The Great March 1993 Superstorm (Anniversary: 25 years ago )

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northjaxpro
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The Great March 1993 Superstorm (Anniversary: 25 years ago )

#1 Postby northjaxpro » Sun Mar 12, 2017 6:19 am

Just wanted to take a moment here to stop and reflect on the anniversary of one of the greatest weather events I have ever experienced and covered in my career. I think often about this amazing weather event from March 12-14, 1993.

The March 1993 Superstorm had everything imaginable and more, with an incredible potpourri of severe weather, tornadoes, then snow and blizzard conditions from the Deep South all the way up the East Coast. I personally rank this system among the top 3 weather events of all -time. It has been now 24 years since that incredible event, and I wonder if and when we will see anything like it again. There are so many aspects to reflect about this amazing storm, too much to elaborate on about this storm. I could go on all day about it. I have studied the dynamics and components of this powerful extra-tropical cyclone for several years now.

Well, for the sake of brevity, I will definitely say the incredible tornado and severe weather outbreak we saw here in Florida was simply of epic proportions. Also, covering that incredible storm surge in Apalachee Bay along the Florida Big Bend coast was amazing in itself. The pressure gradient was so strong and winds howled 40 to 50 mph consistently during the height of the event and 979.6 mb remains the lowest barometric pressure reading I have ever measured here at my home locale to this day. Also, had the wildest swing from having severe weather and tornadoes across North Florida to snow all within a period during the event of within just 10 hours.

I know many of you have memories and thoughts, So, if you may, please share them on one of the great weather events of our time..........



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Last edited by northjaxpro on Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Great March 1993 Superstorm (Anniversary: 24 years ago )

#2 Postby wxman57 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:38 am

Here's more info on the "Storm of the Century":

http://www.weather.gov/ilm/Superstorm93

I was supervising an aviation weather forecast team at the time. Back then, we didn't have a 16-day GFS model to look at. We did have some model forecasts that went out to 5 days, but they only depicted one time each day. That's how the models were back then, no 3-hr increments. I remember looking at the model a couple days before the massive low developed in the Gulf. What was depicted was nearly unbelievable. We had never seen anything like it in any model. Could such a storm really develop in the Gulf two days later?'

We refer to such lows as "West Gulf Lows". They develop along a stationary frontal boundary off the TX & LA coasts, typically as the 500mb trof reaches west Texas. Sometimes, these lows can get pretty strong, packing winds of 35-45 kts, but this low was way beyond those speeds, and it was predicted to be massive! It was like a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico, but a cold hurricane. Snow fell down to the coast of Florida. A massive squall line produced 100kt wind gusts when it slammed into the FL Peninsula. Then it raced up the East Coast. I've never seen anything like it before or since.
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Re: The Great March 1993 Superstorm (Silver anniversary)

#3 Postby northjaxpro » Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:19 pm

EDIT: Initially, I posted this last year, but I bought this thread back for this week to reflect upon the 25- year silver anniversary of one of the most incredible, and fascinating weather events I have experienced and covered, certainly of my lifetime being in this business:

The March 1993 Superstorm!! Share your memories and
thoughts of this incredible storm!



northjaxpro wrote:Just wanted to take a moment here to stop and reflect on the anniversary of one of the greatest weather events I have ever experienced and covered in my career. I think often about this amazing weather event from March 12-14, 1993.

The March 1993 Superstorm had everything imaginable and more, with an incredible potpourri of severe weather, tornadoes, then snow and blizzard conditions from the Deep South all the way up the East Coast. I personally rank this system among the top 3 weather events of all -time. It has been now 25 years since that incredible event, and I wonder if and when we will see anything like it again. There are so many aspects to reflect about this amazing storm, too much to elaborate on about this storm. I could go on all day about it. I have studied the dynamics and components of this powerful extra-tropical cyclone for several years now.

Well, for the sake of brevity, I will definitely say the incredible tornado and severe weather outbreak we saw here in Florida was simply of epic proportions. Also, covering that incredible storm surge in Apalachee Bay along the Florida Big Bend coast was amazing in itself. The pressure gradient was so strong and winds howled 40 to 50 mph consistently during the height of the event and 979.6 mb remains the lowest barometric pressure reading I have ever measured here at my home locale to this day. Also, had the wildest swing from having severe weather and tornadoes across North Florida to snow all within a period during the event of within just 10 hours.

I know many of you have memories and thoughts, So, if you may, please share them on one of the great weather events of our time..........



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Monitoring the 2018 Autumn Season from Northeast Florida

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Re: The Great March 1993 Superstorm (Anniversary: 25 years ago )

#4 Postby TPAcane » Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:05 pm

I so clearly remember working on Clearwater Beach the night the squall line was approaching. I was home off the barrier island by the time the line had approached. I slept through it but remember waking up the next morning to the sounds of my sliding glass doors bowing. It was quite shocking. Stories from tourists on the beach who woke up and could not see land...just the mainland far in the distance. What really caused this Superstorm? Was it a phasing of the northern and southern branches of the Jetstream or something else? Obviously, it would be factors that are not all in place at the same time. The only other thing that sticks out in my mind is the notorious winter storm of '77. I was only 10, but remember 120mph on Block Island up in New England. It was a particularly vicious storm and not one we see that often as far as nor'easters go. And that is a good thing. :D
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Re: The Great March 1993 Superstorm (Anniversary: 25 years ago )

#5 Postby northjaxpro » Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:17 pm

:uarrow: Yeah, the polar and sub-tropical jet streams phased together perfectly in the Western Gulf of Mexico to spawn one of , if not the greatest mid-latitude extra-tropical cyclone ever. As wxman57 astutely pointed out in his post above from last year, it was like a cold hurricane. Trust me, I was snack in the middle of it covering this monster! The dynamics were incredible with this storm. Plus, we had an anomalously cold arctic air mass so late in the season that dropped south into the CONUS to really help set up this monster. Record cold over the Eastern CONUS and here in Florida in the storm's immediate aftermath.
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Re: The Great March 1993 Superstorm (Anniversary: 25 years ago )

#6 Postby Brent » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:16 pm

4 years old in Alabama... still remains my biggest snowstorm.... shattered every snow record ever in Alabama and most still stand today. Pretty sure my weather addiction was born then as I can remember pretty much every weather event since

Not many memories of it but I do remember 3 foot snow drifts and walking to a friends house who I guess had power...

Its the only time every airport on the east coast has been closed too
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