The January 2019 North American blizzard was a strong and powerful blizzard that struck between January 22-26 in Central and Eastern North America. Forming out of an Alberta clipper over Southwestern Canada, the storm produced light snow in the Northern Plains on January 22-23 before producing heavier snow in the Upper Midwest and Ohio Valley on January 23-24. The storm system later developed into a powerful nor'easter striking the Eastern Seaboard between January 24-26, plaguing it with heavy snow. The storm was given various unofficial names such as Blizzard Donald or the Blizzard of 2019. In advance of the storm, blizzard warnings were issued for several states along the Eastern Seaboard and in Central Appalachia. As much as 70 inches of snow were reported in the hardest hit areas. Tornadoes were also confirmed in other areas as well.

Meteorological history

On January 22, an Alberta clipper formed over Southwestern Canada and moved southeastwards. There was little moisture to supply the clipper, so it produced light snowfall in the Northern Plains while frontogenesis took place. The Weather Predicition Center began to issue storm summaries as the clipper spawned a surface low at the Kansas/Missouri border at 12:00 UTC on January 23. The same day, a weak low pressure system spawned off the coast of Texas and began to produce light snowfall in the Gulf Coast region. The system gradually picked more moisture as it moved eastward along the Gulf Coast before fringing with the other system while it was located between the Ohio Valley and Central Appalachia. At 0:00 UTC, a new surface low had developed off the coast of North Carolina with a central pressure of 1,000 millibars, later becoming the dominant low of the nor'easter. As the storm system moved offshore, it pressure began to rapidly deepen reaching 954 millibars while located offshore of Delaware at 12:00 UTC on January 24. This caused heavy snow bands in the Central Applachian and Mid-Atlantic regions. The storm slowly began to weaken as it moved further offshore, but still produced heavy snow bands in New England and parts of Southeastern Canada. By 14:00 UTC on January 25, most of the snow had ended in Mid-Atlantic state before ending in Canada and New England at 6:00 UTC on January 26. The blizzard, accompanied by a powerful jet stream, crossed the North Atlantic Ocean passing between Iceland and the British Isles on January 27, causing moderate snow to fall across the British Isles with rain in Iceland. The storm system then made a 3/4 turn and moved into the North Sea causing more snow in the British Isles and rain in Southern Scandinavia before being absorbed by another system on January 28.

Snowfall Totals by State

Montana: 1.2 inches in Frazer

North Dakota: 1.8 inches in New Salem

South Dakota: 2.4 inches in Lower Brule

Wyoming: 1.7 inches in Sussex

Colorado: 2.2 inches in Iliff

Nebraska: 2.7 inches in Oshkosh

Kansas: 1.9 inches in Oberlin

Missouri: 4.1 inches in Mexico

Iowa: 7.5 inches in Wilton

Minnesota: 0.8 inches in Browns Valley

Oklahoma: trace in Wright City

Texas: 0.9 inches in Nacogdoches

Lousiana: 1.3 inches in Clarence

Arkansas: 0.2 inches in Homan

Tennessee: 2.1 inches in Trentville

Georgia: 2.3 inches in Monroe

Florida: 1.1 inches in Crestview

South Carolina: 2.9 inches in Clinton

North Carolina: 41.0 inches in Shatley Springs

Illinois: 8.8 inches in Havana

Indiana: 9.7 inches in Jefferson

Kentucky: 9.8 inches in Grayson

Michigan: 15.6 inches in Adrian

Ohio: 34.6 inches inches in Newark

West Virginia: 70.0 inches in Shady Spring

Virginia: 38.5 inches in Shenandoah National Park

Maryland: 54.6 inches in Little Orleans

Washington D.C.: 20.9 inches at Dupont Circle

Pennsylvania: 46.4 inches in McConnellsburg

Delaware: 11.7 inches in Bridgeville

New Jersey: 28.2 inches in Lambertville

New York: 36.3 inches in Phoenicia

Connecticut: 18.3 inches in Salisbury

Rhode Island: 15.1 inches in Burillville

Massachusetts: 29.8 inches in Williamstown

Vermont: 41.9 inches in Killington

New Hampshire: 45.3 inches in Gorham

Maine: 55.1 inches in Portage Lake

A trace of snow was also recorded in Perry, Utah on January 22, because of energy that broke away from the dominant system.


January 22 Event