ABC News, the Ithaca Journal, and affiliated Gannett newspapers unite in giving the latest bout of storms, which could drop from one to two feet of snow in some areas, the “Snowicane” handle. The reason: in addition to an onslaught of snow, Northeasterners can expect wind speeds of up to 70 miles per hour. The cutoff for hurricane force is 75 mph.
ABC News explains the wintery barrage:
In some places wind gusts of up to 70 mph were forecast — notable, considering that 75 mph winds in summer are considered hurricane-force.
Storms this time of year tend to follow each other. There was widespread snow in the Northeast on Tuesday.
Why such a rough winter? It is a combination of factors, said forecasters. There is an El Nino — a warm patch of water in the Pacific that adds steamy air to the jet streams blowing over it, generally bringing stormy weather to the American west. Two other periodic patterns — one called the Arctic Oscillation and the other called the North Atlantic Oscillation — are both sending colder-than-usual air toward the eastern part of the U.S. from northern latitudes.