How Did You Measure up in Snowpocalypse 2016?


The East Coast of the US got quite a snowstorm this past weekend, but did your area get enough snow to brag about? Let's see what the data says.

Before we get started, here are a couple pictures of the snow. The first one is from my driveway -- we didn't get deep snow, but a couple inches of sleet and ice meant we had to chisel it off our driveways. The second picture is from my friend Janeane, who lives in up in the mountains of Virginia. She claims there's a car somewhere under that mountain of snow.

Now, let's have a look at the data. I found some raw data on the NOAA website, downloaded the text file, and wrote some code to import it into SAS. In their data, they used a -9999 value to represent "missing" data, so I converted those to actual SAS missing values. Now I have a nice clean dataset, complete with latitude and longitude coordinates, ready to analyze.

I summed the snowfall values for January 21-24, and then plotted the data on a map, using the summed totals to control the sizes of the bubbles. The map is pretty simple, but I think it does a good job of showing which areas were hardest-hit by this winter storm. (You can click the image below to see the interactive version, with html hover-text over each bubble.)

snowpocalypse_2016

Below the map, I show a table of the 100 areas with the most snow. Here's a screen capture of the top 10 (click the screen capture to see the map and full list).

So, it looks like Preston County, West Virginia is the "winner" with 43.5 inches of snow! (That's 110.49 centimeters, for you folks in the rest of the world).

What's the deepest snow you've ever experienced?

Robert Allison, The Graph Guy!, SAS

Robert Allison has worked at SAS for more than 20 years and is perhaps the foremost expert in creating custom graphs using SAS/GRAPH. His educational background is in computer science, and he holds a BS, MS, and PhD from North Carolina State University. He is the author of several conference papers, has won a few graphic competitions, and has written a book calledSAS/GRAPH: Beyond the Basics.

What Cities are in Hurricane Irma's Path?

Here's an example of using data and visualization to look at weather -- specifically, the possible path of Hurricane Irma. Does your city need to get ready?

Mapping Out the Next Robot Invasion

Where are all the robots today? Here's a look at a better data visualization to represent where in the US all the robots are.


Re: Data doesn't melt
  • 2/29/2016 8:48:28 PM
NO RATINGS

Jamescon 

You are right. Kids that are brought up in snow learn to live routine life with it. For others, 3 day snowfull is enough.

Re: Data doesn't melt
  • 2/29/2016 8:45:29 PM
NO RATINGS

I have seen snowfall just once in my life and that on the mountain areas. For a one time experience it was great but don't seem to find it convenient when it becomes a routine.

Re: Data doesn't melt
  • 2/9/2016 3:03:24 PM
NO RATINGS

@Joe. As with any public service, the condition of roads also depends on the quality of government leadership and how contientious they are.

Re: Data doesn't melt
  • 2/9/2016 12:47:59 PM
NO RATINGS

It also depends upon the populace.  Compare two towns here in eastern MA: Brookline and Rockport.  Both have superhigh property values.  Brookline, however, is semi-urban (it's just down the street from Fenway Park in Boston) and has a rather vocal citizenry when it comes to town matters they are unhappy with (potholes and non-working traffic lights get complained about a lot).  Rockport, on the other hand, is a coastal suburb with a much more laidback populace (lots of retirees, for example).  After a recent snowstorm during which I found myself spending the night in Brookline and had to travel to Rockport the next day, I found Brookline *very* well plowed -- whereas once I got to Rockport, many roads (including major and semi-major roads) were virtually ignored.

Re: Data doesn't melt
  • 2/9/2016 12:41:10 PM
NO RATINGS

@maryam: Talk about shopping til you drop!

Re: Data doesn't melt
  • 2/9/2016 12:20:01 AM
NO RATINGS

@Joe, I recall growing up in Rhode Island and if there was a snow day it was particularly bad outside.

Re: Data doesn't melt
  • 2/5/2016 4:47:10 PM
NO RATINGS

@kq4ym. I think everyone from the north remembers how deep snowfalls were when they were kids. Of course, a foot of snow when you are 8 or 10 years old is pretty impressive, given how we are vertically challenged at that age.

Re: Data doesn't melt
  • 2/5/2016 3:18:20 PM
NO RATINGS

I haven't lived in snow country since my teen years, but it's amazing how my memory apparently has fooled me into believing I lived through three or fours feet of snow in Central Ohio winters. But since West Virginia made the record this last storm, my childhood memory of huge snowfalls is certainly falty, and the data doesn't lie.

Re: Data doesn't melt
  • 2/2/2016 6:28:53 PM
NO RATINGS

@bulk: I have a friend who teaches in NC.  A few years ago during a particularly brutal winter, her district and neighboring districts had snow days and snow delays up the wazoo -- while us hearty New Englanders had pretty much nothing.

Re: Data doesn't melt
  • 2/2/2016 6:27:05 PM
NO RATINGS

@James: On the bright side, it's been nice (well, "nice" for us New Englanders, anyway) lately.  Plus, the groundhog did not see his shadow today!

Page 1 / 6   >   >>
INFORMATION RESOURCES
ANALYTICS IN ACTION
CARTERTOONS
VIEW ALL +
QUICK POLL
VIEW ALL +