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Blizzards are storms that form when cold, dry air contacts warm, moist air, or a lake allowing lots of precipitation to fall as snow.

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Storm of the Century

Storm of the Century

Credit: U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:1993_storm_century.jpg
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Different regions name different storms “the storm of the century.” In 1993, a massive extratropical cyclone brought tremendous loss of life and property all along the eastern U.S. with storm surge, tornadoes, a blizzard and lots of other effects.

News You Can Use

  • The storm was significant because the National Weather Service predicted the severity of a storm five days in advance for the first time.
  • The massive storm affected 26 states and eastern Canada.
  • The storm was unique with the intensity of a level 1 hurricane, huge waves, significant beach erosion, small vessels lost at sea, tornadoes, storm surge, one of the largest blizzards ever, and very wide, more than 40 of snow in some locations.

Show What You Know

With the links below, learn more about the great winter storm of 1993. Then answer the following questions.

  1. Where and how did the storm begin and make its first move?
  2. What atmospheric events happened as the storm moved up the eastern US?
  3. Why was this storm like a tropical cyclone (hurricane), rather than an extratropical cyclone, which is what it was?
  4. In the NOAA Visualization, when the storm is at its largest, describe its shape, size and intensity levels?
  5. On the weather map in the NOAA webpage, what is the barometric pressure in the center of the storm?

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    Image Attributions

    1. [1]^ Credit: U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:1993_storm_century.jpg; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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