26 years later, the blizzard of 1993

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On March 12, we remember one of the biggest March snow storms to ever hit the East Coast: the blizzard of 1993.

An entry of the weather records from Richard Weaver, weather observer for Dale Enterprise.

Known as "The Storm of the Century," it started in the Gulf Coast with severe weather. A derecho struck Florida with winds recorded at more than 90 mph, according to the Storm Prediction Center. Eleven confirmed tornadoes struck Florida during the system.

Then, the cold air came. Record snow fell across the deep south. Birmingham, Alabama recorded 13" of snow.

As snow started to fall across the mid-Atlantic on Friday, March 12th, even plow trucks got stuck in the heavy snow.

The storm intensified, and low pressure dropped rapidly, making it one of the most intense nor'easters ever. The pressure dropped so low that it was typically the same pressure found in a Category 3 hurricane.

One to three feet of snow fell widespread across New England, the Mid-Atlantic, and the Ohio Valley. With hurricane force winds (winds more than 74mph), the blizzard affected the entire east coast.

Gusts to 60mph were recorded in the Shenandoah Valley.

Here are some of the snow reports.
Snowshoe: 44"
Bayard, West Virginia: 32"
Stanley: 15"
Harrisonburg: 16"
Woodstock: 20"

Measuring snow became challenging because of the strong winds. There were snow drifts 5-12 feet high.

This storm is still one of the worst storms ever to hit the Northeast, and one of the costliest. More than 270 deaths were attributed to the storm, 11 of those in Virginia. The heavy snow caused many roof collapses locally.

For the Shenandoah Valley, it was a bad storm, but not the worst.

The Ash Wednesday snow storm of March 5-7, 1962, is still the worst storm to have hit the area. Snowfall totals from that storm in 1962 range from 26" in Staunton, 30" in Woodstock, and 36" in Dale Enterprise.