March 1994 snow and sleet storm

Heavy snow and sleet led to numerous roof collapses across the area
Published: Mar. 3, 2023 at 4:48 PM EST
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When we look back at the major snowstorms in the 1990s, usually most people remember the Storm of the Century in 1993 and the Blizzard of 1996.

But another major snow event was the early March, 1994 snowstorm. This brought snow, sleet and strong winds.


This was a classic cold air damming setup. High pressure over New England led to cold temperatures locked into the area. Low pressure formed along the Gulf (a lot of moisture) and moved along the East Coast. This, is a classic Nor’easter. This storm also had sleet mixed in so the combination of wet snow plus some ice made for an incredibly heavy snow.

Surface analysis
Surface analysis(NWS)


We are actually missing the NWS storm report data from this event. So if you have any photos or had damage, you can email Chief Meteorologist Aubrey Urbanowicz at We do have WHSV archives but we are always looking for historical weather photos or even video.

This is a map of the snowfall from the storm, stretching from the Northeast down along the Appalachians.


Here’s a report from the Woodstock weather observer.

March 1994
March 1994(NWS)


While there were thousands of power outages across the state due to snow and ice, the outages in Harrisonburg and Rockingham county were minimal.

Melting snow in the days after led to some storm drains clogged and many of the creeks and rivers rose.

The biggest impact was the weight of the snow and ice that led to many roof collapses and some damage.

According to the Daily News Record, “East of Bridgewater, a family who watched its barn roof collapse around noon Thursday was considering itself lucky Friday. Carol and Everette Showalter said they were going to send their children onto the roof to scrape off some of the snow just before the roof caved in. One heifer out of a herd of 70 was seriously injured, and $15- 20,000 damage was done, but no people were hurt. ”We have nothing to count but blessings,” Mrs. Showalter said.”

“The fallen part of the barn was a feeding area for the farm’s dairy cattle. Within an hour of the collapse, neighbors and family members arrived at the barn to begin the clean-up, Mr. Showalter said. The debris was cleared away and a total of seven heifers freed from the wreckage, he said. On Friday, a new side wall was built and new roof trusses set; the roof probably could have been finished Friday, but the metal to cover it was not available until next week, he said. Between 25 and 30 friends helped in the work.”

In Edinburg, the entire roof at Estep Lumber Yard collapsed. Part of the roof also collapsed at Dove’s Camper Sales which was west of Harrisonburg.

There were also several mobile home roofs that sagged or collapsed in addition to some poultry house roofs. This seemed to be more of an issue across Shenandoah County.