New index confirms it: This winter is miserable

February 25th, 2014 in Earth / Earth Sciences
This Feb. 11, 2014 file photo shows work crews clearing ice off the road as water continues to spew from a broken water main in Detroit. The broken water main flooded a several-block area in southwest Detroit, trapping several cars. A new winter "misery index" confirms what many Americans in the Midwest and East know in their all-too-chilled bones and snow-covered driveways: This has been one of the harshest winters of a lifetime. And just like in the great recession of 2008, nowhere in the nation has been hit relatively harder than Detroit. Sure Chicago, Indianapolis and Philadelphia and Moline are in the midst of their third most extreme winters in more than 60 years, according to a winter extremity index created by a National Weather Service meteorologist. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)


This Feb. 11, 2014 file photo shows work crews clearing ice off the road as water continues to spew from a broken water main in Detroit. The broken water main flooded a several-block area in southwest Detroit, trapping several cars. A new winter "misery index" confirms what many Americans in the Midwest and East know in their all-too-chilled bones and snow-covered driveways: This has been one of the harshest winters of a lifetime. And just like in the great recession of 2008, nowhere in the nation has been hit relatively harder than Detroit. Sure Chicago, Indianapolis and Philadelphia and Moline are in the midst of their third most extreme winters in more than 60 years, according to a winter extremity index created by a National Weather Service meteorologist. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

(AP)—A new winter misery index confirms what many Americans in the Midwest and East know in their all-too-chilled bones: This has been one of the harshest winters of our lifetimes.

And nowhere has been hit harder than Detroit.

National Weather Service meteorologist Barbara Mayes Boustead (BOW'-stehd) created an index a couple of years ago to judge the severity of winters based on snowfall and plunging temperatures. For Detroit, this is the most extreme winter since 1950.

Boustead calls it a misery index.

Detroit has plenty of company. Half of the 24 cities she looked at are slogging through winters that are among the 10 harshest since 1950. That includes Chicago, Philadelphia, Indianapolis and New York.

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"New index confirms it: This winter is miserable." February 25th, 2014. http://phys.org/news/2014-02-index-winter-miserable.html