Impacts of a Destructive and Well-Observed Cross-Country Winter Storm

Brooks E. Martner
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Robert M. Rauber
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Roy M. Rasmussen
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Erwin T. Prater
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Mohan K. Ramamurthy
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A winter storm that crossed the continental United States in mid-February 1990 produced hazardous weather across a vast area of the nation. A wide range of severe weather was reported, including heavy snowfall; freezing rain and drizzle; thunderstorms with destructive winds, lightning, large hail, and tornadoes; prolonged heavy rain with subsequent flooding; frost damage to citrus orchards; and sustained destructive winds not associated with thunderstorms. Low-end preliminary estimates of impacts included 9 deaths, 27 injuries, and $120 million of property damage. At least 35 states and southeastern Canada were adversely affected. The storm occurred during the field operations of four independent atmospheric research projects that obtained special, detailed observations of it from the Rocky Mountains to the eastern Great Lakes.

*NOAA/ERL/Wave Propagation Laboratory, Boulder, CO 80303.

+Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801.

**National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO 80307.

++Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND 58202.

A winter storm that crossed the continental United States in mid-February 1990 produced hazardous weather across a vast area of the nation. A wide range of severe weather was reported, including heavy snowfall; freezing rain and drizzle; thunderstorms with destructive winds, lightning, large hail, and tornadoes; prolonged heavy rain with subsequent flooding; frost damage to citrus orchards; and sustained destructive winds not associated with thunderstorms. Low-end preliminary estimates of impacts included 9 deaths, 27 injuries, and $120 million of property damage. At least 35 states and southeastern Canada were adversely affected. The storm occurred during the field operations of four independent atmospheric research projects that obtained special, detailed observations of it from the Rocky Mountains to the eastern Great Lakes.

*NOAA/ERL/Wave Propagation Laboratory, Boulder, CO 80303.

+Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801.

**National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO 80307.

++Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND 58202.

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