March 1958 blizzard

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March 1958 blizzard Empty March 1958 blizzard

Post by Frank_Wx on Fri Mar 20, 2015 8:36 pm

Today marks the 57 anniversary. Post from stormpottersvillle on USA-wx.com

Today Marks the 57th anniversary of one of the Biggest snow makers on record in the Delaware Valley. This was a 3 day event that Peaked on the 20th of march in 1958. This day Was not a spring thaw and there were no spring flowers or buds on the trees. Instead Chester count and Berks counties in Pennsylvania saw as much as 50 inches of snow!!! Many who were around at the time remember this storm better then any other blizzard we have had even the blizzard of 1996.
March 1958 blizzard Nesis
Trucks Transporting goods on the Pennsylvania Turnpike got stranded as the turnpike was shutdown for multiple days.
In this Photo you can see the 18 wheeler's stuck at a Pa turnpike rest area. They also had to Land a Helicopter to help in the situation.
March 1958 blizzard March-1958-Snow

Now in this one you see Vehicles stranded in the Travel lanes of the Turnpike

March 1958 blizzard 03211958

Southeastern PA was not the only one to experience this Massive storm In Baltimore more then 100,000 people lost gas and electricity. Other places from the Carolina's through Maine felt the effects of this system with the hardest hit area being in southeast pa and North Maryland.

Though Philadelphia only got 11.6 inches of snow with this event it is all about the Northwest suburbs.
Morgantown, PA 50 inches

Allentown, 20.3 inches

Wilmington, Delaware 19 inches

Trenton New Jersey, 17.8 inches

Reading PA, 16 inches

Lancaster PA,13 inches

Some other snowfall amounts up and down the east coast

New York city 11.7 inches
Newark, NJ 14.8 inches

Baltimore Maryland, 8.4 inches

Boston Massachusetts, 6.7 Inches

Worcester Massachusetts, 18.8 inches

Bridgeport Connecticut, 9.3 inches
A parafax gas truck delivers fuel in York county PA

March 1958 blizzard Blizzard

If you were a short feller the snow was piled higher then you
March 1958 blizzard Blizzard1


Here is a News Reel from the event.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyz4st_MlbU


Digging deeper into the storm in the days prior to the event the weather forecast was calling for rain in the Mid Atlantic region. It did rain for several hours at first then after that along came the 28 hour period of heavy wet snow that shut down the area. Just Picture a rainstorm turning into a massive blizzard with power out trees down roads closed, Kind of hard to imagine in today's age right? But see back then the biggest source of communication was the telephone the National weather bureau would call office to office with reports on what is happening in there forecasting area. They would also use data from ships airlines and any other way they could gather observation. The only Numerical weather prediction weather simulation models did basic functions and based a forecast on % after all the computers were bigger then your house! All forecast Maps had to be hand drawled at the time. So yes there was always room for a forecast disaster such as this one.



Here is a surface map which shows where the Coastal storm was positioned for the event.
March 1958 blizzard 270px-Nor%27easter_1958-03-20_weather_map

Here is another map from Noaa which was Probably used as a forecast or update back then. On average then only made about 2 of these per day.
March 1958 blizzard 032008-MARCH582


Will we ever see a storm like this again in March who knows March is no stranger to snow and there have been many snow storms in march that have hit the Eastern US but Nothing close to what this storm did in southeastern PA.

_________________
Snow Accumulation Archive - Cranford, NJ
2013-2014: 62.1"
2014-2015: 56.0"
2015-2016: 34.0"
2016-2017: 31.5"
2017-2018: 35"

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Frank_Wx
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