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20th anniversary of the Blizzard of 93'

By JILL REALE

Tuesday marks the 20th anniversary of the infamous Blizzard of 1993, the "Storm of the Century", which paralyzed the entire east coast.

The snow began to fly late on March 12th and picked up in intensity on March 13th before winding down on March 14th. Utica officially accumulated 22.0" of snow during the span of the storm but a lot of other areas saw more than 3 feet of snow. Here are some snowfall totals: 

  • Morrisville (Madison County): 45"
  • Syracuse: 43"
  • Cooperstown: 30.4"
  • Albany: 27"
  • Pittsburgh: 25"
  • Utica: 22"
  • Boonville: 21.7"
  • Chattanooga: 20"
  • NYC: 12"  
  • Peak Wind Gusts: 
  • NYC: 71 mph 
  • Boston: 81 mph
  • Myrtle Beach: 90 mph 
  • Flattop Mnt, NC: 101 mph  


For Utica, it was the largest snowfall in 24hrs but was not the biggest March Storm (24.5" March 3-5, 1971). As for Syracuse, the Blizzard of 1993 broke 5 records:  1. 35.6 inches of snow in twenty four hours  2. 22.1 inches of snow on Saturday, March 13,  3. 19.9 inches of snow on Sunday, March 14 4. Seasonal snowfall by March 14 measured 174.8 inches making the 1992-'93

The reason why Syracuse saw more snow that Utica would have to be due to a deformation zone that set up just to our west, causing banding of heavy snow over that area for an extended period of time.   As a result, New York and the six New England States all declared disaster emergencies during the height of the storm. All major highways, such as the Northway, I-88, Thruway, and Massachusetts turnpike were closed by Saturday afternoon, March 13. The cost of the storm included 310 Deaths and over $7 Billion dollars (in today's cost) in damage.

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