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Posted at 7:00 PM ET, 02/ 1/2011

Amazing reports about massive Midwest storm

By Jason Samenow
Satellite-radar composite of Midwest storm, showing classic comma shape and huge swath of heavy precipitation. Source: Washington Post Weather Wall (national view)

NASA is calling the storm exploding over in the Midwest "one of the largest winter storms since the 1950s." On Monday, we talked about what all of the ice and snow the storm might bring. Now it's well underway.

Here are some Twitter reports aggregated from a variety of sources, illustrating the power, severity and danger of this historic winter storm:

The Snow

CNNweather: The 13.2" measured in Tulsa breaks the 1-day record, and breaks the record for most snow during the month of February, all in 1 day.

TWCBreaking: An incredible 5" of snow [fell] in 90 minutes in Miami, OK


TWC Breaking: Where has the heaviest snow fallen so far? Northeast Oklahoma into southwest Missouri. Roughly 15 to 21".

TWC Breaking: Kansas City Int'l Airport CLOSED

JimCantore: Radar from Chicago shows intense area of 2" to 3" per hour snowfall rates about 45 minutes south of Chicago metro area [6:30 p.m. ET]

TWCBreaking: What does Lakeshore Drive look like right now? [Photo]

WeatherBugMedia: WOW! NWS CHI: Before making the decision to travel, consider if getting to your destination is worth putting your life at risk.

The Ice

breakingweather (AccuWeather): More than 1 [million] people from the Midwest to Northeast could be without power due to ice downing tree limbs and powerlines.

CNNweather: Ice Storm Warning issued for Indianapolis. Roads will become impassable due to icing. Widespread, long-duration power outages are likely.

The Cold

TWCBreaking: Wind chills as low as -36 at Boise City, OK. Per NWS...this is the lowest wind chill recorded by the Oklahoma mesonet!

TWCBreaking: First ever "hard freeze" warning issued by the DFW [Dallas] National Weather Service. [Link]

Groundhog's Day Effects:

WeatherBugMedia: Woodstock Willie - IL's version of @GroundhogPhil - won't be coming out. Organizers have canceled the "Feb. 2 prognostication" for 2011

accuweather: We are heading out to Punxsutawney today to greet the Groundhog. Weather will be worse than any in recent memory.

To Conclude

Sally Forth comic by Steve Alaniz & Francesco Marciuliano; drawn by Craig MacIntosh. H/T Steve Tracton

By Jason Samenow  | February 1, 2011; 7:00 PM ET
Categories:  Latest, U.S. Weather  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: PM Update: Rain and freezing rain tonight
Next: Ice to mostly stay north; do your homework


some really amazing information on this storm and seeing all the reports coming in.

Posted by: jrodfoo | February 1, 2011 7:03 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: tombeek31 | February 1, 2011 7:04 PM | Report abuse

That is incredible. I really feel for the people trapped in their cars in this. 2" to 3" per hour snowfall? That's insane!

Posted by: redskirt_ | February 1, 2011 7:04 PM | Report abuse

@redskirt didn't we have that last week around this time? ;)

Posted by: AdmiralX | February 1, 2011 7:14 PM | Report abuse

I remember hearing 1" to 2" an hour, which was supposed to be quite a bit, but maybe it fell even faster somewhere I didn't hear about.

Posted by: redskirt_ | February 1, 2011 7:26 PM | Report abuse

I was wondering, how does this storm stack up against the March, 1993 Superstorm which was called the Storm of the Century and affected the entire east coast?

Posted by: marcm2 | February 1, 2011 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Southern Missouri is one of the poorest regions in the country. The Mississippi Delta, Appalachia, rural Nevada, and southern Missiouri, in no particular order.

Posted by: blasmaic | February 1, 2011 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Boy this looks like so much fun! Yippee! Yay! Snowlovers unite! Don't be shy, tell us why it would be so great to experience this.

Posted by: Efren3 | February 1, 2011 7:42 PM | Report abuse

"We are heading out to Punxsutawney today...."

Oh yeah. Haul out the hog in the middle of an epic blizzard. Gotta love looney snow crowd behavior.
CWG I'm counting on you to find some sort of video of that for us all. ;-)

Jokes aside.....that's a big storm.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | February 1, 2011 7:51 PM | Report abuse

It's just a snow storm...relax---drive slowly, get home, crank heat and deal with it....the same way folks have done so for eons! (FROM: survived all last year's silly named storms)

Posted by: BMSBKiller | February 1, 2011 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Efren3, I don't know what you're on, but I'd like to get some.

Posted by: Rhea1 | February 1, 2011 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Check out the traffic cams for Chicago and KC at for vicarious thrills.

Posted by: DOG3521 | February 1, 2011 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Woohoo! Snow AND ICE! And imagine how gorgeous that must be - like being trapped inside a snow globe! So pretty, all that snow just instantly whomping down around you, like a snowy blanket. Must be fantastic to be trying to drive home from work in that - you get to experience that snow for a good 7 or 8 or 12 hours!

And check out that comma shape, isn't that AWESOME? I really hope lots of people are just standing out on their decks enjoying that beauty. It's even better without power, no droning electrical appliances and hum to drown out the sounds of the storm. Might be a little cold, but so what - a few days or a week without power is a small price to pay for such a fantastic snow and ICE spectacle! It's like nature putting on a show.

Posted by: nocando | February 1, 2011 8:10 PM | Report abuse

The "super storm" of '93 was devastating b/c DC did not have fleet to manage. Thankfully...(post berry) ..the city is well served and ready. LOL

Posted by: BMSBKiller | February 1, 2011 8:11 PM | Report abuse

DOG3521 --

Holy cow...some of those Chgo cams look like they're having complete whiteout conditions.

Posted by: natsncats | February 1, 2011 8:18 PM | Report abuse


No question, the current storm is no match for the the March 1993 "Superstorm" (Storm of the Century) in virtually all respects. Google "march 1993 superstorm" for comparison and you'll see why.

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | February 1, 2011 8:20 PM | Report abuse

im confused wats washington dc gonna be like tomaro? school?

Posted by: live4soccer9 | February 1, 2011 8:26 PM | Report abuse

I'm more confused as to why you write like that?

Posted by: TheMot | February 1, 2011 8:28 PM | Report abuse

makes you wonder how we survived the big storms of the 70s and 80s without Bastardi's dire warnings

Posted by: tgt111 | February 1, 2011 8:30 PM | Report abuse

any1 cun answr my qstion..i kinda real confused

Posted by: live4soccer9 | February 1, 2011 8:34 PM | Report abuse

I'm having trouble getting excited about this storm when we're going to get rain...

Posted by: petworthlad | February 1, 2011 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Hope nobody is trying to navigate the storm in a Volt.

Posted by: ChangeWhat | February 1, 2011 8:36 PM | Report abuse


It's gonna be like a rainy day and your school will be open. Maybe you will learn to spell "tomaro" the right way?

Posted by: rwalker66 | February 1, 2011 8:39 PM | Report abuse

i had a great time during the "superstorm", but i remember it as a huge bust accumulation-wise 'round here. warm, wet, icy. classic dc snowhole? just googled it. 6.6" in dc, 14.1" at dulles.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 1, 2011 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Steve CWG

just to make sure I understand you. You're saying the 1993 storm was much more severe right?

Posted by: 300_sq_ft | February 1, 2011 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, walter, HUGE bust - compared to what was called for, anyway. I think it started out with predictions of one to two FEET around these parts, but about a 1/3 of way through the storm the sleet started mixing in. Really disappointing...though it was certain the Storm of the Century for most other people OUTSIDE of the immediate D.C. metro region!

Posted by: ToBeBlunt | February 1, 2011 8:55 PM | Report abuse

From Chicago Tribune:

"The City of Chicago obtained 50 snowmobiles to ensure that firefighters can reach residents on snow-clogged side streets who might need their help tonight or tomorrow. It is believed to be the first time the city has used snowmobiles to help out during a massive snowfall. The vehicles will be sent to half of the Chicago Fire Department’s 100 firehouses around the city."

Posted by: tinkerbelle | February 1, 2011 8:59 PM | Report abuse

My favorite quote of the night: WeatherBugMedia: WOW! NWS CHI: Before making the decision to travel, consider if getting to your destination is worth putting your life at risk.

Best part is there are people here (snow lovers) who are upset we arent getting this snow. Of course, risking ones life isnt as important to snow lovers as is a good 20+ inches of snow!

Luckily we wont be seeing anything like that this winter.

Posted by: KRUZ | February 1, 2011 9:03 PM | Report abuse

I am soooooo jealous!!!!!!!

Posted by: Snowlover2 | February 1, 2011 9:14 PM | Report abuse

I was a kid in north Georgia during "The Storm of '93." We got about 21 inches of snow (with lightening and many downed trees, etc.). I thought it was really fun, though our house got super cold with no power for 5 days. Nice memories of that storm, though.

Posted by: batsandgates | February 1, 2011 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Me want....

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 1, 2011 9:18 PM | Report abuse

During 93 I lived in Boston. We had about a foot or so. What amazed me having grown up in Silver Spring was how we had 12 inches of snow on Saturday and my law school opened on time on Monday morning. It was an unbelievable storm.

Posted by: marcm2 | February 1, 2011 9:24 PM | Report abuse

My shovel yearns to battle its mighty drifts.

Oh well, it's just too warm, here comes our drenching. Wash my car!

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | February 1, 2011 9:29 PM | Report abuse

After a VERY warm winter so far, Denver is now experiencing our coldest temperatures in two decades. Lows tonight are expected to get down to -20 (actual, not windchill) and due to the cold the majority of schools will be closed for a second consecutive day.

Posted by: dan1975 | February 1, 2011 9:31 PM | Report abuse

AYeeeeee CWG,

At 10 PM Can i geTttA sKool CaSt foe tomaro for Chicago PUBLIC skools? Eye live In ChicAgo an u guYs is tHe Only ppl wit skool cast In DA COUNTRY!!


WE Gettin PounDed TonigHt. ImA Be MakinN DaT $$$ 2MRw ShoVeliN Dat SNoe.

Posted by: SNOWLUVER | February 1, 2011 9:35 PM | Report abuse

"Several hundred people stranded in cars across northeast oklahoma..."

I am well aware that there are some people who must be out on the roads in this due to emergency situations. As someone who dealt with a major medical emergency in the family during our February blizzard last year, if I had had even the slightest chance of making it from my house to the hospital in my ancient Nissan Maxima I would have made the attempt.

But for everyone who is not dealing with a major emergency: Why on earth are you out on the roads?! Please, for your own sakes and those of your families, STAY HOME!

Posted by: gewaldron | February 1, 2011 9:37 PM | Report abuse

300_sq_ft |


Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | February 1, 2011 9:43 PM | Report abuse

I must be getting real old, because my bellwether of the biggest storm(s) was in 1978 in Worcester, Mass. I recall that the state was closed to driving for 9 straight days, as ordered by Gov. Mike Dukakis. (I told you I was getting old.)

Posted by: StevenMark | February 1, 2011 10:00 PM | Report abuse

It is amazing here in Chicago (north of the city). After living through the storms in College Park last year, this is quite an experience. The wind is absolutely incredible. It's a non-stop howling, I doubt I'd even get to hear some good thundersnow over the roar of the wind.

My mother is staying at her workplace in the city and not even trying to come home, but my father was lucky he got out just in time (or unlucky, because he'll have to commute in tomorrow).

Snow drifts of 5-7 ft is what the weather center blog had said (WGN). I moved 5 inches of snow 3 hours ago and it has completely been replaced (can't tell if it's from snow that was already down or new stuff).

Amazingly, though, the CTA "L" and commuter rail service are still running at almost full capacity (the yellow line was shut down, but it's just a shuttle between two stops).

Best of luck to any midwesterners who read the Gang's blog and thanks to the Gang for all the updates!

Posted by: mjterp | February 1, 2011 10:01 PM | Report abuse

snowmobiles! that's creative.

21" in GA! nice. and 6.6" in dc. classic. i saw alabama had 17"... musta been quite a storm.

speaking of quite a storm. i wish today's were hitting dc. - except for kruz's, nocando's and efren's houses and any roads poor kruz is responsible for collecting overtime to plow.

even without any change in track, if it were only cold enough, this storm would have brought us a manageable 5-8" snow.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 1, 2011 10:03 PM | Report abuse

I just got done literally dancing in the rain!!!!! I love it!!!!! Snow/Ice/Sleet, no thank you!

Posted by: KRUZ | February 1, 2011 10:09 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand what all the hoopla is about. Its winter, put winter (not all-season) tires on all 4 wheels. If you have public transit use it instead of driving yourself. Keep enough food in the house for a few days. Have a wood stove or working fireplace for heat in case the power goes out. Get some kerosene lanterns and LED flashlights. Read books instead of watching TV. Charge up your laptop & phone in your vehicle if need be. Work remotely over a secure VPN connection. Properly used, a backup power source can keep your router running for days. If you really must drive in a foot or two of snow stock your vehicle with blankets, candles (for heat) food and a cell phone. Use tire chains and drive slowly.

Its not like you are being asked to spend a winter at Valley Forge with rags for boots. Get a grip and realize that mankind does not rule the Earth, never will either.

Amused Vermonter

Posted by: RandomArrow | February 1, 2011 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Here are two of Jim Cantore's latest Tweets from Chicago (within last hour):

Lightning and loud thunder on the Magnificent mile right now. Epic !! #blizzard

Chicago Lakefront measured wind GUSTS to near 70 MPH #blizzard #weather

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | February 1, 2011 11:02 PM | Report abuse

I remember that big double storm in the early 80's. Had nearly a week off... under REAGAN.

Posted by: WmLaney | February 1, 2011 11:02 PM | Report abuse

can anyone comment on the major dry slot over central illinois and indiana. sounds like that area isnt getting near what was predicted. is this correct? did the models fail to pick up on this?

Posted by: cunninja4 | February 1, 2011 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Unreal, the 11 p.m. observation in Chicago is: Thunderstorm Heavy Snow Small Hail/Snow Pellets Blowing Snow Freezing Fog and Windy, 21 °F
with a sustained wind of 30 mph, with gusts to 56 mph. Visibility 0.06 miles

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | February 1, 2011 11:08 PM | Report abuse

One for the record books!
Kansas City Airport closed, Chicago Public closed for first time in about 12 years, Lake Shore Drive closed due to a bus blocking three of the 4 Northbound lanes, Gust of 50+, AND parts of the press box at Wrigley blown off and creating road hazards in the neighborhood.

For more data:

Posted by: sullivanva1 | February 1, 2011 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Jason --

All they left out of that observation is locusts...

Posted by: natsncats | February 1, 2011 11:10 PM | Report abuse

I'll pray for you folks. I live in Los Angeles, and we are not suffering what you folks are going through.

Posted by: Rush_Limbaugh | February 1, 2011 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Amused Vermonter, I'm from Massachusetts myself, and if I were at home the line about "have a wood stove or working fireplace for heat" would make sense, But here I live in a third floor apartment, so neither is an option...

Posted by: angelicat | February 1, 2011 11:25 PM | Report abuse

LOL, efren 3 and nocando. I don't think everyone here can hear your sarcasm, but I do. (At least, I hope I do.)

Posted by: angelicat | February 1, 2011 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Is any of this going to hit here in a couple days?

BTW on being prepared for power outages: the new (to me) LED headlamps are really great--so much smaller, lighter and brighter than the old ones of 10 years ago. Great for reading, walking, shoveling, chores around a dark house, whatever. Those who don't know, you can get them at REI and sports stores (anywhere from $15 to $80). [Those who do know, please stop laughing. 8~)]

Posted by: DCModerateGuy1 | February 1, 2011 11:55 PM | Report abuse

All of Southern Texas along the coast will have subfreezing temperatures tonight.

Posted by: thejames1225 | February 2, 2011 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Forget repealing healthcare -- let's do gravity first. Getting snow to fall upward would be a really good plan.

Posted by: johne37179 | February 2, 2011 7:24 PM | Report abuse

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