Anniversary Of The Storm Of The Century


Today, March 12th, marks the anniversary of the most extreme storm I've ever personally been in. It's known as Superstorm 1993 or The Storm Of The Century.

Whatever you call it...this beast delivered record snow and cold, a killer storm surge, tornadoes, high wind, and impossible travel from the Gulf Coast to the northeastern United States between March 12-14, 1993.

At the time I was a naive pre-meteorology college student that ignored the well forecast dire warnings of a "killer" storm... all due to my desire of getting to Daytona Beach for spring break. My crew of friends split up. One group left Louisville, KY Friday March 12th only to get stuck in heavy snow and an impassable I-24 on Monteagle in Tennessee. Keeping in mind this was well before smartphones... the group I was in departed Saturday morning the 13th only making it to Manchester, TN (just west of Monteagle) where State Police had closed interstates.

While waiting at a gas station trying to figure out our next move we saw our friends, that had been stuck on the mountain, pushing their cars in the deep (8"-12"+) snow. Thankfully a local church opened their doors to hundreds of stranded travelers and allowed us a place to sleep and eat. When I said I was a naive college student... that included not packing any winter weather gear or clothes. We all were dressed in shorts and short sleeves. To say that were lucky was an understatement. Yes... it took us 3 days to finally make it to Daytona Beach, but it could have been so much worse.

This storm produced a long swath of 20"+ snowfall from around Chattanooga to Maine with as much as 50"-60" in the mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina.

Its intense low pressure created an unexpectedly high storm surge along the west coast of Florida that rivaled or exceeded that of hurricanes. In its warm sector several tornadoes also impacted Florida along with a derecho that made it all the way to Cuba.

Many areas in its path experienced high wind from the intense low pressure and bitter cold. No doubt it was storm for the ages... that I'll never forget.