December 2022 North American winter storm

December 2022 North American winter storm
Late December winter storm 2022-12-23 1720Z.jpg
The storm near peak intensity while over Canada on December 23
FormedDecember 21, 2022
DissipatedDecember 26, 2022
Highest gust
Lowest pressure963[2] mb (28.44 inHg)
Maximum snowfall
or ice accretion
56.5 in (144 cm) in Snyder, New York, U.S.[1]
Fatalities106[note 1]
Damage$5.4 billion[3]
Power outages7,470,000[4][5]

From December 21 to 26, 2022, a historic[6] extratropical cyclone created winter storm conditions, including blizzards, high winds, snowfall, or record cold temperatures across the majority of the United States and parts of Canada. Areas which experienced blizzard conditions included parts of Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, New York and Ontario, with the Buffalo area of New York and the Fort Erie and Kingston areas of Ontario experiencing almost two full days of blizzard/zero-visibility conditions on December 23 and 24. The cold wave affected all U.S. states from Colorado to the eastern seaboard and as far south as Miami, Florida. On December 24, 110 million people across 36 states were subject to wind chill alerts.[7]

The storm and the related cold wave killed at least 100 people, with six additional deaths occurring due to a contemperaneous smaller storm in the Pacific Northwest (British Columbia, Oregon, Washington). Forty-one of the deaths from the main storm occurred in the Buffalo area where lake-effect snowfall exceeded 56 in (140 cm) inches over a five-day period, while other deaths from that storm and the cold wave occurred across 17 states and the province of Ontario. The storm caused extensive vehicle pileups and road closures, particularly in the areas affected by blizzards or adjacent to those areas, with a complete driving ban imposed in Buffalo for five-and-a-half days. Due to the storm, in excess of 18,200 flights were canceled in the U.S. for between December 22 and 28, while hundreds more were canceled in Canada. Buffalo Niagara International Airport was the most severely affected, as it was completely shutdown for five days. Numerous inter-city passenger rail trips were delayed or canceled in the U.S., while in Ontario, Via Rail service between Toronto and Montreal or Ottawa was completely suspended for over 2 days due to a derailment. About 6.3 million households in the U.S. and 1.1 million in Canada were without power for some part of the storm.

The storm was unofficially named Winter Storm Elliott by The Weather Channel.[8] The National Weather Service in Buffalo, New York, described it as a "once-in-a-generation storm" for Buffalo,[9][10][11] and NOAA's Weather Prediction Center stated it was a "historic arctic outbreak".[6] Media and New York State Governor Kathy Hochul referred to the situation in the Buffalo area as the Blizzard of the Century.[4][12][13][14]

  1. ^ a b c "Storm Summary Message". Weather Prediction Center of the National Center for Environmental Prediction. Archived from the original on December 29, 2022. Retrieved December 30, 2022.
  2. ^ "WPC surface analysis zoom, pan, animation and archives".
  3. ^ Thompson, Carolyn; Peltz, Jennifer (December 29, 2022). "Death toll climbs as blizzard-battered Buffalo area digs out". Associated Press. Retrieved January 8, 2023.
  4. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference ABC was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  5. ^ Cite error: The named reference :5 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  6. ^ a b National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center [@NWSWPC] (December 27, 2022). "On the heels of a historic arctic outbreak, there is a strong signal for well above-average temperatures to welcome in the New Year across the eastern half of the country due to persistent upper-level ridging in the Dec 30th – Jan 3rd timeframe. 🔅" (Tweet). Retrieved December 27, 2022 – via Twitter.
  7. ^ Cite error: The named reference Kansas 3 killed was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  8. ^ "Winter Storm Elliott Death Toll Rises In New York, Military Police To Enforce Buffalo Driving Ban". The Weather Channel. December 27, 2022. Retrieved December 27, 2022.
  9. ^ National Weather Service Buffalo, New York [@NWSBUFFALO] (December 21, 2022). "A once-in-a-generation storm will produce high winds east of Lake Ontario Thursday night into Friday morning, then over a larger coverage of our region Friday into Saturday. Winds could gust over 65 mph, leading to at LEAST scattered power outages, if not widespread outages" (Tweet). Retrieved December 28, 2022 – via Twitter.
  10. ^ Becker, Maki (December 21, 2022). "National Weather Service says 'once-in-a-generation' storm coming. Here's what's expected". The Buffalo News. Retrieved December 28, 2022.
  11. ^ Olson, Emily (December 26, 2022). "At least 50 people have died across the U.S. in 'once-in-a-generation storm'". NPR. Retrieved December 27, 2022.
  12. ^ "'Blizzard of the century' kills dozens but conditions expected to improve". CBS News. December 27, 2022. Retrieved January 6, 2022.
  13. ^ Harris, Jon (December 26, 2022). "'Blizzard of the century': Life safety remains focus as deaths reach 28 in Buffalo Niagara". The Buffalo News. Retrieved January 6, 2022.
  14. ^ "U.S. braces for more deaths as 'blizzard of century' grips nation". The Guardian. December 27, 2022. Retrieved January 6, 2023.

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