'Storm of the Century': Revisiting the March blizzard of 1993, more than 3 decades later

ByMichael Tamsuriyamit WABC logo
Wednesday, March 13, 2024
'Storm of the Century': March blizzard of 1993
Eyewitness News team coverage of the "storm of the century" in March 1993.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- It's been more than 30 years since a deadly, multiday blizzard swept through the Tri-State area.

Known as the "Storm of the Century," the Category 5 storm began in the Gulf of Mexico on March 12, 1993 before heading up the East Coast. Heavy snow, hurricane-like winds and thunderstorms would take place across the eastern U.S. for days.

The storm dumped nearly 20 inches of snow across the Northeast, with some parts of upstate New York recording over 40 inches. In fact, Syracuse recorded 35.4 inches of snow in one day, setting an all-time 24-hour snowfall record, according to the NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information.

1993 FLASHBACK: N.J. Burkett reports on the storm from Long Island

NJ Burkett reports.

On top of the snow, some places saw temperatures drop below freezing, including in Rochester, where it was minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit.

The cold and hazardous storm conditions forced many roads and airports to shut down. Schools were also closed in major cities, including New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

There have been other historic storms throughout history, like the Great Blizzard of 1888:

Legendary critic Joel Siegel has more on the history of the Great Blizzard of 1888.

The Superstorm of 1993 impacted about 40% of the U.S. population, and killed more than 300 people. The blizzard also caused about $6-11 billion in damages.

Here some of the highest approximate snowfall totals, according to AccuWeather:

Mount Leconte, Tennessee: 56 inches

Mount Mitchell, North Carolina: 50 inches

Snowshoe, West Virginia: 44 inches

Syracuse, New York: 43 inches

Latrobe, Pennsylvania: 36 inches

Lincoln, New Hampshire: 35 inches

Albany, New York: 27 inches

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: 25 inches

Asheville, North Carolina: 19 inches

Birmingham, Alabama: 17 inches

You can visit the AccuWeather website for more information on the storm.

PHOTO GALLERY: Pictures of NYC during the March blizzard of 1993

Ling Kim makes his way across Washington Street as a truck slowly approaches during the winter storm in New York, March 13, 1993.