Democracy Dies in Darkness

Capital Weather Gang

The wildest moments of Wednesday’s winter storm

March 8, 2018 at 1:50 PM

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Video shows the Northeastern University women’s basketball team pushing its bus out of the snow during the nor’easter that battered Philadelphia on March 7. (Northeastern WBB)

The nor’easter is still dumping snow on New England, but it didn’t take long for the storm to produce some wild moments up and down the Northeast.

The Northeastern University women’s basketball team gets the job done

The Boston-based team was in Philadelphia for the Colonial Athletic Association tournament and could wind up in the NCAA tournament, according to the Boston Globe. The drive from practice gym to hotel should have been 15 minutes, but it wound up taking a lot more time and much more effort when their bus got stuck in the snow:

The driver slammed on the gas, and backed up to try to gain momentum, but nothing was working.

“We were kind of like, ‘Oh dear, Oh God, we’re going to be stuck here. We’re going to have to call for a new bus or get towed or something,’ ” said [sophomore shooting guard Shannon] Todd, a criminal justice and psychology major who is in her second year on the team.

Teammates began joking about having to push the bus forward, but after a few minutes, it turned into a serious proposition.

“There was really no other option,” Todd said.

Close call on a Massachusetts street

This video almost ended in tragedy as an SUV slid down a hill and nearly pinned a guy into another car. Despite the situation that he and the other driver already were in, he didn’t seem to realize that the SUV couldn’t stop, waving his hands to get the SUV to steer away.

At the last moment, he ran out of the collision course and fortunately didn’t slip and fall in the process.

There are so many ways this could have gone wrong.

Thundersnow from New Jersey to Massachusetts

Remember when thundersnow used to be an uncommon thing? It now seems to happen all the time. Part of that is social media and the ability to share everything we see and hear in an instant. But also, we are meteorologists and we can say this is actually becoming more frequent. We can see it in the lightning data, even if we aren’t around to hear the thunder.

Thunder and lightning were rampant in Wednesday’s storm. It started in New Jersey in the late morning, and by the evening, Connecticut and Massachusetts were getting them, too.

A woman in Manchester Township, N.J., was struck by lightning as she was tending to bus duty outside a school. She was holding an umbrella at the time, according to NBC New York, but came away from the incident with injuries that were not life-threatening.

The video below shows how frequent the lightning was in Connecticut, but because they’re driving on a snowy road you can’t hear the thunder.

18 inches in three hours

Six inches per hour is impressive, even for Vermont. The Berkshires got slammed by this storm, and it wasn’t the heavy, wet snow that fell along the I-95 corridor. The air was much colder there, which enabled all precipitation to fall as light, fluffy snow. The Berkshires’ snow totals were more impressive because it was compact.

Transformers blowing right in front of people

This is pretty common during severe weather and snow storms. Transformers blow when too much electricity flows into them. It can happen when lightning strikes or when the power lines are damaged. In these cases, it could have been either cause. There was a lot of thunder and lightning in yesterday’s storm, but also plenty of falling trees that brought down power lines.

And in Hamden, Conn., we see what it looks like when a transformer blows right in front of your house. If it happens this close to home, power will usually be out for a while until the entire transformer can be replaced.


This was a lovely winter scene — right before a tree snaps in half onto the backyard playground. Fortunately, it doesn’t look as if it damaged the fort.

Angela Fritz is an atmospheric scientist and The Washington Post's deputy weather editor. Before joining The Post, Fritz worked as a meteorologist at CNN in Atlanta and Weather Underground in San Francisco. She has a BS in meteorology and an MS in earth and atmospheric science.

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