The Great Southeast snowstorm of 1973

posted in: Michigan Weather Forecast, Slim | 24

While we here in Michigan have had to deal with ice this past week and look on the ice side of the system next week way back in 1973 we were way too far to the north for February storm that year’

 

The information below is from

 The NWS Wilmington, NC

Weather Forecast Office

One of the greatest snowstorms in Southeastern United States history occurred February 9-11, 1973. This storm dropped one to two feet of snow across a region that typically sees only an inch or two of snow per year. New all-time snowfall records were established in a number of locations including Rimini, SC with 24 inches; 18 inches in Darlington, SC; and 16.5 inches in Macon, GA. Snowfall in Wilmington, NC reached 12.5 inches with 7.1 inches recorded in Charleston, SC, both setting all-time records which were broken just 16 years later during the Christmas storm of 1989. Measurable snow fell along the Gulf Coast from Texas to Florida and flurries were reported as far south as Lisbon and Clermont, Florida just outside of Orlando.
After a period of mild conditions, some very cold air spilled down into the southern U.S. on Thursday, February 8th. There were reports of light snow and freezing rain across parts of southern and southeast Texas and into Louisiana.
On Friday, freezing rain changed to a period of snow before ending across southern Louisiana and Mississippi, with snow accumulations of 1-3 inches. Snow spread across Alabama, Georgia, and the Carolinas, while freezing rain and sleet fell across coastal South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama between areas of snow and rain.
The low moved east along the nearly stationary front in the Gulf and reached central Florida during the evening hours of February 9th. Ice changed over to snow before ending across southern Louisiana and Mississippi with isolated totals over 3 inches. Snow began to spread northeastward across Alabama, Georgia, and the Carolinas with freezing rain and sleet forming a transition zone across coastal South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama between the snow and rain. Snowfall totals across Alabama were heaviest in a narrow band between Dothan and Montgomery, including totals over a foot reported from the communities of Highland Home, Pittsview, and Union Spring
The low strengthened quickly the morning of February 10th, dragging cold air southward across Georgia and Florida. This changed precipitation over to all snow as far south as Tallahassee, Florida; Valdosta, Georgia; and Savannah, Georgia. Moderate to heavy snow developed across central Georgia, most of South Carolina and eastern North Carolina. Thunder even accompanied the snowfall in Augusta, GA around 3 a.m., in Florence, SC at 6 a.m., Wilmington, NC at noon, and in New Bern, NC at 2 p.m. Snowfall rates increased to one to two inches per hour and held there for most of the day, producing a 50-mile wide stripe of snowfall totals over one foot extending clear across Georgia including 18.5 inches in Butler, 16.5 inches in Macon, and 14 inches in Columbus, Georgia. Interestingly the snow remained entirely south of Atlanta with only cloudy skies reported there
The low continued to strengthen as it moved east of the North Carolina coast during the evening of February 10th. Snow began to taper off across Georgia and most of South Carolina, however light snow and flurries were carried south into the northern half of the Florida peninsula with measurable snow falling in Jacksonville. Wind gusts exceeded 40 mph and led to areas of blowing snow with visibility falling to near zero in many locations across eastern North Carolina during the evening of February 10th — truly blizzard conditions in an area that hardly sees any snow in a typical winter. By the time the snow ended an amazing 24 inches had fallen in the Clarendon County town of Rimini, South Carolina. Other significant snowfall totals included 18 inches in Darlington, 17 inches in Florence, and 16 inches in Columbia, South Carolina. In eastern North Carolina 16.5 inches fell in Whiteville, 16 inches in Morehead City, 13 inches in New Bern, and 12.5 inches in Wilmington
Snow drifts in parts of South Carolina were up to 8 feet high. National Guard also helicopters to deployed airlift food to stranded residents. In Columbia, South Carolina, where 16 inches of snow fell, some roofs collapsed due to the weight of the snow. After the storm ended on Saturday, the temperature at Columbia fell to 5 degrees above zero.

Here are some pictures from January 2018 from the Alabama welcome center. Yes there was snow on the ground last January in Alabama.

As we now are heading into the 2nd full week of February it will soon be time to start looking at what spring 2019 will be like.

Some first indications of a mild start to spring.  We are now undergoing a Major stratospheric cooling at this time.  This is just the opposite of a stratospheric warming.  This process will start to pull the Polar jet stream further north at a faster rate and lead to the Subtropical jet stream to be the dominant jet stream in the United States for March and April.  In short, the Arctic and North Atlantic Oscillations are more likely to be in positive phases than negative phases for early Spring.  That could lead the March and April pattern to be wet and on the mild side. We will keep a eye on this as see if that indeed is what happens.

Slim

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Jack EdwardsBC (Otsego)SlimMark (East Lansing)Andy W Recent comment authors
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Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

Getting better and better! Who said the Tuesday system would track south and hit gr with plenty of snow?

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Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

Bring on the multiple snowstorms baby! Rock n roll will never die!

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

The snow maps are starting to come in line! Looking snow lovers! Bring it!

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Jack Edwards
Jack Edwards

HURRY SPRING 2019

Mark (East Lansing)
Mark (East Lansing)

Nice post. That last pic with the rocket reminds me of Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville. They have many old rockets, even a Saturn V. My bro was there at the same time I was at Fort Gordon in GA. We would take turns visiting each other. Good times.

Andy W
Andy W

Hey Slim, nice write up as always! I enjoy your Saturday posts and look forward to them all week! We stopped at that welcome center on the way to Florida for Spring Break last year! The rocket they have out front is pretty cool!

Andy W
Andy W

Hey INDY, what is the web address for your weather page?? As you know I’m a huge weather fan too, so I like to visit as many weather pages as possible, it’s a fun little hobby!

INDY
INDY

Andy it is Mid Michigan storm team 2 southeast lower Michigan covering southwest lower..on FB. Thanks INDY..

Andy W
Andy W

Got it! Thanks INDY! Have a great weekend! SPRITES GALORE!! GO BLUE!!

INDY
INDY

Ohh baby Go Blue .INDY

BC (Otsego)
BC (Otsego)

Thanks Indy!

Andy W
Andy W

Big win INDY!! Sprites for all!

INDY
INDY

Huge I loved it! INDY

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

What a winter! This could go down as a monster winter to remember before this month is over! We have tons of storms on the horizon. On a side note I still do not have power!

INDY
INDY

I hope your staying warm rocky Rockford middle school is a shelter or you can call 211 they can help you.. Tuesdays storm from the latest run overnight gives it a further south track that means more snow for west Michigan get ready ..INDY..

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

Fortunately I have a generator up and running! Bring on the snow!

INDY
INDY

Great post slim as always ..I’m going to break the air with some of you on MV’S blog I’m thinking this is getting a little weird on here about some only careing about where people are located and saying they give out false weather info or reports! So here we go I am INDY “JOE” I do live on the NE side of GR in Northview school district I work for Meijer inc. I have 2 gals 15 and 14 happily married with our dog Louie I have had the love and passion for weather all of my life all… Read more »

MichaelV

I can attest to the fact all here live in Michigan – I would like to set up a blog party again – the last one was in Otsego with Bill Steffen – the next should be closer to Grand Rapids as many of you live closer to the I96 corridor.

INDY
INDY

Thanks Michael let me know I will be happy to pick people up and bring them and any other kind help I can be. I’m sorry for the long post being off the topic I just wanted to clear the air a little I enjoy your weather blog great information you and slim are wonderful people and I don’t think you guys get enough credit for the hard work you put in on here …I know you guys are real ..INDY..

Mark (East Lansing)
Mark (East Lansing)

I’ll give you three guesses where I’m located. LOL

INDY
INDY

Lol Spartan Michigan.. INDY

Mark (East Lansing)
Mark (East Lansing)

🤘

MichaelV

Thanks again Slim – I generally traveled south in the early fall when the temps and humidity are at more tolerable levels – the deep south can be horrid in the summer unless one is used to the tropical weather. Some of my nicest trips has been through Canada entering in Windsor and going all the way to Quebec City and Montreal then getting into Maine via 201. A close second is driving on the Blue Ridge parkway….