Pennsylvania

Erie sets Pennsylvania's record for 2-day snowfall

53 inches of snow fell Monday into Tuesday

(CNN) - There's white Christmas, and then there's whiteout Christmas.

Erie experienced the second one Monday, when a total of 34 inches of snow fell on Christmas Day, blanketing the city and shattering its previous records for snowfall in a single day.

The snowfall total was more than four times the Erie's previous all-time Christmas record of 8.1 inches, and it also broke the record for most snowfall in one day in the city's history, which was 20 inches on November 22, 1956.

The snow didn't stop overnight, either.

Erie picked up another 19 inches of snow Tuesday morning, making for a total ongoing snowfall total of 53 inches. That is the highest two-day snowfall total in all of Pennsylvania, according to the National Weather Service.

The previous record was set in Morgantown, Berks County, in 1958.

The huge snowfall total is a consequence of lake-effect snow, a weather phenomenon where cold air combines with lake water to create narrow bands of powerful snow. The lake-effect snow is expected to continue through Wednesday afternoon, the National Weather Service said.

Kara Murphy has lived in Millcreek Township, a suburb of Erie, for 15 years and told CNN that she's never seen snow like this. She said they cleared the snow off of her in-laws' car Monday night, but it's already covered in snow again.

"We had a plow come down our street overnight, but it's impassable again," she said.

Vince Dragone, who lives just outside Erie, posted video of Oakley, his two-year-old German shepherd, venturing out into the piles of snow. Oakley typically likes the snow, Dragone said, but it took him a while to get the confidence in snow this heavy.

"He did finally do his business after digging out a clearing," Dragone said.

Dragone said he is still shoveling his driveway and hasn't gotten out yet.

"Luckily, I'm off today," he said.


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