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Weather History: March 7: Record temps, storms, wind, snow, tropics & flooding

Meteorological events that happened on March 7th:


The "Great Snow", a composite of 4 winter storms hit the eastern U.S. in 9 days, finally came to an end. Snow depths averaged 60 inches following the storm. Up to 4 feet of snow fell around Boston, MA, and snow drifts 25 feet high were reported around Dorchester, MA.


Record low pressures occurred from Virginia to New England thanks to a strong storm system. Block Island, RI recorded a barometric reading of 955 millibars (28.20 inHg), Norfolk, VA: 960 millibars (28.35 inHg), Atlantic City, NJ: 961 millibars (28.37 inHg) and Boston, MA: 963 millibars (28.45 inHg) and Washington, D.C.: 971 millibars (28.67 inHg). Surprisingly, the storm was not accompanied by much wind as would be expected from low pressure of this extreme magnitude.


A snow and ice storm struck parts of the upper Midwest. The heaviest ice was in northwest and west central Minnesota. 52 electrical poles were down in this area with ice up to 1.5 inches on wires. All communication lines out of Fargo, ND were out with wind gusts estimated up to 60 mph. A Northwest Airline plane crashed into three homes in Minneapolis killing all 13 on the plane and two on the ground. The left wing of the plane struck a flagpole at Ft. Snelling National Cemetery as it circled to land.


The Netherlands’ recorded their coldest March night on record as the town of Wageningen dropped to -2°.


It was 80° at Big Bear Lake, CA; their highest temperature on record for March.


Many cities in the North Central and Northeast U.S. reported record high temperatures for the date. Huron, SD reached 80° and Pickstown, SD hit 81°. Rochester, MN and Rockford, IL smashed their previous records for the date by 16 degrees. Minneapolis, MN soared to 73°; breaking their previous record high by 13 degrees.


High winds along a sharp cold front ushered snow and arctic cold into the Central Rocky Mountain Region and the Northern Plains. Snowfall totals in Utah ranged up to 16 inches at Brighton. Winds gusted to 66 mph at Rapid City, SD.


Blustery northwest winds ushered arctic cold into eastern U.S. Burlington, VT reported a record low of -14°. Snow and ice over the Carolinas replaced the 80° weather of the previous day. High winds and heavy surf caused $5 million dollars damage along the North Carolina coast.


A major ice storm left much of Iowa under a thick coat of ice. It was the worst ice storm in at least 25 years for Iowa, perhaps the worst of the century. Up to 2 inches of ice coated much of western and central Iowa, with 3 inches reported in Crawford and Carroll County. As much as 5 inches of ice was reported on some electrical lines. The ice downed 78 towers in a 17-mile stretch of a high voltage feeder near Boone costing three electric utilities $15 million dollars. Damage to trees was incredible, and clean-up costs alone ran into the millions. Some snowfall totals further west: Wheatland, WY: 20 inches, Cheyenne, WY: 18 inches, Douglas, WY: 16.2 inches and 15.1 inches at Laramie, WY. Total damage from the storm was more than $50 million dollars.


6.5 inches of snow fell at Boston, MA to bring their seasonal total to 96.4 inches, their city's snowiest winter in 105 years of record keeping. The old record was 96.3 inches set in the 1993-94 winter season. With the Boston record, all major cities along this East Coast had broken their seasonal snowfall records in the 1995-96 winter season.

The low of -6° established the record low for the month of March at Garden City, KS.


The worst was finally over for states hit hard by the flooding Ohio River. The river crested on the 6th at Louisville, KY, at 15 feet above flood stage, after topping out at nearly 13 feet at Cincinnati, OH and more than 7 feet at Huntington, WV.


Blizzard conditions began during the afternoon hours across southwest Kansas and lasted until the morning of the 8th. Almost all highways were closed for several hours with 30 to 40 mph winds causing zero to near zero visibilities. Final snowfall totals ranged from 3 to 4 inches in Finney, Seward and Comanche counties to 6 inches in Morton County, 7 inches in Gray County and 8 to 10 inches in Stafford, Pratt and Ford counties. Drifts were as high as 8 feet in some areas.


Two snowstorms in a little over 3 days dumped 43.2 inches of snow at Rochester, NY.

Moncton, New Brunswick Canada set a new record for a one-day snowfall of 45.7 inches, but prior to that date the winter's total had been a meager 46 inches.


A tornado touched down for about 3 minutes in Liberal, KS during the late afternoon hours. One third of a hospital roof was removed, a KDOT tower was blown down and several trees were uprooted. Sheds were destroyed, the awning at a gas station was damaged and signs were blown down. Estimated property damage was $250,000 dollars.


Cyclone Gafilo raged across northeast Madagascar producing winds of 145 mph. The cyclone sunk the Samson, a ferry carrying 72 passengers and 18 crew members between the Indian Ocean islands of Comoros and Madagascar.


A strong snowstorm blasted through parts of the northeast with western New York especially hard hit. The airport at Buffalo, NY reported 21.6 inches of snow. This was the greatest non-lake effect snowfall in Buffalo in 24 years. Other snowfall reports in New York included: 30 inches at Ellicottville; 26 inches at Lockport and Perrysburg; 24 inches at Depew; 23 inches at Getzville; 22 inches at North Tonawanda and Hamlin; 21 inches at Hamburg, Amherst and Niagara Falls; 18 inches at Brockport, Colden, Sinclairville, and Warsaw; 17 inches as Copenhagen, Forestville and South Dayton; 16 inches at Darien and Scottsburg; 15 inches at Colden, Gaines, Pulaski and Basom; 14 inches at Middleport, Lacona, and Webster; 13 inches as Greece, Hannibal and Kennedy; and 12 inches at Cato, Bennetts Bridge and Marion.


Check out my colleague Weather Examiners:

Baltimore, MD area weather with Tony Pann at

Orlando, FL area weather with Dr. Steve Oliver at

Houston, TX area weather & the weekly Weather America Newsletter with Larry Cosgrove at

NOAA Headlines Examiner with Dr. Steve Oliver and IPR at

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