Similar to the national Saffiir-Simpson Scale for hurricanes and the Enhanced Fujita Scale for tornadoes, major winter storms that occur in the northeastern US have a special rating system. It is called the North East Snowfall Impact Scale or NESIS.
Developed in 2004 by Paul Kocin and Dr. Louis Uccellini of the National Weather Service, the scale is used to rank and compare storms in the region. It classifies large snow events into one of five categories based on the size of the area covered, number of people affected, and snowfall totals. The higher the NESIS value, the more impactful the storm.