585,000 Without Power As "Catastrophic" Winter Storm Pax Pounds Northeast

Tyler Durden's picture

Winter Storm 'Pax' has already crippled much of the South, snarling traffic and dumping more snow than most can remember on places that are unarguably ill-prepared to cope. But, as The Weather Channel warns, up to 18 more inches of snow is forecast for the Northeast as Pax pushes up the East Coast. With no thaw expected in the South until at least the weekend (and freezing winds causing havoc), forecasters expect more power outages. Trouble has already started though further North with DC over 13 inches of snow and NYC having over 7 inches this morning alone. It's not everyday that snow is falling in Atlanta and Boston at the same time! 585,000 households are without power in 7 states this morning. Flight cancellations have begun from DC to NYC building on the 4,000 that were cancelled yesterday.


Snowing from Atlanta to Boston


Near Blizzard conditions in Manhattan/NYC:


Chaos on the roads...


Total Freeway gridlock...


And now it is heading North... with up to 18 inches of snow forecast for the NorthEast


In the last few hours, NYC alone has received 7 inches of snow and over 13 inches of snow in DC...


Though further west is getting more...


New York City's Central Park has record 5 inches of snow in the last 2 hours...

As a reminder, here is how Weather.com described Pax yesterday:

"Sometimes we want to tell them, 'Hey, listen, this warning is different. This is really extremely dangerous, and it doesn't happen very often,'" Jacks said.


The service's memo early Wednesday called the storm "an event of historical proportions."


It continues: "Catastrophic ... crippling ... paralyzing ... choose your adjective."

And power outages in the south are likely to surge...

We suspect the image of weathermen with hands on their faces will be more prevalent today...


As this is coming...

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vxpatel's picture

The sky is falling! I mean it's snowing.

qqqqtrader's picture

Yeh, and where I'm at now in Montana, this is called winter.

It happens every year, or so I'm told.

Big Corked Boots's picture

I heard you have a nice Spring there. Comes on Tuesday, right?

Occident Mortal's picture






jbvtme's picture

what news is behind the explosion in the futures?

Oh regional Indian's picture

Pay attention to the names...

This is what PAX AMERICANA feels like...



And why are those people on the roads at all?

What about chains? I see no chains on those cars?

Whassup? I am an Upstate NY snow veteran.

Gotsta stay sensible and calm is all.


Stackers's picture

2 days before the day after tomorrow


john39's picture

this global warming shit is getting out of hand.  

Four chan's picture

Michigan is unimpressed.

NotApplicable's picture

Why would someone make that with such a small set of blades?

Canadian Dirtlump's picture

As is Alberta. I sort of feel for them in a way though. Noobs. A pail of freeze dried food meals, a water bob to use your bathtub as drinking / cooking water, a small generator, an infrared heater, makes a power outage feels like urban camping instead of the end of days.

pods's picture

Or you could skip the whole burning of gas to make electricity to make heat and just use LP for heat?

That and a Big Berkey and you are good to go.

Not that we are noobs, it is that the weather is different down here.

Or we can go your route and have someone from Siberia thumb their nose at you, and so on and so forth.


CrazyCooter's picture

I actually live in Alaska and we had a very unusually warm string of weeks in Jan/Feb. Everything melted off. This was when the south was getting previous cold systems. My Dad (lives in the south) would call and I would tell him, "Oh yeah, we love global warming". My best line so far though was when he was complaining about the snow and ice, I said "Yeah, I am real sorry about that. I was out drinking the other night and left the gate open when I came home. The cold weather got out. I will put out some food and I am sure it will come back when it gets hungry."



Canadian Dirtlump's picture

I have a big berkey and if I see the storm coming it is smarter to fill my bathtub up and have 100 gallons in a plastic bladder with a pump in the event you lose water than it is to have to fill a big berkey with snow over and over. The berkey is more for emergency use in non below freezing temps, not for use in my house to ger by for a few days.


People there are obviously noobs to the snow and driving in it. Just like I'd be a noob to a hurricane. No offense, but the thought of hundreds of abandoned cars here is unthinkable Things are different down there and they are different up here. In residential areas the standard for home heating is natual gas. If I was more detached ( which will be the plan ) I'll just have a wood pellet stove.


Either way I hope everyone gets through OK, but sadly for every guy like you or I who plans for this shit, there are 90 who don't.

Angus McHugepenis's picture

Dirtlump - I recently paid a visit to my local propane wholesaler here in AB. Got quite the shock when I found out the price had gone up a whopping 25% since the end of January.

The reason?... Seems the USA sold off much of their reserves to Japan prior to all this bad weather happening down there. Apparently all the "experts" were predicting a mild winter for the USA before all this shit happened. So now they have no propane reserves with houses literally being unheated for many weeks. The gov minions were told to buy as much as they could from Canada at any price and "just get it here" without any of the usual cross border paperwork, etc.

This is what my wholesaler told me. I haven't bothered looking into it further.

Canadian Dirtlump's picture

Stacks up about right. I'm in Calgary, work in Red Deer. I work for a pipeline outfit and we use propane for tiger torches and indeed it has gone ballistic. I can't get over the diesel fuel prices as well. Either way this winter has been one for the books here already, and obviously all over the place too.


Meanwhile some pro global warming rump ranger waxes poetic that this is absolutely in line with their projection.

Urban Redneck's picture

About 20 years ago I did an 8 week trek (January & February) through Waterton Lakes, a generator and heater would been damn luxurious, but I would have needed much bigger snow shoes and a stronger back. Right now I just feel embarrassed by iIncompetent generation.

Canadian Dirtlump's picture

Certainly the gen set and heater is for the house not the outdoors. I grew up in Lethbridge so by good fortune am no stranger to Waterton. As a scout we hiked through there with our stand by small assortment of freeze dried fare. One trip the camp was evacuated because the leader found what he though was bear shit. Turns out is was just a couple pairs of wet, frozen rolled up lumberjack socks AHAHAHAHAHA! I recall as a young lad petting a deer there that was being fed by some people. He kicked me so hard I get short of breath thinking about it 30 years later.

Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture


Call me crazy, but I would guess that artificially fucking with clouds in order to produce precipitation might have unintended consequences, like dumping shit-tons of snow further east.

Thanks, California!

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


2 days before the day after tomorrow

"Tom, we're reporting that the death toll is already over six hundred billion people"


InflammatoryResponse's picture

nobody down there would have snow chains, and aren't they banned in most states anyway?


I remember my grandparents in PA having studded tires for winter, but they couldn't have them on all the time no snow they had to remove them.


Occams_Chainsaw's picture

Isn't the Pax the disease that made the Reevers on Firefly?  That's some bad stuff.....

GetZeeGold's picture



He cares about us......he really really cares!

derek_vineyard's picture

when is the globe going to warm up?

pods's picture

~4 inches of snow, inch of sleet, then 1/4 inch of ice at the Casa de pods.  Power lost for about 6 hours. Still toasty by the fireplace.

As for everyone minimizing these storms, I grew up in upstate NY and know about snow. Gimme 2 feet of snow over a half inch of ice anyday.



Flakmeister's picture

I'll see you and raise you this


Imagine it being 25F, the ground frozen and it raining for 4 days....

The photo showing 2 inches of ice on a twig says it all....

pods's picture

Yikes. I remember seeing pics of the power transmission towers crumbling in one Ontario storm.

Even with this quarter inch we got, trees are sagging and small branches are breaking.  A bit of dry air got into this one and saved us though. They said up to a half inch here, and 3/4 in SC. That would be lights out for days.


Talleyrand's picture

Above-ground power lines are fragile and ugly. Why is it that they are so prevalent in the "busy northeast corridor" - center of financial and political power in the good ol' USA? Must be a Yankee thing.

Flakmeister's picture

Old infrastructure done on the cheap...

Upgrading it would be "socialist central planning"....

Edit: And very expensive given the level of development, right of ways etc...

It all has to do with application of a discount rate that in essence assumes the world is infinite...

Meat Hammer's picture

Cute.  I think you have it backward, though.

Socialist central planning brings old infrastructure done on the cheap.

Flakmeister's picture

Nope... Would you like to contact Con-Ed for further elucidation?

To zeroth order, any infrastructure that takes more than the time allowed to fully realize depreciation to pay for itself is a no go...

Capitalism 101...

We are still hung up on the short game, when the long game is the one really matters (unless you are trying to loot things as fast as possible with no regard to the future)...

SoNH80's picture

The reason most power lines are above ground here in the North is because the ground freezes, hard, every year.  Frozen ground shifts, thaws at times, water comes into the cable vaults, ice builds up, animals make their homes there, cables get damaged over time.  A number of subdivisions in my area (outer fringes of metro Boston, quasi-suburban, quasi-rural) had below-ground cables installed in the 1970s and 80s as a trendy "upscale" idea, maintenance is labor-intensive, expensive.  One subdivision's replacement of underground cable is costing $3 million. Also, when something goes wrong in an above-ground cable, you can see it right away, underground, not so much, especially when you have to dig through feet of snow, ice, and frozen earth to just diagnose a fault.

The one thing that we need more of is trimming of tree limbs around the wires, but that's still cheaper and quicker than underground cable maintenance.  Underground cables make good sense in the NYC's and Philly's downtown, where there are actual tunnels under the streets with full manhole access.


Flakmeister's picture

Yes, there are those issues as well...

Not to mention that in places north of NYC you would be doing the equivalent of tunneling through bedrock...

That being said, there are some places where underground tranmission would probabaly work but it is not "profit-effective" in the short term...

SoNH80's picture

In the utility world, the customer pays, always.  I have been told estimates by qualified engineers that burying all the lines in the Northeastern U.S. would cost around a Trillion, with a "T", dollars.  Which customers would pay.

StychoKiller's picture

Yet here I am in SW Minnesota, using buried power/phone/internet cables like a sucker!

akak's picture


Above-ground power lines are fragile and ugly. Why is it that they are so prevalent in the "busy northeast corridor" - center of financial and political power in the good ol' USA? Must be a Yankee thing.

Talleyrand, you obviously live in a tropical or semi-tropical climate.  If you did not, you would realize that the ground is frozen for a good chunk of the year in the northern USA (here in southcentral Alaska, for fully half of the year), and to try to localize, much less repair, broken underground electrical lines in the winter is not only exceedingly difficult but also incredibly time- and labor-intensive, as frozen soil is far harder than just ice (which would be bad enough by itself) --- it is essentially concrete.  In fact, in this part of the world, underground electrical lines are expressly forbidden, as the risk (inevitability) of large earthquakes would make the repair of such an underground electrical line network literally a multi-year if not a multi-decade task.

That still leaves the problem of all our underground natural gas lines and water mains that will be broken in the next large earthquake ...

Talleyrand's picture

Obviously? Not exactly. Talleyrand lives on a boat that sails splish-splash over the deep blue sea - at times into so called temperate climes.

Enjoy your winter and your utility poles!

Clever Name's picture

19" here in the northeatern DC burbs. Currently drizzle/sleet and supposed to get another 2-3" of snow as it gets colder again tonight then a freeze up. Should be a total mess tonight/tomorrow.

We have below ground power lines and never lose power, thankfully. Also have a pellet stove which honestly I hate even though it will heat the whole house (grew up with a wood stove), because if we did lose power we'd be SOL.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

This is why February is the longest month of the year. It may have only 28 days, but it's six weeks long.

Angus McHugepenis's picture

Stooge: February actually starts in November and ends in May for those of us in northern climes.

swmnguy's picture

As a Minnesotan, I second your sentiments most heartily.  Snow you can dig out of.  Ice, you're just hose-ola.

rehypothecator's picture

It's g-g-g-gl-global w-w-w-warming!  

Flakmeister's picture

You should lay off the stupid sauce, it's gotten to the point where it is affecting you at your day job...

GetZeeGold's picture



It's OK to insult the non-cult members.


It's Al Gore rule #5.

Flakmeister's picture

They way I figure it, I am still running current account insult deficit here...

Besides, it's a lame stupid comment that ain't even funny..


And as you can see here, Eastern NA was one of the few places a little below average for January


CvlDobd's picture

No snow out west, that's normal.

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Oh Flak, back on the ad hominems again?   Haven't we been through this?  Like 100 times?