None of us who are old enough to remember the blizzard of March 12-15, 1993 will soon forget it. This storm shattered snow records and caused amazing weather events from Canada to Central America.
I will focus mainly on the extreme weather Alabamians witnessed. According to the NWS Birmingham, all time Birmingham snow records include:
MAXIMUM in 24 hours 13.0 inches March 1993
MAXIMUM in a single storm 13.0 inches March 1993
MAXIMUM in a single month 13.0 inches March 1993
MAXIMUM in a single season 13.0 inches 1992-93
Here is a clip of the home video I made of the snow that fell in Huntsville, Alabama March 12 & 13, 1993. Huntsville “only” received seven inches from the storm. However snowfall amounts of greater than one foot were common, especially from Birmingham to the east and northeast. The town of Walnut Grove, Alabama, actually received 20″ of snow!
All of Alabama was covered in snow. Mobile received 3″. The highest total reported in Alabama was at Walnut Grove near the Blount-Etowah county line. Red Mountain in Birmingham recorded hurricane force winds according to meteorologist James Spann. Thundersnow was reported all across the state, from Huntsville to Mobile.
Here is a list of Alabama snow totals posted originally by J.B. Elliott:
20 inches at Walnut Grove
17 inches in Valley Head
16 inches in Oneonta and Bessemer
13 inches at Anniston, Talladega, Pinson and Birmingham Airport
12 inches at Thomasville, Childersburg and Scottsboro
11 inches at Sylacauga
10 inches at Cullman, Clanton and Heflin
9 inches at Thorsby
8 inches at Ashland, Centreville, Moulton and Guntersville
7 inches at Alexander City, Huntsville and Whatley
6 inches at Camden, Evergreen, Jasper, Livingston, Andalusia, Haleyville and Highland Home
5 inches at Auburn, Winfield, Muscle Shoals and Chatham
4 inches at Montgomery, Union Springs, Vernon, Tuscaloosa, Demopolis, Frisco City, Greenville, Troy
3 inches at Brewton, Hamilton, Bay Minette and Mobile Airport
2 inches at Atmore and Robertsdale
Trace at Coden and Fairhope
Here are some great links:
A Storm to Always Remember J.B. Elliott 2008
Pictures from the 1993 Blizzard James Spann 2008
Anyone Remember the Blizzard of 1993 James Spann 2008
15th Anniversary of the “Blizzard of ’93” Thread on Talkweather.com
Meteorologist James Spann’s account of the storm.
James Spann posted some really cool viewer photos and stories from the storm.
Remembering the “Blizzard of 1993” NWS Birmingham
The Blizzard of 1993 WBHM FM 90.3 Birmingham
Photos WBHM FM 90.3 Birmingham
Listen to the feature story commemorating the Blizzard of 1993 WBHM FM 90.3 Birmingham
Steve Chiotakis remembers forecast and broadcast challenges WBHM FM 90.3 Birmingham
The Historic American Engineering Record was surveying Birmingham historic sites when the storm occurred. They took the following pictures in downtown Birmingham and in Southside. Photo 1 Photo 2 Photo 3
This clip begins on Friday morning March 12, 1993 with meteorologist Dan Satterfield as the precipitation was entering Alabama. It ends just after 10 p.m. when Kevin Collins says that several inches have accumulated on secondary roads. It includes updates that were provided throughout the evening by meteorologist James Spann, Kevin Collins, and news updates at the end of the clip by Brenda Ladun.
This is part two of the historic “Storm of the Century” or “Blizzard of 1993” in Alabama.
During this clip, which was recorded between 10:15 p.m. and midnight, wind gusts were 37 and increased to 41 just before midnight as the storm officially became a blizzard. Thundersnow was reported for the first time around 11 p.m. Thundersnow was also reported in Huntsville and Mobile at the same time. Kevin Collins reported 4-6″ of snow just before midnight.
Meteorologist James Spann and Kevin Collins report on this historic storm in part three of the historic “Storm of the Century” or “Blizzard of 1993” in Alabama.
These clips are in chronological order. This one begins at 12 a.m. on March 13, 1993 and ends just before 1 a.m. Notice how the power is flickering at the station during the past few minutes of the clip. The blizzard was really cranking up in Birmingham by this time. Spann reported 6-8″ on the ground and winds gusted to 51 mph on Red Mountain at approximately 12:50. This is part four of the historic coverage of the “Storm of the Century” or “Blizzard of 1993” in Alabama. This one begins at approximately 1:50 a.m. on March 13, 1993 and ends at 3:15 a.m. By this time snow accumulations across Central Alabama were over 8″ and wind gusts atop Red Mountain at Channel 6 were recorded at 58 miles per hour. Many, if not most of the people tuned in at the time were listening on portable radios as the power was out in many areas. Snow was accumulating as far south as the beach at Gulf Shores in Baldwin County, Alabama. The most fascinating part of this video was during the final five minutes as photographer Jeff Thorn describes the video he made, which includes thunder and lightning.
This is the fifth and final part of James Spann’s and Kevin Collins’ historic live coverage of the “Storm of the Century” or “Blizzard of 1993” in Alabama. This clip begins at approximately 3:15 a.m. on March 13, 1993 and ends at 8:44 a.m. By this time snow accumulations across Central Alabama were over one foot and wind gusts atop Red Mountain continued to exceed 40 miles per hour. Many, if not most of the people tuned in at the time were listening on portable radios as the power was out in many areas.
A few pics:
Winds of 58 mph on Red Mountain
Valley Avenue in Birmingham