The Blizzard of '93: 30 years later
The Blizzard of 1993, also known as the "Storm of the Century," was a historic weather event that affected the eastern United States from March 12-14, 1993. The storm brought record-breaking snowfall, high winds, and extreme cold temperatures to a large portion of the country, causing widespread power outages and travel disruptions.
The blizzard began as a low-pressure system that formed over the Gulf of Mexico, and quickly intensified as it moved northward. The storm's center passed over the Florida panhandle on March 12, and then crossed over Georgia, the Carolinas, and into the mid-Atlantic states. As the storm moved further north, it began to merge with a secondary system that was moving eastward from the Great Lakes. This combination of systems resulted in a massive and powerful storm that brought hurricane-force winds and extremely heavy snowfall to the eastern United States.
The heaviest snowfall totals were recorded in the mountains of western North Carolina and northeastern Tennessee, where some areas received over 3 feet of snow. Cities in the mid-Atlantic region, including Baltimore, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia, also received significant snowfall, with totals ranging from 1-2 feet. The storm also brought high winds, with gusts reaching up to 60 mph, causing widespread power outages and property damage.
The blizzard caused widespread travel disruptions, with road closures and flight cancellations affecting millions of people. Many major highways and interstates were closed, including I-95 and I-40, making it difficult for emergency crews to reach affected areas. The storm also disrupted communication systems, with many phone lines and power lines knocked out.
The Blizzard of 1993 caused significant damage and loss of life, with over 300 deaths reported. The majority of the deaths occurred as a result of traffic accidents, hypothermia, and carbon monoxide poisoning from emergency generators. The storm also caused an estimated $6 billion in damage, making it one of the costliest winter storms in U.S. history.
Overall, the Blizzard of 1993 was a historic and devastating event that affected millions of people across the eastern United States. The storm brought record-breaking snowfall, high winds, and extreme cold temperatures, causing widespread power outages, travel disruptions, and significant loss of life. It serves as a reminder of the power and destructiveness of winter storms, and the importance of being prepared for severe weather events.