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Encyclopedia > 1993 North American Storm Complex
1993 North American Storm Complex
Satellite image by NASA of the superstorm on March 13, 1993, at 10:01 UTC.
Storm type: Cyclonic blizzard, Nor'easter
Formed: March 11, 1993
Dissipated: March 15, 1993
Maximum
amount1
:
56 inches (142 cm)
Lowest
pressure
:
960 mbar (hPa)
Damages: $6-10 billion (2005 USD) [citation needed]
Fatalities: 300 total
Areas affected: Most of eastern and southern North America

1Maximum snowfall or ice accretion
Image File history File links Download high resolution version (512x765, 110 KB)Satellite image by NASA of the 1993 North American Storm Complex on March 13, 1993 at 10:01 UTC. File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old... The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an agency of the United States Government, responsible for that nations public space program. ... March 13 is the 72nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (73rd in leap years). ... 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar and marked the Beginning of the International Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (1993-2003). ... Coordinated Universal Time (UTC - see Abbreviation below for explanation) is a high-precision atomic time standard. ... Radar image of a tropical cyclone in the northern hemisphere. ... Satellite image of the intense noreaster responsible for the North American blizzard of 2006. ... March 11 is the 70th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (71st in Leap year). ... 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar and marked the Beginning of the International Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (1993-2003). ... March 15 is the 74th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (75th in Leap years). ... 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar and marked the Beginning of the International Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (1993-2003). ... A millibar (mbar, also mb) is 1/1000th of a bar, a unit for measurement of pressure. ... The pascal (symbol Pa) is the SI unit of pressure. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... ISO 4217 Code USD User(s) the United States, the British Virgin Islands, East Timor, Ecuador, El Salvador, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, Panama, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the insular areas of the United States Inflation 3. ... World map showing North America A satellite composite image of North America. ...

The 1993 North American storm complex, also known as the ’93 Superstorm, the (Great) Blizzard of 1993, or the Storm of the Century, was a large cyclonic storm that occurred on March 12March 15, 1993, on the East Coast of North America. It is unique both because of its intensity as well as its massive size and wide-reaching effect. At its height the storm stretched from Canada to Central America, but its main impact was on the Eastern United States and Cuba. Areas as far south as Atlanta, Georgia received 5 to 6 inches (15 cm) of snow, accompanied by hurricane-force wind gusts and record low barometric pressures. Farther south from Florida down to Cuba, hurricane-force winds produced extreme storm surges in the Gulf of Mexico, which along with scattered tornadoes killed dozens of people. Look up Blizzard in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Radar image of a tropical cyclone in the northern hemisphere. ... A shelf cloud associated with a heavy or severe thunderstorm over Enschede, Netherlands A storm is any disturbed state of a planets atmosphere, especially affecting its surface, and strongly implying severe weather. ... March 12 is the 71st day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (72nd in leap years). ... March 15 is the 74th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (75th in Leap years). ... 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar and marked the Beginning of the International Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (1993-2003). ... World map showing North America A satellite composite image of North America. ... A shelf cloud associated with a heavy or severe thunderstorm over Enschede, Netherlands A storm is any disturbed state of a planets atmosphere, especially affecting its surface, and strongly implying severe weather. ... Map of Central America Central America is the central geographic region of the Americas. ... Red shows states east of the Mississippi River, pink shows states not fully eastern or western The U.S. Eastern states are the states east of the Mississippi River. ... Nickname: Hotlanta, The Big Punk, The ATL, A-Town Location in Fulton County in the state of Georgia Coordinates: Country United States State Georgia Counties Fulton, Dekalb Mayor Shirley Franklin (D) Area    - City 343. ... Animation of snowcover changing with the seasons. ... This article is about weather phenomena. ... Atmospheric pressure is the pressure caused by the weight of air above any area in the Earths atmosphere. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Gulf of Mexico in 3D perspective. ... A tornado in central Oklahoma. ...

Contents

Formation

Several operational numerical weather prediction models and medium-range forecasters at the US National Weather Service recognized the threat of a significant snowstorm on March 13-14 by March 8 and, by some accounts, even earlier. Although primarily a forecast success, both models and forecasters failed to predict the extent of the rapid deepening of the storm over the Gulf of Mexico, and they had difficulty capturing mesoscale aspects of the storm. An unusual confluence of factors led to the formation of this powerful storm. A "disorganized area of low pressure" that formed in the Gulf of Mexico (the Gulf is warm by March, and thus is a frequent source of spring snowstorms) joined an arctic high pressure system in the Midwestern Great Plains, brought into the mid-latitudes by an unusually steep southward jet stream. These factors combined to produce unusually cold temperatures across the eastern half of the United States. A large low-pressure system swirls off the southwestern coast of Iceland, illustrating the maxim that nature abhors a vacuum. ... Gulf of Mexico in 3D perspective. ... The red line indicates the 10°C isotherm in July, commonly used to define the Arctic region border Satellite image of the Arctic surface The Arctic is the area around the Earths North Pole, opposite the Antarctican area around the South Pole. ... A pressure system is a region of the Earths atmosphere where air pressure is unusually high or low. ... The Midwest is a common name for a region of the United States of America. ... The Great Plains is the broad expanse of prairie which lies east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States and Canada. ... Jet streams are fast flowing, relatively narrow air currents found in the atmosphere at around 12 km above the surface of the Earth, just under the tropopause. ... Fig. ...


The storm

This storm complex was massive, affecting at least 26 U.S. states and much of eastern Canada. Bringing cold air along with heavy precipitation and hurricane force winds, it caused a blizzard over much of the area it affected. The storm brought snow as far south as northern Florida, thundersnow from Texas to Pennsylvania, and whiteout conditions. Some affected areas saw more than 3.5 feet (1.0 m) of snow, and snowdrifts were as high as 35 feet (10.0 m). Central and Southern Florida saw no snow, but tornadoes and severe thunderstorms, resultant from the storm, occurred there and in Cuba. Responsible for 300 deaths and the loss of electric power to over 10 million, it is purported to have been directly experienced by over 130 million people in the United States, about half the country's population at that time. Every airport from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Atlanta, Georgia was closed for some time because of the storm. The volume of the storm's total snowfall was later computed to be 12.91 mi³ (53.96 km³), an amount which would weigh (depending on the variable density of snow) between 5.4 and 27 billion tonnes. Motto: (Out Of Many, One) (traditional) In God We Trust (1956 to date) Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington D.C. Largest city New York City None at federal level (English de facto) Government Federal constitutional republic  - President George Walker Bush (R)  - Vice President Dick Cheney (R) Independence from... Look up Blizzard in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Animation of snowcover changing with the seasons. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Thundersnow is a particularly rare meteorological phenomenon that includes the typical behavior of a thunderstorm, but with snow falling as the primary precipitation instead of rain. ... Official language(s) None See: Languages of Texas Capital Austin Largest city Houston Area  Ranked 2nd  - Total 268,581 sq mi (695,622 km²)  - Width 773 miles (1,244 km)  - Length 790 miles (1,270 km)  - % water 2. ... Official language(s) None Capital Harrisburg Largest city Philadelphia Area  Ranked 33rd  - Total 46,055 sq mi (119,283 km²)  - Width 280 miles (455 km)  - Length 160 miles (255 km)  - % water 2. ... Whiteout is a weather condition in which visibility is reduced by snow and diffuse lighting from overcast clouds. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... A tornado in central Oklahoma. ... Lightning strikes during a night-time thunderstorm. ... Halifax skyline at night Halifax neighbourhoods and boundaries of former city in relation to Halifax Regional Municipality Halifax, founded in 1749, is a community and former city in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. ... Nickname: Hotlanta, The Big Punk, The ATL, A-Town Location in Fulton County in the state of Georgia Coordinates: Country United States State Georgia Counties Fulton, Dekalb Mayor Shirley Franklin (D) Area    - City 343. ... Volume is how much space a thing has. ... Density, or volumic mass (ISO 31), is a measure of mass per volume. ... A tonne or metric ton (symbol t), sometimes referred to as a metric tonne, is a measurement of mass equal to 1,000 kilograms. ...


Temperatures accompanying the storm were unseasonably cold for early spring: average daily maximum temperatures, in mid-March, are around 46°F (8°C) in Boston, 51°F (11°C) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and 65°F (18°C) in Atlanta. During the 1993 storm, these places were all near or below freezing, and parts of New England saw daily maximum temperatures as low as 14°F (-10°C). Record low temperatures for March were recorded in much of the Southern U.S. Spring is one of the four seasons of temperate zones, the transition from winter into summer. ... Nickname: City on the Hill, Beantown, The Hub (of the Universe)1, Athens of America, The Cradle of Revolution, Puritan City, Americas Walking City Location in Massachusetts, USA Counties Suffolk County Mayor Thomas M. Menino(D) Area    - City 232. ... Nickname: City of Brotherly Love, Philly, the Quaker City Motto: Philadelphia maneto (Let brotherly love continue) Location in Pennsylvania Coordinates: Country United States State Pennsylvania County Philadelphia Founded October 27, 1682 Incorporated October 25, 1701 Mayor John F. Street (D) Area    - City 369. ... This article is about the region in the United States of America. ...


Barometric pressures recorded during the storm were also unusually low: readings of 28.35 inHg (960 mb or hPa) were observed in New England. Usually, such low readings are observed only in hurricanes (generally of Category 2 or 3 intensity on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale), which peak at almost the exact opposite time of year, or in other cyclonic storms far out to sea. It also pushed a storm surge ashore on the Florida panhandle, drowning a few people taken by surprise at the storm's ferocity. (This incident is featured occasionally on reruns of Storm Stories.) Atmospheric pressure is the pressure caused by the weight of air above any area in the Earths atmosphere. ... An inch (plural: inches; symbol or abbreviation: in or, sometimes, ″ - a double prime) is the name of a unit of length in a number of different systems, including English units, Imperial units, and United States customary units. ... General Name, Symbol, Number mercury, Hg, 80 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 12, 6, d Appearance silvery Atomic mass 200. ... A millibar (mbar, also mb) is 1/1000th of a bar, a unit for measurement of pressure. ... This article is about weather phenomena. ... The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale is a scale classifying most Western Hemisphere tropical cyclones that exceed the levels of tropical depression and tropical storm and thereby become hurricanes; the categories it divides hurricanes into are distinguished by the intensities of their respective sustained winds. ... ... The Florida Panhandle is the region of the state of Florida which includes the westernmost 16 counties in the state. ... Rerun van Pelt is the name of Linus and Lucys younger brother in the comic strip Peanuts. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ...


As one of the most powerful storms in recent history, the storm has been described as the "Storm of the Century" by many of the areas affected. The last blizzard to have such an effect on the Southeast was the Great Blizzard of 1899. (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999... The Great Blizzard of 1899 was a winter weather event unprecendented in American history. ...


Impact

In the South, where public works facilities (in most areas) generally have no reason to be prepared for snow removal, the storm is vividly remembered because it resulted in a complete shutdown of that region for three days. Cities that usually receive little snowfall, such as Chattanooga, Tennessee, received anywhere from 2 to 4 feet of snow. The psychological impact in the Southern states, where average high temperatures in March tend to run into the 60s Fahrenheit (the upper teens Celsius), was magnified by the fact that it struck a week before spring. A NASCAR event at Atlanta Motor Speedway had to be postponed a week due to the storm; Birmingham recorded a record low of 2 degrees fahrenheit during the storm. Syracuse, New York, which is accustomed to heavy snowfall, received a record 43 inches from the storm, while snowfall totalled over 12 inches in New York City and 2 feet of snow fell in Hartford, Connecticut. The U.S. Southern states or the South, also known colloquially as Dixie, constitute a distinctive region covering a large portion of the United States, with its own unique heritage, historical perspective, customs, musical styles, and cuisine. ... Nickname: Scenic City (official), Chatt-Town, River City, Chatty, Chattavegas, The Noog Location within the U.S. State of Tennessee Cities in Tennessee Tennessee Mayor Ron Littlefield Area    - City 370. ... Fahrenheit is a temperature scale named after the German physicist Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit (1686–1736), who proposed it in 1724. ... Celsius relates to the Celsius or centrigrade temperature scale. ... The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is now the largest sanctioning body of motorsports in the United States. ... Atlanta Motor Speedway is a superspeedway in Hampton, Georgia, USA, 20 miles (32 km) south of Atlanta. ... Nickname: The Magic City, Pittsburgh of the South, BHam, The Ham Location in Jefferson County in the state of Alabama Coordinates: Country United States State Alabama County Jefferson, Shelby Mayor Bernard Kincaid (D) Area    - City 393. ... Nickname: The Salt City Location of Syracuse within the state of New York Coordinates: City Mayor Matthew Driscoll Area    - City 66. ... Nickname: Big Apple, Gotham Location in the state of New York Coordinates: Country United States State New York Boroughs The Bronx Brooklyn Manhattan Queens Staten Island Settled 1613 Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R) Area    - City 1,214. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


The weight of record snows collapsed many factory roofs in the South, and snowdrifts on the leeward sides of buildings caused a few decks with substandard anchors to fall from homes. Though the storm was forecast to strike the snow-prone Appalachian Mountains, hundreds of people were nonetheless rescued from the Appalachians, many caught completely off-guard on the Appalachian Trail, or visiting cabins and lodges in remote locales. The heaviest snow recorded was at Newfound Gap, where U.S. 441 crosses the Tennessee and North Carolina border, with five feet (1.5 m);[citation needed] drifts up to 14 feet (4.3 m) were observed at Mount Mitchell. Snowfall totals of between 2 and 3 feet were widespread across northwestern North Carolina. Boone, North Carolina - in a high-elevation area accustomed to heavy snowfalls was nonetheless caught off guard by 24 hours of below zero temperatures along with storm winds, which (according to NCDC storm summaries) gusted as high as 110 miles per hour. Electricity was not restored to many isolated rural areas for a week or more. Collapse is a puzzle game published in 1999 by the software company GameHouse. ... A factory worker in 1940s Fort Worth, Texas. ... A roof tiled in imitation of thatch at Croyde, north Devon, England Rooftops in Vietnam Snow on the roof The roof, the top covering of a building, is one of the universal structures found on all buildings. ... A fairly common sight during snowstorms big and small. ... Leeward is the side of a boat away from the direction where the wind is coming (i. ... A deck in the backyard of a suburban house. ... A stocked ships anchor. ... A rainy day in the Great Smoky Mountains, Western North Carolina Appalachia, the central and southern Appalachian Mountains of the United States, also including the Allegheny and Cumberland Plateaus The Appalachian Mountains (French: les Appalaches) are a vast system of North American mountains, partly in Canada, but mostly in the... Rescue refers to operations that usually involve the saving of life, or prevention of injury. ... The Appalachian National Scenic Trail, generally known as the Appalachian Trail or simply The A.T., is a 2,174-mile (3,500-km)[2] marked hiking trail in the eastern United States, extending between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine. ... A cabin or cab is an enclosed space, in a ship, see cabin (ship), in an aircraft or spacecraft as a log cabin as in a hansom cab see also Uncle Toms Cabin This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise... Look up lodge in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Newfound Gap (elevation 5048 ft/1539 m), is a gap (mountain pass) in the southern Appalachian Mountains in the US. Bordering Tennessee and North Carolina, the middle of the state line runs through the gap, as does U.S. Highway 441, on its way through the Great Smoky Mountains National... U.S. Highway 441 is a spur of U.S. Highway 41. ... Official language(s) English Capital Raleigh Largest city Charlotte Area  Ranked 28th  - Total 53,865 sq mi (139,509 km²)  - Width 150 miles (240 km)  - Length 560[1] miles (901 km)  - % water 9. ... Boone is a town located in the northern mountains of North Carolina and in Watauga County, North Carolina, for which it is the county seatGR6 and market town. ... The U.S. National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) in Asheville, North Carolina is the worlds largest active archive of weather data. ... Rural area in Dalarna, Sweden Qichun, a rural town in Hubei province, China Rural areas (also referred to as the country, countryside) are sparsely settled places away from the influence of large cities. ...


Farther to the South, numerous supercells developed over the state of Florida, spawning eleven tornadoes and killing seven people. Nearly 60,000 lightning strikes were recorded as the storm swept over the country, for a total of seventy-two hours.


Overall, the Blizzard of 1993 caused a total of $6.6 billion of damage. Look up Blizzard in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Across the Northeastern states, the storm put down an average of 15 inches (40 cm) of snow, which, though most certainly heavy, is not legendary by most local standards, but still somewhat unusual for mid-March, especially for the southernmost parts of the region such as the Baltimore-Washington area. New England residents tend to point to the Blizzard of 1978 as their "storm of the century," due largely to its unrelenting snowfall, which managed to incapacitate the weather-hardened region, while Mid-Atlantic residents tend to point to the Blizzard of 1996 for similar reasons. Based on widespread effects, barometric pressures, wind speeds and satellite images, however, there is little doubt that the storm of 1993 was the more remarkable. The U.S. Northeast is a region of the United States of America defined by the US Census Bureau. ... This article is about the region in the United States of America. ... The Blizzard of 1978 (more commonly known in New England as Blizzard of 78) was a severe Noreaster that brought blizzard conditions to the New England area of the United States, and to a lesser but still significant extent the New York metropolitan area. ... It has been suggested that Middle Atlantic States be merged into this article or section. ... The Blizzard of 1996 was a noreaster that paralyzed the U.S. East Coast with up to four feet (1. ...


Subtropical derecho

In addition to the blizzard, a serial derecho occurred in the U.S. state of Florida extending to Cuba on March 12 and 13, 1993. Straight-line winds gusted above 100 mph/85 kts (160 km/h) at many locations in Florida as the squall line moved through. A derecho is a widespread and long-lived, violent convectively induced windstorm that is associated with a fast-moving band of severe thunderstorms usually taking the form of a bow echo. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Chief Justice Associate Justices Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures State Courts Counties, Cities, and Towns Other countries Politics Portal      A state of the United States is any one of the fifty subnational entities referred to... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... March 12 is the 71st day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (72nd in leap years). ... March 13 is the 72nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (73rd in leap years). ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... A squall or squall line is a line of thunderstorms with a common leading convection line, or mesocyclone, which tends to create a powerful gust front. ...


Besides producing record low barometric pressure, and one of the nation's biggest snowstorms, the low produced a potent squall line ahead of its cold front. The squall line produced a serial derecho as it moved into Florida and Cuba around midnight on March 13. It finally moved out of Cuba just before sunrise. There was widespread and significant damage in Cuba, with damages estimated as intense as F2 [1]. A substantial storm surge was also generated. Atmospheric pressure is the pressure caused by the weight of air above any area in the Earths atmosphere. ... A guide to the symbols for weather fronts that may be found on a weather map: 1. ... March 13 is the 72nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (73rd in leap years). ... The Fujita scale (F-Scale), or Fujita-Pearson scale, rates a tornados intensity by the damage it inflicts on human-built structures and sometimes on vegetation. ...


The supercells in the derecho produced ten tornadoes in the United States. One tornado killed three people when it struck a home which later collapsed, pinning the occupants under a fallen wall.


In Cuba wind gusts reached 100 mph (160 km/h) in the Havana area. A survey conducted by a research team from the Institute of Meteorology of Cuba suggests that the maximum winds could have been as high as 130 mph (210 km/h). It is the most damaging squall line ever recorded in Cuba. Havana (Spanish (IPA pronunciation: ) in full: Ciudad de La Habana, formerly named San Cristóbal de La Habana; UN/LOCODE: CU HAV) is the capital of Cuba. ...


The derecho killed seven in Florida and injured 79. The event resulted in 10 deaths in Cuba and caused US$1 billion in damage in Cuba alone.


See also

The following is a list of notable derecho events. ...

External links

  • NWS Service Assessment
  • The Big One! A Review of the March 12-14, 1993 "Storm of the Century" (PDF)

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