National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

A Recap of the March 12-14,1993 SuperStorm

Summary of Event:

The March 12-14 1993 Superstorm affected north Alabama and southern middle Tennessee extensively by producing blizzard conditions across the area. The intense low pressure system formed in the Gulf of Mexico early on March 12 and pushed across southern Alabama and Georgia, before rapidly moving up the East Coast. At least 14 persons died in southern middle Tennessee and north Alabama, all due to exposure, and damage estimates in 1993 dollars exceeded $100 million. Of the 14 deaths, six people died after abandoning their vehicles, seven more died outside, and one person died at home. The weight of the snow combined with wind gusts in excess of 50 mph knocked out power, collapsed numerous roofs, and downed thousands of trees across the area.

At the height of the storm, over 400,000 residences were without electricity. In some locations, roads remained impassable for nearly a week, hampering emergency and relief efforts. Snow amounts ranged from greater than four inches in northwest Alabama to at or greater than a foot of snow in portions of the higher elevations of northeast Alabama and southern middle Tennessee. This powerful storm system would have been a category two on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane intensity scale due to the strength of the winds. Following the storm, record cold invaded the area. The deep snow cover, combined with clear skies and light winds, dropped temperatures to single digits to near zero on the morning of March 14 across much of north Alabama and southern middle Tennessee. These unusually cold temperatures were around 35 degrees below normal for mid March.

Above is an image of snowfall which was measured beginning on March 12th and ended on March 14, 1993.

    Click on county links below for snowfall pictures.


Snowfall Total (Inches): 3/12-3/14/1993

 Valley Head, Alabama 17.7 inches
 Winchester, Tennessee 13 inches
 Scottsboro, Alabama 12 inches
 Hanceville, Alabama 11 inches
 Cullman, Alabama 10 inches
 Moulton, Alabama 8.3 inches
 Guntersville, Alabama 8 inches
 Huntsville, Alabama 7.3 inches
 Belle Mina, Alabama

7 inches

Athens, Alabama 7 inches
Fayetteville, Tennessee 6 inches
Muscle Shoals, Alabama 4.6 inches