A Northeast snowfall impact scale (NESIS) is presented to convey a measure of the impact of heavy snowfall in the Northeast urban corridor, a region that extends from southern Virginia to New England. The scale is derived from a synoptic climatology of 30 major snowstorms in the Northeast urban corridor and applied to the snowfall distribution of 70 snowstorms east of the Rocky Mountains. NESIS is similar in concept to other meteorological scales that are designed to simplify complex phenomena into an easily understood range of values. The Fujita scale for tornadoes and the Saffir–Simpson scale for hurricanes measure the potential for destruction to property and loss of life by wind-related damage (and storm surge for Saffir–Simpson) through use of a categorical ranking (0 or 1–5).

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The Weather Channel, Atlanta, Georgia

NOAA/NWS/NCEP, Camp Springs, Maryland

An online supplement to this article can be found at DOI: 10.1175/BAMS-85-2-kocin.