MONDAY FEBRUARY 12 - MEGALOPOLITAN SNOWSTORM


Whenever you talk about snowstorms around here, of course the January 1996 storm tops the list. But how about the storm that was number one before the Blizzard of '96 came along?

That record-setting storm was just ending on this day in 1983. The storm was nicknamed the "Megalopolitan Snowstorm" because it shut down much of the heavily populated metropolitan corridor of the Northeast, dumping more than 20 inches of snow along a stretch that included the Big Four of Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City.

The snow began here on a Friday morning, and by late afternoon, winds of 25 to 35 mph created near-blizzard conditions. By the middle of that evening, all the interstates were closed or impassable, and the airport was shut down. At times, snow fell at 2 to 4 inches per hour, and there was even thunder during the storm, a very unusual occurrence. Were it not for the Blizzard of '96, this 1983 superstorm is the one people would still be talking about.

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