Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Storm of the century anniversary - March 13, 1993

Today is the 14th anniversary of the "storm of the century." A description appears at Intellicast:
the "Great Blizzard of '93" clobbered the eastern US on this day and produced perhaps the largest swath of heavy snow ever recorded. Heavy snow was driven to the Gulf Coast with 3 inches falling at Mobile, Alabama and up to 5 inches reported in the Florida panhandle, the greatest single snowfall in the state's history. 13 inches blanketed Birmingham, Alabama to set not only a new 24 hour snowfall record for any month, but also set a record for maximum snow depth, maximum snow for a single storm, and maximum snow for a single month. Tremendous snowfall amounts occurred in the Appalachians. Mount Leconte in Tennessee recorded an incredible 60 inches. Mount Mitchell in North Carolina was not far behind with 50 inches. Practically every official weather station in West Virginia set a new 24 hour record snowfall. Further to the north, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania measured 25 inches, Albany, New York checked in with 27 inches, and Syracuse, New York was buried under 43 inches. The major population corridor from Washington, DC to Boston, Massachusetts was not spared this time as all the big cities got about a foot of snow before a changeover to rain. A rather large amount of thunderstorm activity accompanied the heavy snow. Winds to hurricane force in gusts were widespread. Boston recorded a gust to 81 mph, the highest wind gust at the location since hurricane Edna in 1954. Numerous cities in the south and mid Atlantic states recorded their lowest barometric pressure ever as the storm bottomed out at 960 miilibars (28.35 inches) over Chesapeake Bay. 208 people were killed by the storm and total damage was estimated at 6 billion dollars -- the costliest extratropical storm in history.

More information appears at the sometimes unreliable Wikipedia. Pictures can be found here.

I can recall that the day prior to the storm was very mild, sunny and warm - just like any other nice day in which alarmists might warn us that global warming would soon destroy the Earth. But the events of the next day (forgotten though they may be today) would provide mute testimony that winter weather remains a deadly reality. We had been warned about this storm for several days - and the predictions proved to be correct. I noticed a great many seagulls gathered near my home that day. We never see seagulls that far inland. I have often wondered since that time about the connection between the unusual seagull migration pattern and the following day's storm. Are seagulls better predictors of weather events than today's global warming "experts"?

North Carolina



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