The 20th Anniversary of the Blizzard of 1996 [VIDEOS]
As you're starting your day on Thursday with temperatures forecasted to be in the lower 40's, its a pretty good day for early January. After all, this week (January 6 through January 8th) marks the 20th anniversary of what many call the worst snowstorm in New Jersey history, the Blizzard of 1996. We're taking a look back at this historical snowstorm.
What are your memories of the storm? Where were you stranded? How many days were stuck in your house for? If you have photos from the storm, I'd love to see them too. Send them my way, and we'll include them here on WOBM.com.
I was a little too young to remember the true power of the storm since I was only 6 at the time, but I know my parents definitely remember being stuck inside for days in Beachwood. I do, however, vivid memories of seeing the HUGE snowdrifts in our back yard. I know that some drifts were reported as being close to 10 feet high in the area.
The storm totals wound up just between 24" and 30" here at the Jersey Shore. Reports from Toms River said 24" fell during the blizzard, and 30" fell in Howell during the storm.
One of the most fun ways to remember a blizzard, of course, is to look at the crazy images from the storm. Here are just a few television news broadcasts from the storm that I dug up on YouTube tonight:
Here's the top of ABC 7's Eyewitness News at 6 pm on Sunday, January 7, 1996:
Maybe one of the most memorable moments was seeing people skiing on the streets in Manhattan the day after the storm (from WABC-TV in New York):
If you were a fan of daytime television, Regis Philbin wasn't even able to make it in for Live with Regis and Kathie Lee:
As the storm was winding down here's a clip of some of the crazy sights in Belmar and along the shore:
Of course, if you're looking for a fun fact today to share with friends and family, here's something: the storm was not actually a blizzard for most of New Jersey. The definition of a blizzard requires that snow must be be falling (or blowing) to reduce visibilityto 1/4 miles or less for at least for at least 3 consecutive hours, and there must be sustained winds of 35 mph or greater or frequent gusts to 35 mph or greater, according to the National Weather Service.
The only reporting station in the state to meet that requirement was the Trenton-Mercer Airport. The National Weather Service issued blizzard warnings because blizzard conditions were present throughout the storm, and in fact, many stations reported these conditions for at least one hour.
Share your memories of the storm below, and on our Facebook page. We'll add them to his pot. How did you pass the time during the storm? Where you or your family stranded anywhere? Tell us!