WW2010
University of Illinois

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Storm History
retelling the history

[Image: satellite image of superstorm '93 (63K)]

Surface Products:
Continental US
Northeastern US
Mid-Atlantic US
Southeastern US
Satellite Images:
Eastern IR
Eastern VIS
Water Vapor
Visible Images
Infrared Images


On March 12, 1993, a newly formed cyclone moved into a low level baroclinic zone already in place over the Gulf of Mexico and began to rapidly intensify. The deepening cyclone turned northeastward (Fig 1.1) and the center of low pressure made landfall (Fig 1.2) in northwestern Florida during the early hours of March 13. An intense squall line (Fig 1.3) preceding a rapidly moving cold front raced across Florida with torrential downpours, wind gusts in excess of 40 m/s, 3-4 meter storm surges and 11 confirmed tornado touchdowns (Radar Loop (QT-800K)).

Recorded Wind Gusts
Mount Washington, NH
Franklin County, FL
Dry Tortugas, FL
Flattop Mountain, NC
mph
144
110
109
101
m/s
64.4
49.1
48.7
45.2
Selected text from: Kocin et al. (1995)

Also by this time, widespread moderate to heavy snows extended from Alabama to New York (Fig 1.4), virtually paralyzing the eastern third of the country. An intense pressure gradient developed from the rapidly dropping central pressure (Fig 1.5), resulting in strong winds up and down the East Coast.

Record Sea Level Pressures
White Plains, NY
Philadelphia, PA
New York, (JFK)
Dover, DE
Inches
28.28
28.43
28.43
28.45
mb
961.1
962.4
962.4
963.0
Selected text from: Kocin et al. (1995)

Fierce winds coupled with the heavy snow resulted in the cancellation of 25% of the nation's flights on Saturday and Sunday, interstates were impassable and millions were without power at one point in time or another during the passage of the storm.

Recorded Snowfall Totals
Mt. Mitchell, NC
Grantsville, MD
Snowshoe, WV
Syracuse, NY
Inches
50
47
44
43
cm
128.0
120.3
112.6
110.1
Selected text from: NDSR (1995)

More than a foot of snow fell from Alabama into Maine, combined with record cold in the storm's aftermath. Seventy record lows were set on March 14, with an additional 75 that following morning.

Record Low Temperatures
Burlington, VT
Mount LeConte, TN
Asheville, NC
Birmingham, AL
F
-12
-10
2
2
C
-24.4
-23.3
-16.7
-16.7
Selected text from: Kocin et al. (1995)

When all was said and done, 270 people were dead and total property damage estimates exceeded $3 billion. According to the National Disaster Survey Report (NDSR 1994), twenty-six states were affected, impacting the lives of nearly 100 million people, approximately half the nation's population (Satellite Loop (QT-6M)).

For the classroom, online curriculum is available.


Terms for using data resources. CD-ROM available.
Credits and Acknowledgments for WW2010.
Department of Atmospheric Sciences (DAS) at
the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.