(Mirror Daily, United States) – A storm that started on Christmas Eve buried Erie, Pa., in at least 58 inches of snow, breaking all existing state and local records. Erie, which is the Oil State’s fourth largest city, has seen snow falling at a pace of three inches per hour.
Experts said the bulk o the snow fell over just 30 hours since Christmas until Tuesday’s early hours.
The city has declared a state of emergency. Drivers are urged to keep away from highways and streets until the snowfall stops. Interstates 79 and 90 have been shut down.
Gov. Tom Wolf had to call the National Guard since there were initial concerns that ambulances could not reach patients on such snowy streets. He explained that the city’s ambulances are not high enough to go through the snow.
The National Weather Service confirmed that a 34-inch layer of snow Is the proof the latest storm has broken its previous 24-hour record for snowfall. After a few more hours and 24 more inches of snow, the NWS announced that Erie had shattered the state’s two-day record, which was set in 1958 in Morgantown.
More Snow Expected by Wednesday
An extra foot of snow could land in the city by Wednesday, weather experts warned.
This December, Erie had seen nearly 100 inches of snowfall, marking the month with the heaviest snowfall in its history. Erie usually gathers 100 inches during a whole season.
Experts explained that heavy snow is not something new in Erie since the city lies along Lake Erie. The storms are caused by the so-called lake effect, which means that the interaction between the wintery cold air and the lake’s warmth results in extra moisture which can morph into excess snow.
In some areas of Erie, residents saw snow growing by one inch every 15 minutes, which is very strange even by the city’s standards.
Image Source: Defense.gov