A sudden onslaught of winter-snowstorms in the United States in 2022

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Blinding snow blizzards, hurricane-force winds, freezing rain, life-threatening temperatures, snowdrifts piling up – this is the picture of the Arctic winter that attacked the United States over the Christmas weekend, bringing chaos and paralysis to many cities.

The extent of the intense snowfall and paralyzing cold was almost unprecedented. It stretched from the Great Lakes at the Canadian border to the Rio Grande along the border with Mexico, and about 60% of US communities received winter weather warnings.

Sudden attack of winter in the US – bombogenesis

The phenomenon that the United States has experienced is bombogenesis. It involves a sharp drop in pressure over a short period of time, by at least 24 hPa per day. Bombogenesis is accompanied by very strong winds, often with gusts of up to 200 km/h, as well as violent snowstorms.

image 1
Fig. 1 Stages of bomb cyclone formation

Sudden onslaught of winter in the US and its effects

The snowstorm that swept across much of the United States has caused a state of calamity to be declared in New York and prevented normal operations in many places, causing massive disruptions. Power outages have affected many states. The frigid air hit typically warm areas, such as Florida, for example, and thousands of flights were halted or delayed. The lowest temperatures on record were recorded in Orlando and Houston.

Buffalo and surrounding areas were particularly hard hit. More than 100 cm of snow fell there in 48 hours. Huge snowdrifts almost covered the cars. Hurricane-force winds and snow paralyzed the emergency services, which found themselves in need. The winter storm is responsible for the garbage of more than 60 people across the United States. Those who lost their lives froze in cars, houses or snowdrifts.

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