March 16, 2023 - Nor'easter Strikes Northeastern United States


The first nor’easter of the season took aim at the Northeastern United States in mid-March 2023, ramping up on the evening of March 13 with shrieking winds and heavy snows which continued through March 15. High elevations in New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire have reported 36 inches (76.2 cm) or more of fresh snowfall, with a few spots in New York measuring in at 40 inches (101.6 cm). Meanwhile major cities, located at lower elevations or along the coast, saw much lighter snowfall.

Wild winds, with even wilder gusts, were responsible for widespread power outages and disrupted Wi-Fi across the region. Gusts topping 60 miles per hour (96.5 km/h) were reported in New Jersey, and winds roared more than 45 mph (72.4 km/h) as far south as Maryland and northern Virginia.

Wet snow piling up on power lines and snapping tree branches combined with strong winds resulted in about 350,000 customers without power at the height of the storm. More than 1,000 flights were cancelled on March 14, especially in Massachusetts and New York, with delays lasting through March 15 in some locations.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on board NASA’s Terra satellite acquired a true-color image of the storm on March 15. At that time, clouds stretched from the Canadian Maritimes westward to West Virginia and Ohio and north into southern Ontario and Quebec, Canada.

Image Facts
Satellite: Terra
Date Acquired: 3/15/2023
Resolutions: 1km (1.3 MB), 500m (4 MB),
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC