National Weather Service map showing spread of March storm.
Most people feel once March 1st arrives, that spring is just around the corner.
Yet in 2014, March has been kicked in the stomach, and is reeling from a brutal mega storm of severe cold, ice and snow. Unlike the polar vortex storms of early January and February, this March storm did not first come down from the North.
No, this 1,000 mile long storm started off the coast of southern California. The storm started as a massive rain event to hit southern California which in turn, caused massive flooding and mud slides. Southern California is in the middle of a historic drought. One reason this rain event hit hard to the emotional spirit of those who live and work in southern California, was the brutality of having the hope of rain replaced with the cruelty of getting too much rain in such a short time frame. In such a region in need for water, to be flooded with large scale amounts of water coming down as rain, seems to be another insult from Mother Nature.
From California, the storm traveled to Texas, up through Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky as winter mix of snow, rain, ice, and extreme wind storm. This was where the extreme cold air from the Arctic collided with the extreme moisture of the Southern states.
Before it would end somewhere off shore, out past Massachusetts, 40 states would be hit, impacting 200 million people. The storm caused billions of dollars in lost sales, work time, and education. Other physical damage will become apparent once the snow melts off. Infrastructure of all types will show damage from this very rough ice driven storm.
In some states like Kentucky, schools will have now been out (from all the storms starting in early December, 2013) a total of over 20 days. That’s a full month lost.
Add insult to injury, many places hit hardest from the full force of the ice, sleet, snow, and wind are still locked in a snow no man’s land. With temperatures staying below freezing, the original ice and snow have now merged into home and business’ worst nightmare - trying to get back to what passes for normal.