The early February 2019 North American winter storm was a major snowstorm that struck the Contiguous United States. Forming out of a low pressure system spawned by the Pineapple Express, it moved ashore of the Pacific Northwest on February 2, bringing over an inch of hail to the region and heavy mountain snow. After impacting the Northwest, it dove southeastwards as an Alberta Clipper, after absorbing the remnants of another system. The storm spawned two surface lows, while affecting the Central and Eastern United States between February 3-6. The intensifying system transitioned into a nor'easter and a bomb cyclone off the Eastern Seaboard. As much as 4 feet of snow fell in the hardest hit areas. Over 100 million people were affected by this winter storm as warnings were issued in 19 states including the Eastern Seaboard from Georgia to Maine. The storm was given various unofficial names such as The Abominable Snowstorm.

Meterlogical History

On February 2, at 2:00 UTC, an extratropical cyclone moved ashore of the coast of the Pacific Northwest. As the cyclone had its origins from the Pineapple Express, the storm produced hailstorms and heavy mountain snow throughout the region, due to its moisture level. At 18:00 UTC that day, the storm absorbed the remnants of another extratropical cyclone, which gave it more energy. The storm dove southeastwards as an Alberta Clipper, while producing moderate snowfall in the Central part of the United States. On February 4, at 12:00 UTC, the clipper system spawned a surface low over Central Texas, about 15 miles SW of Brownwood. This was also point where the NWS began issuing storm summaries. The new surface low began to move across the Southeast and would later become the dominant low of the system. At the time snow began to subside in parts of the Southeast and Ohio Valley. Meanwhile a precursor system had formed off the north coast of Cuba and was already starting to affect the Bahamas. With the tropical origins, the precursor system had plenty to moisture to become a surface low. Sure enough at February 5, at 0:00 UTC, a new surface low formed off the coast of Florida, while the original system was located over Central Mississippi. At 14:00 UTC, that day, the two lows merged while located offshore of the North Carolina coast. The system morphed into a nor'easter while undergoing bombogensis with the central pressure dropping to 965 millibars while located off the New Jersey coastline at 22:00 UTC that day. After that the storm began to weaken, while moving offshore of the New England coast. During February 6, the storm system moved through Atlantic Canada. For the next two days, the storm remnants drifted northwestward over the Hudson Bay, before being absorbed a frontal system on February 8.

Snowfall Totals by State.

Washington (state): 32.8 inches at Snoqualmie Pass

Oregon: 22.1 inches in Crater Lake National Park