|Storm surge Southport, CT during the Great Appalachian|
Storm of 1950.
There have been extreme Thanksgiving weekend storms in the past that really gummed up the works. I remember when I was a kid, a 1971 Thanksgiving storm dumped more than a foot of snow across much of the Northeast, including here in Vermont.
But the granddaddy of Thanksgiving weekend storms was the Great Appalachian Storm of 1950, which on this date that year was just getting its act together.
A strong Arctic cold front passed through the middle of the country on this date, brining temperatures to record lows in many cities, including Chicago.
A storm formed along the Arctic front, which happens quiet commonly. But this particular storm had all the ingredients to form one deadly, remarkable and scary storm. There was record cold on the west side of the front, and record warmth to the east. With extreme upper level support, it allowed the storm to attain extreme levels. We haven't seen anything like this since.
On the cold, west side of the storm, the problem was snow, and lots of it.
The temperature contrast was pretty intense. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania got 30.5 inches of snow as temperatures there held in the single digits. Just to the northeast in Buffalo, New York, it was in the 40s with no snow.
In that warm sector on the east side of the storm, the wind was incredibly intense. The weather set up was not too different than the one that created our severe wind storm in late October. But the 1950 set up was much more intense than this year's, and so were the winds.
|Digging out from the Great Appalachian Storm of 1950|
You can imagine how many trees and power lines fell across the Northeast. A million or so people had no electricity for days.
The intense winds caused a nasty storm surge along the East Coast which caused severe flooding. Ocean water breached a dike at LaGuardia airport, flooding runways.
The weather station in Bridgeport, Connecticut was inundated with five feet of water. In some areas of Long Island and Connecticut, coastal destruction was even worse than during the Great Hurricane of 1938.
In the end, the Great Appalachian Storm killed 160 people and caused the greatest damage of any United States storm up to that date.
Bet you're glad there's nothing like that in the forecast for this weekend.