Here's what future geologists will discover when they excavate the snowy ruins that were once New England:
That image comes from Morlock Publishing on Twitter. We can't vouch for the scale exactly, but it does capture the key moments as New England has gotten absolutely pummeled by blizzard after blizzard this winter.
Some numbers: Boston has already accumulated 96.3 inches of snow this winter — including a staggering 59.1 inches in February. The city's now within 13 inches of the all-time winter record:
BREAKING NEWS: Boston/Logan reported 0.3" snow at 7 PM, bringing Feb total to 59.1". Season total: 96.3"! Tied for #2 snowiest!— NWS Boston (@NWSBoston) February 18, 2015
Lowell, Massachusetts has more than 111 inches of snow. Worcester has gotten 103 inches. It looks a little like this:
Or like this:
Or like this:
How bad have things gotten? A week ago, Boston seemed like it might run out of places to put all the snow, and Mayor Martin Walsh suggested dumping some of it in Boston Harbor — a controversial idea, given that plowed snow is filthy and contains road salt, dog poop, and other nastiness.
So far, the city has managed to avoid harbor-dumping, as workers are melting plowed snow at three different locations 'round the clock. Boston also has 600 snow plows working overtime and has called up the National Guard to help, CBS reports. All told, the city has had to spend $35 million on snow removal — twice what it budgeted:
By some estimates, all this snow — and the disruptions it's causing — could cost more than $1 billion to $2 billion in lost economic activity. Businesses shut down, people lose wages, transportation is often impossible.
Another unexpected problem is the fact that some residents are now attempting to leap headfirst of their windows onto the massive snowdrifts piled up on their lawns. "These are adults jumping out of windows," Mayor Walsh told the Boston Herald with (no doubt) a weary sigh. "It's a foolish thing to do, and you could kill yourself."
Oh, and the National Weather Service says more snow could be on the way later this February.
-- Joe Heim compares Boston's grizzled response to winter (still functioning after 96.3 inches) to DC's response (grinding to a halt after 8.4 inches).
-- How America got addicted to road salt — and why it's a problem
-- Chris Mooney explores possible connections between global warming and high levels of snow in New England.