Worst Snow Storms

While the Fujita and Saffir-Simpson Scales characterize tornadoes and hurricanes respectively, there is no widely used scale to classify snowstorms. The Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale (NESIS) developed by Paul Kocin of The Weather Channel and Louis Uccellini of the National Weather Service (Kocin and Uccellini, 2004) characterizes and ranks high-impact Northeast snowstorms. These storms have large areas of 10 inch snowfall accumulations and greater. NESIS has five categories: Extreme, Crippling, Major, Significant, and Notable. The index differs from other meteorological indices in that it uses population information in addition to meteorological measurements. Thus NESIS gives an indication of a storm's societal impacts. This scale was developed because of the impact Northeast snowstorms can have on the rest of the country in terms of transportation and economic impact

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/snow-nesis/#rankings

Heres how its calculated:
nesis.png

NESIS categories

Category NESIS Value Description
Catagory 1 1—2.499 Noteable
Catagory 2 2.5—3.99 Significant
Catagory 3 4—5.99 Major
Catagory 4 6—9.99 Crippling
Catagory 5 10+ Extreme

35 worst systems

Rank Date NESIS Category Description
01 Mar 12-14, 1993 13.20 5 Extreme
02 Jan 6-8, 1996 11.78 5 Extreme
03 Feb 15-18, 2003 8.91 4 Crippling
04 Mar 2-5, 1960 8.77 4 Crippling
05 Feb 2-5, 1961 7.06 4 Crippling
06 Jan 11-14, 1964 6.91 4 Crippling
07 Jan 21-24, 2005 6.80 4 Crippling
08 Jan 19-21, 1978 6.53 4 Crippling
09 Dec 25-28, 1969 6.29 4 Crippling
10 Feb 10-12, 1983 6.25 4 Crippling
11 Feb 14-17, 1958 6.25 4 Crippling
12 Jan 29-31, 1966 5.93 3 Major
13 Feb 5-7, 1978 5.78 3 Major
14 Feb 12-15, 2007 5.63 3 Major
15 Jan 21-23, 1987 5.40 3 Major
16 Feb 8-12, 1994 5.39 3 Major
17 Feb 18-20, 1972 4.77 3 Major
18 Feb 17-19, 1979 4.77 3 Major
19 Dec 11-13, 1960 4.53 3 Major
20 Feb 22-28, 1969 4.29 3 Major
21 Feb 12-13, 2006 4.10 3 Major
22 Jan 18-21, 1961 4.04 3 Major
23 Dec 23-25, 1966 3.81 2 Significant
24 Feb 8-10, 1969 3.51 2 Significant
25 Mar 18-21, 1958 3.51 2 Significant
26 Feb 5-8, 1967 3.50 2 Significant
27 Apr 6-7, 1982 3.35 2 Significant
28 Mar 15-18, 2007 2.55 2 Significant
29 Jan 24-26, 2000 2.52 2 Significant
30 Dec 30-31, 2000 2.37 1 Notable
31 Mar 31 - Apr 1, 1997 2.29 1 Notable
32 Mar 18-19, 1956 1.87 1 Notable
33 Feb 22-23, 1987 1.46 1 Notable
34 Feb 2-4, 1995 1.43 1 Notable
35 Jan 25-26, 1987 1.19 1 Notable
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