As 2022 comes to a close, AccuWeather looks back at unforgettable weather photos that captured the most memorable events of the past 12 months. Across the country, weather events uprooted families and made towns come together in a way like no other.
From countless winter storms to severe weather outbreaks and one of the deadliest hurricanes since the 1930s, there were no shortages of weather across the country.
Here are just a few of the most memorable photos from this past year.
A ferocious nor’easter, which rapidly intensified into a bomb cyclone, slammed areas from the mid-Atlantic to Maine during the final days of January. The heavy snow and hurricane-force winds resulted in a blizzard that generated whiteout conditions in many areas.
Boston was hammered by prolific snowfall with rates of 2-4 inches per hour. Roughly 20 miles southwest of the city in parts of Norfolk County, the snowfall rate exceeded 4 inches per hour in the heaviest snow bands. The highest snowfall total was measured in Stoughton, Massachusetts, which is a town about 20 miles southwest of Boston, in Norfolk County, when 30.9 inches of snow was recorded.
Boston measured a total of 23.8 inches of snow from the storm, which made this storm the seventh-largest snowfall event in Boston history.
Sea spray, kicked up by the hurricane-force winds that gusted over 100 mph in some areas, completely encased homes in Brant Rock, Massachusetts, which is a coastal town about 30 miles southeast of Boston.
The nor’easter also bombarded coastal areas south of New England, dumping particularly heavy snowfall on Islip, New York, with a daily snowfall total of 22.9 inches. Islip, which is east of New York City on Long Island and the location of New York City’s National Weather Service (NWS) office, racked up 24.7 inches throughout the entirety of the storm. According to NOAA, 100% of New England was covered in snow in the wake of the storm.
Logan Johnson, 11, carries a sign that reads “Thankful” after he recovered it from his family’s destroyed home after a tornado hit in Powderly, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Nearly 1,330 tornadoes were recorded as relentless rounds of severe weather barreled across the country this year, according to preliminary storm data from the Storm Prediction Center (SPC). As the copious amounts of severe weather devastated towns, uprooted entire families and occurred at seemingly the worst time possible, survivors came out “thankful” for their lives.
By March, severe weather season was in full swing. A severe thunderstorm outbreak on March 21 fueled a powerful EF3 tornado that tore through Jacksonboro, Texas. The twister damaged at least 80 homes and injured nine people as it ripped through the town located just northwest of Fort Worth.
At least two of the three schools located in Jacksonboro were significantly damaged by the twister. No injuries or fatalities were reported from the schools, which were both in session at the time of the tornado. Teachers were credited for ushering the students to a safe place to wait out the storm.
The severe weather continued moving east and created widespread destruction in Louisiana. In New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward, a ferocious and deadly EF3 twister rampaged through an area that Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Ida heavily impacted.
“Unfortunately, our people have become all too familiar with rebuilding after tragedy and loss, but it is never easy,” the governor said following the severe weather outbreak.
At least one death was attributed to the storms in Louisiana. Connor Lambert, a 25-year-old resident of Arabi, was on his way home from his parents when the storm struck. The St. Bernard Parish coroner’s office said he died of multiple blunt-force injuries, according to The Associated Press.
According to the SPC, 14 fatalities were reported from severe weather across the U.S. in March alone.
In April, May and June, more than 500 twisters were reported across the U.S. The severe weather season seemed to quiet as the summer months got underway. But it didn’t stay quiet for too long. By November, more rounds of severe weather spun up across the country.
At least two people were killed, and others were injured after an outbreak spawned across the southern Plains during the first week of November. As residents cleaned up the debris after the storms, they were thankful to be alive.
During a severe weather outbreak in mid-December, an EF2 tornado ripped through Killona, Louisiana, which is located roughly 25 miles west of storm-weary New Orleans. At least one person died and several were injured following the twister that knocked down powerlines and blocked roads.
From the Desert Southwest to the southern Plains and Midwest, epic deluges were common during the summer. Over a five-week period in the middle of the summer, five areas across the U.S. all experienced 1-in-a-1,000-year flooding events.
An aerial photo of a roadway that has collapsed into a swollen stream.
Yellowstone National Park closed in mid-June due to unprecedented rainfall which created extremely hazardous conditions, such as heavy flooding and rockslides. More than 10,000 visitors were evacuated as the park closed for the first time in history due to the flooding. Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte declared a statewide disaster due to the crisis, stating that rapid snowmelt and heavy rains led to the flooding, which left many in the state without power or water services.
After a 67-day dry streak in Dallas, 8 to 16 inches of rain fell over a 24-hour stretch in the city. The heavy rain flooded buildings, submerged cars on interstates and caused the Trinity River to swell well beyond its normal water line.
Historic and deadly flooding was also reported in St Louis, eastern Kentucky, southeastern Illinois and Death Valley, which all resulted in billions of dollars worth of damage, according to an AccuWeather estimate.
AccuWeather Founder and CEO Dr. Joel N. Myers, who has for decades closely studied the economic impacts of extreme weather, estimated that the total damage and financial loss resulting from the catastrophic flash flooding would range between $4.5 billion and $6 billion.
Boats are stacked up against the Port Sanibel Marina Motel after Hurricane Ian ran through the area, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Fort Meers, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Although there were a total of 14 named tropical systems in the Atlantic Ocean basin during the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, one storm will stand out in years to come. Hurricane Ian wrote a new chapter in weather history books as it brought destructive winds, disastrous storm surge and impressive rainfall totals to Florida in late September.
On Sept. 23, Ian formed in the central Caribbean Sea, southwest of Jamaica. The storm steered across Cuba, surviving the island’s mountainous terrain before it underwent rapid intensification in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The storm packed dangerous winds as it slammed into the southwest Florida coastline as a high-end Category 4 hurricane.
Ian made landfall as the fourth-strongest hurricane in Florida’s history when it roared ashore in Punta Gorda on Sept. 28 with wind speeds of 150 mph.
The storm brought a catastrophic storm surge of 18 feet to the barrier island in southwest Florida and major flooding to the rest of the state. Heavy rainfall led to more than a dozen USGS river gauges across Florida exceeding major flood stages and rainfall totals surpassing two feet in many towns.
The death toll climbed for weeks following Ian. The storm killed at least 139 people in Florida alone, making it the deadliest hurricane in the state since the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane, which killed over 400 people.
In Fort Myers, one of the harder-hit areas, photos of the town showed beachfront properties scattered like matchsticks across the sand. Communities were obliterated and entire islands were cut off from the mainland. Boats, the once were neatly organized in marinas, littered roadways.
Zaria Black, de Buffalo, quita la nieve de su auto en Buffalo, Nueva York, EEUU, viernes 18 de noviembre de 2022. (AP Foto/Joshua Bessex)
A lake-effect snowstorm of epic proportions dumped nearly 7 feet of snow across parts of New York during a five-day period in the middle of November. Dump trucks were brought in to remove snow and plow drivers worked around the clock to clear the roadways.
Hamburg, New York, located 14 miles south of downtown Buffalo, measured a colossal 81.2 inches of accumulation as of Monday afternoon. Orchard Park, located 11 miles southeast of downtown Buffalo, and home to the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, measured 80 inches of snow.
Orchard Park unofficially received 66 inches of accumulation over a 24-hour timespan. If confirmed by the New York state climatology office, this would set a new state record for the most snowfall in a 24-hour period. The current record stands at 50 inches, measured in Camden, New York, in 1966.
The daily snowfall record was broken, not once, but twice at the Buffalo-Nagara International Airport. On Friday, Nov. 18, 16.1 inches of accumulation was measured at the weather station at the airport, which broke the record of 7.6 inches set in 2014. On Saturday, the record was broken again when an impressive 21.5 inches accumulated at the weather station.
One official in western New York even noted that this most recent storm surpassed the 2014 long-duration snowfall event, commonly known as “Snowvember,” in some ways.
“This was a record-breaking storm that, in some ways, it was more intense than the storm that we had, Snowvember, back in 2014,” Karen Hoak, deputy commissioner of public works for the county highway division, told the Buffalo News. “We saw at some times that there were six inches per hour of accumulation, so the recovery is still continuing.”
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