Winter Storm Io was a Category 4 winter storm that affected that a large portion in North America in February 2020. The storm caused about $11 million in damage. It cost 6 lives and 35 more were injured.
Winter Storm Io formed from a low pressure system 200 miles off the coast of Baja California. The system eventually formed a storm on February 6. Later that day the storm made landfall in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. Storm Surge Warnings were issued for Baja California and San Diego County, California. Winter Storm Warnings were issued for the nearby mountains. The storm moved through Imperial County, California before turning northeast through the Southwestern States. The winter storm strengthened as it entered the Great Plains and became a blizzard with 45 Mph winds upon entering the Ohio Valley. The blizzard continued through the Northeast before entering Canada weakening. The storm northwestward and dissipated over Nunavut, Canada.
Baja California was the only area in Mexico affected by the storm. High waves and winds destroyed 2 roofs. Otherwise no sever damage was done.
San Diego County also experienced major waves and winds that destroyed many roofs and brought moderate snow accumulations to the nearby mountains. Travelers crossing the mountains were advised to proceed with caution. Imperial County saw severe thunderstorms bringing rare heavy rainfall to its deserted area.
The Southwest experienced moderate snow accumulations and sever thunderstorms. A total of 6 severe thunderstorms were reported. 2 in Arizona, 1 in New Mexico, 2 in Texas, and 1 in Oklahoma. Snow accumulations are also evident among high elevations. 6 inches of snow were reported in Prescott, Arizona, 5 inches in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and 7 inches in Miami, Texas. The overall damage was severe with over 1 million people in this region affected.
Heavy snow accumulations were very evident in the Central Plains a total of 11 inches of snow were in Wellington, Kansas. An accident on I-35 near Ottawa, Kansas that caused 2 critical injuries were blamed on the storm. A similar incident occurred in Fort Scott, Kansas when a tractor trailer jackknifed. 2 people went missing in Perry, Oklahoma due to the storms poor visibility. They were later found safe in South Haven, Kansas after the storm passed. Severe damage affected over 1.5 million in this region.
Midwest and Ohio Valley
Blizzard warnings were first issued for the Midwestern states. 14 inches of snow were reported at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. Downtown St. Louis was also cut off by snow. A collision on I-70 at the Illinois-Indiana state line caused 2 deaths. A skating contest was held in Indianapolis after 12 inches of snow fell there. A student at OSU froze to death while wandering around campus though he had been warned. 16.5 inches of snow were recorded in Weirton, West Virginia, the most snow recorded from the storm in the Ohio Valley. The storm affected over 3 million prop,e in this region.
The storm dumped 20.5 inches of snow in North Central Pennsylvania. The greatest recorded snowfall was 21.5 inches in Kingston, New York. A travel ban was issued by the government of the New England states. In New England 20 inches of snow were recorded in Plymouth, Massachusetts. 3 deaths in Massachusetts were blamed on the storm. Over 1.4 million people in this region were severely affected by the storm.
Canada and Greenland
The remnants of the storm passed over Canada bringing storm surges to the Atlantic Provinces. The Government of Prince Edward Island issue a ban on boating. The storm also brought storm surges to Greenland before turning northwest and dissipating over Nunavut, Canada.