February 3rd, 2011
Econintersect: Chicago had a false alarm. After repeated warnings that the storm could be the worst ever, "only 20.2 inches" of snow officially fell. This was "only" the third worse snowfall in history. Of course, in the Windy City, 20 inches of snow on average can be zero inches in lots of places and 10 feet in some others. But Chicago was not the only place than felt winter's wrath. The storm cut a wide swath across the U.S. - it was called the 2000 mile storm for a reason. (Photo - I93 Salem, NH - NY Times) Follow up:
Follow up:A survey of eastern U.S. ski resorts revealed a wide range of snowfalls from the storm. Many resorts across the Catskills in New York, southern and central Vermont on up into New Hampshire and Maine reported one, two and three day totals ranging from 12"-18.5". The deepest accumulations were in Northern New York (Whiteface 30") and Northern Vermont (Jay Peak 26"). To the south, Seven Springs PA reported on 2" for this week, Snowshoe WV reported a return to freezing temperatures Thursday with 2" of new snow and Sugar Mountain in North Carolina reported no new snow in the past seven days.
So one of the "great storms in history" was just another decent snowfall for some ski resorts and found a few that apparently were on the warm side of the storm. That would be spelled r-a-i-n. The two feet plus found for Whiteface and Jay Peak are sustantial but not extraordinary.
It seems that often snow falls less where it would be actually appreciated.
Sources: Survey of Ski resorts and The New York Times