New Hampshire Glossary: Nor’easter

A snow covered vehicle, January storm 2011, New Hampshire.

 nor’easter – the typical New England pronunciation (both seafaring and not), would be “naw-THEE-stuh” 

Everyone else usually pronounces it  “nôr-ēstər.”

This is an old weather term for a strong storm (or gale) whose winds come from the northeast, especially in the coastal areas of the northeastern United States.  This type of storm typically results in heavy snow fall, high winds, high surf, and coastal erosion.

In recent years, the term seems to be used (inappropriately) to describe any violent snow storm (with heavy winds, precipitation and thunder and lightning).

A semi-pro football team, is named after this weather event.

Another colloquial American term for a severe snow storm, is “blizzard.”  Reportedly, the word arose as early as 1829 to describe a violent physical blow.  The term was first widely used  to describe the weather, after the severe winter storm now known as the “Blizzard of 1880.”

Nor’easter & Blizzard web sites:

Nor’easter from Wikpedia

Severe and Hazardous Weather: an introduction to high impact meteorology [Dept of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign]

– Flikr – ranjit’s photographs tagged noreaster

– Blizzard Facts & Details


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