January 6-10 1996 North American Blizzard

Feb 20, 2018
17
3
1
Wilmington, NC
This storm was rated Category 5 - Extreme on its respective scale, only one of two in recent history, the other being the "Storm of the Century" of 1993 (see thread for more information). It was a severe Nor'easter that essentially paralyzed the eastern coast of the United States. It was considered to be a "classic example of a Nor'easter", historically significant due to the arctic high pressure system situated north of New York at the time of the storm.

It was a combination winter storm and blizzard event, and the lowest recorded pressure was 980 mb. The highest snow/ice accumulation was 48 inches, recorded in Pocahontas County, West Virginia. The greatest impacts were to the northeast portion of the United States, and damages totaled at $3 billion USD*. 184 total fatalities were associated with the storm, 154 directly attributed, and an additional 30 from subsequent flooding.

I posted this event for similar reasons as the post regarding the "Storm of the Century" of 1993 - there was some personal family history involved. My parents were in the process of moving from West Virginia to Virginia at the time that the storm hit, and drove through blizzard conditions to do so. I have some personal thoughts, but I'll keep those to myself.