up to 11 inches in Wisconsin, up to 12 inches in Minnesota, and up to 11 inches in Michigan.  It was a fast-moving storm, only dumping its white contents on the US for a single day.

November 15-17, 2018 – Eastern U.S. Winter Storm

With up to a foot of snow, this storm proved to be the “season opener” to the winter for many states, bringing up to 12 inches of snow and affecting many states.

November 25-28, 2018 – Rockies to New England Heavy Snow

Gusts of wind up to 80 MPH blew in this storm that dumped up to 60 inches of snow in Wyoming, up to 17 inches in midwestern states, and up to 28 inches in the Northeast.

December 1-4, 2018 – Plains to Great Lakes and Northeast Winter Weather and Gulf Coast Rain

Touching everything from Florida to Maine, and dumping up to 12 inches of rain or up to 17 inches of snow, this storm that started out in Montana built up steam and pounded states as it went by.

December 7-10, 2018 – Southern Plains to Southeastern U.S. Winter Storm

The heaviest snowfall North Carolina has seen in a long time, this storm was noted for dumping snow further south than most people are used to seeing.  North Carolina saw up to 34 inches of snow, South Carolina received as much as 11 inches of snow, Texas picked up as much as 10 inches of snow, and not to be left out, Virginia picked up as much as 24 inches of snow.  This storm touched as far west as New Mexico collecting up to 5 inches of snow, as far south as Georgia with up to 8 inches of snow, and as far north as Maryland with a paltry 6 inches or less of snowfall.

Record SnowFall… Gone?

Snow accumulation amounts in Pennsylvania are being adjusted. This comes several months after Erie received what they thought was the largest snowfall in state history.

The National Weather Service out of Cleveland looked into the extreme weather event further and discovered a large discrepancy. There were significant snow amount differences between the official totals at Erie International Airport compared to other snow spotters just a few miles away.

A State Climate Extremes Committee was formed and double-checked the snow accumulation measurement practices. They said Erie did not get anywhere near as much snow during the Christmas lake effect storm. Eighteen inches! Yes, 18″ of snow was shaved off from the record books. Other storm systems later in the 2017/2018 winter were also adjusted lower.

When all said and done the seasonal snowfall total was changed from 198.5″ to 166.3″. This mammoth 32″ change still easily beat out the local Erie record for the most snow in a season. BUT the Pennsylvania state snowfall record is still secure.

Using Liquid De-icers

In any business it’s important to maximize effectiveness. In snow and ice management that’s minimizing slip and falls and making your accounts as clean and presentable as possible. Maximize efficiency and save time and money by using all your tools in the toolbox.

Save Time & Money Down the Road

Use of anti-icing and de-icing products should really be a consideration when your in this business. Let’s discuss liquids. Using less material while killing more ice and snow, that’s a win. The purchase price might be higher than rock salt, but if you use the liquid right you will save money in the long run.

It’s Just Like Cooking

Pre-treating is like spraying Pam on a pan. It prevents frozen precipitation from bonding to the surface. Which according to the Minnesota DOT saved 4 times the amount of de-icing product. Of course, makes for much quicker scraping too.

Heavy reliance on granulars resulted in chloride contamination in many water resources because of runoff. Better application and sustainable chemicals would be more environmentally friendly.

There are three groups of people:

 -Those that never use liquids
-Those that swear by them
-Those that have tried, but given up quickly

It takes some time to figure out the best speed, application rate, solution concentration to achieve a certain level of service for your customer. Trial and error is needed to find the winning combo.

Often times, many contractors are using 4-6 times over the amount of material that is needed. This explains why so many are quick to call it quits; they spent all their money!

Weather conditions are very critical in determining how you apply your product of choice. Pavement temperatures are more important than air temperature. Are temperatures trending colder or warmer; maybe above freezing? Humidity and the moisture type of the snow matters. If an event starts as rain or a mix then granulars might make more sense because liquids would get further diluted.

There’s a periodic table worth of options. Types of magnesium, calcium, potassium and sodium solutions are available, plus other organic additives.

Do your research on the specs for different products. Look for the best result at the lowest temperatures. One degree of temperature difference can have a several hundred dollar impact. Having accurate weather information can greatly help out as well.