A color photo that looks like a black and white photo of a man in a cowboy hat riding a horse through the snow in Blairsville, GA during the blizzard of 1993.

During the blizzard, horseback was the only way to get around in Blairsville.

It has been another snowless winter for most of north Georgia … again. When I issued my spring outlook on social media, which called for warmer than average temperatures, many people reminded me winter was not over yet, citing the Blizzard of ’93.

On March 13th of that year, we all remember that epic Category 5 winter storm.

Five days before, I saw the first computer models. I could not believe what I was seeing. I immediately told my boss that a snowstorm was coming, the likes of which this state had never seen before. He asked how much snow I thought we could get, and I told him 2 feet. He said, “you’re not going on the air and saying that are you?” I told him I was going to wait another day to see what the next round of computer models would show. I wanted to wait, and for good reason. I had seen several snow storm weather model predictions that winter that never really panned out. My credibility was on the line.

Four days out, it became evident THIS storm would not be another false alarm. Models showed a HUGE snowstorm was about to unfold, the likes of which I had never seen, which most of us had never seen.

On March 12, low pressure in the Gulf of Mexico really began to “wind up.” It looked like a tropical storm. Snow began falling in Alabama. By that afternoon, however, the snow changed to rain.  After all my dire warnings about snow, we were getting rain! People who changed travel plans, left work early, pulled their kids out of school, were a little upset to say the least. I was still confident in my forecast and told everyone the worst was yet to unfold and we were going to see a record-setting storm.

By late afternoon, the rain had changed back to snow and this storm exploded over the Gulf of Mexico. A 12-foot, hurricane-like storm surge pounded the Florida Panhandle. Waves in the Gulf were 65 feet high with hurricane-force winds. Tornadoes killed dozens of people. As the cold air rushed in to meet the storm, 4 inches of snow fell in the Panhandle. As the low began moving inland, snow was spreading across Alabama and Georgia. Union County had 34-37 inches of snow and the only way to get around was on horseback.

Fifty inches of snow fell on Mt. Mitchell in North Carolina. Winds were 100 mph. Record cold followed the storm into Georgia. Ten million people in the Southeast were without power. Forty percent of the country would eventually feel the effects of the storm. There were 31 deaths and $5.5 billion in damage!

It’s going to be a little quieter this month. We have equal chances of above/below normal temps. I think temps will be a little above average. Rainfall will continue to be above normal with the fading El Nino.

The Vernal Equinox will occur on March 19th at 11:06 p.m. The full “Worm Moon” is March 25th.  Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday, March 10th. Have a great spring everyone!

Photo: provided by Glenn Burns