February 2016 North American winter storm

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February 2016 North American winter storm
Category 2 "Significant" (RSI: 4.68)
February 2016 United States winter storm 2016-02-02 1700Z.png
The extratropical cyclone responsible for the winter storm at 16:00 UTC (11:00 a.m EDT) on February 2, 2016 over the Upper Midwest
TypeExtratropical cyclone
Winter storm
Tornado outbreak
FormedJanuary 29, 2016 (2016-01-29)
DissipatedFebruary 7, 2016 (2016-02-07) (moved out to sea)
Tornadoes confirmed11
Max. rating1EF2 tornado
Duration of tornado outbreak21 day, 1 hour, 23 minutes
Maximum snowfall or ice accretion41 in (100 cm) in Coal Bank Pass, Colorado[2]
Power outages100,000
Casualties4-5 fatalities
Areas affectedWestern United States, Central United States, Southeastern United States, Northeastern United States
1Most severe tornado damage; see Enhanced Fujita scale
2Time from first tornado to last tornado
Part of the 2015–16 North American winter
Blizzard in Pennsylvania.

The February 2016 North American winter storm was a strong winter storm that caused more than 70,000 people in southern California to lose their electricity, with many broken trees and electrical lines in that area,[3] with the Southern Rocky Mountains having the potential to receive some of the greatest snowfall from the system.[4] One person in San Diego, California area died when a tree fell on their car.[5][6] Another person in Minnesota died after being struck by a car while crossing a street.[7][8]

Meteorological history[edit]

The storm first developed late on January 29 near California and started to track east and brought heavy snow and wind to parts of the Southwest.[1] Late on February 1, the storm started to track northeastward towards Canada, bringing with it blizzard conditions and up to 18 inches (0.46 m) of snow in parts of the Midwest.[2][7] It also brought severe weather to parts of the South on February 2.[1][7] As the system tracked northeast into Canada, it brought rain to most of the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, and New England, which had already been hit by a previous historic storm about a week prior to this. After the storm complex had moved into Canada, the cold front associated with it stalled over the East Coast late on February 4.[9] A new low pressure developed off North Carolina that night and started to track up the coast. It impacted areas already hit hard by the previous blizzard about two weeks prior, and caused messy travel along Interstate 95 in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast areas. The storm brought a quick but moderate-to-heavy burst of fresh snow, with some areas in New England receiving up to 1 ft (0.30 m) of the wintry precipitation.[9][10]


Wolf Creek Pass got more than 23 in (58 cm) of snow in 24 hours as of the morning of February 1,[11] with multiple feet of snow expected in the mountains of Utah and Colorado.[12]

A blizzard watch was issued for February 2 north and west of Des Moines.[13]

Along with the aforementioned deaths, on February 5 two people were killed in Canton, Massachusetts when hit by heavy tree branches covered in heavy snow.[14][15] In New York City, a person was killed when a huge construction crane, in the midst of being moved and secured due to the weather, collapsed and fell on him.[16][17] In Broomall, Pennsylvania, a 90-foot beech tree fell down on a house, killing an elderly couple.[18]

On February 1, over 500 airplane flights were canceled at Denver Airport.[19]

Severe weather in the South[edit]

The storm also produced severe weather across the South on the evening of February 2, including 11 tornadoes, some of which were strong and caused considerable damage in and around Alabama and Mississippi towns of Collinsville, Scooba, and McMullen.[20][21] More storms had affected the southeast region on February 3.[22] Flooding also impacted the south including Georgia.[23] On the 3rd, an EF0 tornado occurred near Columbia, South Carolina,[24][25] and an EF1 caused damage in Fort Stewart, Georgia.[26][27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "LIVE: Blizzard winds down across Plains; Severe storms threaten southeastern US". AccuWeather. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Winter Storm Kayla Dumps Feet of Snow, Killing 1; I-80 to Reopen in Nebraska". The Weather Channel. February 1, 2016. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  3. ^ "Snowstorm to bury Denver, blast high winds across southwestern US on Monday". Retrieved February 1, 2016.
  4. ^ "Heavy Snow, Blizzard Conditions Possible in Rockies, Plains, Upper Midwest Next Week (FORECAST)". The Weather Channel. January 26, 2016. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
  5. ^ "California Woman Dies When Tree Falls On Car". The Weather Channel. February 1, 2016. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
  6. ^ "One dead after tree falls on car in Pacific Beach". KFMB-TV CBS8. January 31, 2016. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
  7. ^ a b c "Winter Storm Kayla Dumps Feet of Snow; Woman Killed in Minneapolis Identified". The Weather Channel. February 1, 2016. Retrieved February 6, 2016.
  8. ^ "Woman killed crossing Hennepin had left work early because of snow - StarTribune.com". Star Tribune. Retrieved February 6, 2016.
  9. ^ a b Elisha Fieldstadt. "Blizzard Hits New England Day Before New Hampshire Primary". NBC News. Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  10. ^ "National Weather Service Text Product Display". Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  11. ^ "Dangerous blizzard to unload a foot of snow from Colorado to Michigan". AccuWeather. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
  12. ^ "Major winter storm expected from Iowa across Wisconsin Tuesday". WGN-TV. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
  13. ^ "Blizzard will miss caucuses, still blanket Iowa Tuesday". Des Moines Register. January 31, 2016. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
  14. ^ "Falling tree limb kills child during snow storm". WFXT. Retrieved February 6, 2016.
  15. ^ "Second Canton Resident Dies After Being Hit By Falling Tree Limb". Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  16. ^ "City Investigates Deadly Crane Collapse in TriBeCa". TWC News. February 6, 2016. Retrieved February 6, 2016.
  17. ^ "Crane collapse NYC: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says crews were lowering crane when collapse happened". February 5, 2016. Retrieved February 6, 2016.
  18. ^ "Schaefer, M. A. (2016, February 06). Fallen tree kills woman, traps husband in Delco home - Philly. Retrieved March 02, 2018".
  19. ^ Alexander Smith. "Blizzard Bearing Down on Midwest and Great Plains". NBC News. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  20. ^ "Photos". The Weather Channel. February 1, 2016. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  21. ^ "Massive storm system fuels tornadoes in the South, blizzards in the Midwest". February 3, 2016. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  22. ^ "Severe Weather Forecast: Groundhog Day 2016". The Weather Channel. February 1, 2016. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
  23. ^ ABC News. "Tornadoes in the South; Snow in Plains and Upper Midwest". ABC News. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  24. ^ Quincy Vagell. "Tornadoes, Flash Flooding Impacted South, East to Start February". Weather Wunderground. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  25. ^ "SPC Severe Weather Event Review for Wednesday February 03, 2016". Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  26. ^ "Tornado destroys vehicles and buildings at Georgia military base". timesfreepress.com. Retrieved February 6, 2016.
  27. ^ "Tornado Outbreak Georgia – Videos & Details From the Ground". WeatherNation. Retrieved February 6, 2016.

External links[edit]