In the winter of 2008, China experienced once-in-50-yr (or once in 100 yr for some regions) snow and ice storms. These storms brought huge socio economical impacts upon the Chinese people and government. Al- though the storms had been predicted, their severity and persistence were largely underestimated. In this study, these cases were revisited and comprehensive analyses of the storms’ dynamic and thermodynamic structures were conducted. These snowstorms were also compared with U.S. east coast snowstorms. The results from this study will provide insights on how to improve forecasts for these kinds of snowstorms. The analyses demon- strated that the storms exhibited classic patterns of large-scale circulation common to these types of snow- storms. However, several physical processes were found to be unique and thought to have played crucial roles in intensifying and prolonging China’s great snowstorms of 2008. These include a subtropical high over the western Pacific, an upper-level jet stream, and temperature and moisture inversions. The combined effects of these dynamic and thermodynamic structures are responsible for the development of the storms into one of the most disastrous events in Chinese history.