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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Famous snowstorms

Posted January 20, 2009

What was your all-time favorite snow in North Carolina? Today’s picturesque coating might rank as one of the finest snowfalls in recent memory.

Read more about Triangle snowstorms through the years.

The most memorable for me was nine years ago when more than 20 inches of snow accumulated in the Triangle. I recall driving to work in my new SUV and feeling thankful for my choice of vehicle.

The previous day it appeared a snowfall of three to four inches was in order but then a moisture machine from the South thrust incredible amounts of fuel into the snow making system.

Laurie Clowers and I were co-anchoring in those days. I recall driving her home that afternoon because it was her only way back to Holly Springs.

As a youngster I faintly remember the three straight snowfalls in March of 1960. I recall my relatives speaking of the snow-choked Swannanoa River near Asheville. Those images inspired a song on my Christmas in Carolina album called “Swannanoa Snow.”

Perhaps the most unusual snowstorm occurred in the spring. In a freak storm on May 7, 1992, Mt. Pisgah just down the Blue Ridge Parkway from Asheville received a whopping 57 inches of snow. I’ve camped up there and people still talk about that incredible day.

North Carolina’s tallest mountain was pummeled with 50 inches of snow in March of 1993. Mount Mitchell has seen snow in all twelve months of the year. Grandfather Mountain saw two feet of snow on March 16, 1993.

What about you? What was your favorite snow? What made it special? Please share.

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  • Kidw4legs stops in Jan 21, 2009

    Regarding the snows of 1960, I was born on March 17 that year. We lived 25 miles or so from the hospital, and a friend who worked with the NCDOT drove a motorgrader and kept the roads near our house cleared so my folks could get to the hospital to get me here. I hope it wasn't wasted effort!

  • Kidw4legs stops in Jan 21, 2009

    The mega snow of '89 for the Wilmington area was something else. Seems it began on about Dec. 23, and no one could have guessed that it would keep snowing... and snowing! I headed to Halifax Co. on Christmas Eve morning, leaving behind a good 15 in. in Wilmington. I-40 wasn't complete between Wallace & Raliegh or Benson then, so I traveled in one set of tracks at about 20 mph from ILM to Hwy. 117 at Wallace. The tracks steered the car, so I was driving & shooting pictures all the way! I met the snowplow headed east, just shy of my Wallace exit.

    How surprising to learn upon returning to Wilmington that many had delayed Santa's coming, as they were unable to get to Grandma's to get the loot!

    Ah well, they don't drive real well in good conditions down this way!

  • shutterbug Jan 20, 2009

    Bill, the snow storm in 1960 came on three Wednesday's in a row. I was a 9th grader taking some standardized test that was scheduled, I think on the first Wednesday in March. It snow that day, the next Wednesday and the next Wednesday, all three were scheduled test days. We finally finished it some other day of the week.

  • parr4246 Jan 20, 2009

    gcfarms........ Yeah I remember that one, it was great. I went to Fayetteville to do some last minute Christmas shopping and slid into another car leaving the mall. I was living in Durham at the time but I went to visit my mother in Robeson County so I experienced that one too.............!!!!

  • parr4246 Jan 20, 2009

    Anyone remember the "blizzard" in January 1973? I grew up in Robeson County (down near the SC/NC line by South of the Border), the storm came from the south. We lived in a mobile home at the time and the snow drifts were as high as our mobile home was tall. I was only 5 years old at the time but I still remember it, I don't know what the official "inch" count was for the snow but it was wonderful !!!

  • thefensk Jan 20, 2009

    The January 2000 snowstorm was quite a surprise, but I have found that not a lot of people remember the January 2, 2002 snowstorm ... we had over a foot in Chatham where I was living at the time. I found that 1 foot of snow was pretty much just as bad as 2 feet of snow. I remember that one primarily because my family was out of town at the time so I was snowed in all by my lonesome.

  • wordwitch Jan 20, 2009

    I can't remember whether it was 1978 or 1979, but we had a terrible snowstorm in Greensboro where I was living at the time. I lived very close to my job in a law firm downtown but couldn't get my MGB out (street parking at my apt.) after the snowplow finally plowed the neighborhoods after about three days. As an aprtment dweller I did not own a shovel or any thing like it. Had to wait until it melted.

  • gcfarms Jan 20, 2009

    My favorite snowstorm was the white Christmas of 1989. I was living in Snow Hill and snow is not that common there. I had never seen a white Christmas until that year when a freak coastal low formed and clashed with an extreme arctic air mass. Eastern North Carolina east of Goldsboro saw amount as much as a foot. Blizzard conditions were felt on the outer banks. We as temperatures dip to -4 degrees in Snow Hill. New Bern and Wilmington set all time record lows that were below zero. I will never forget that beautiful cold Christmas. That was the best Christmas ever!!

  • Yourekiddingme Jan 20, 2009

    I will always remember the 2000 snowstorm. The 25th is my birthday, as well as our wedding anniversary. Although our anniversary that year wasn't romantic, it will always be memorable!! Our youngest child had an ear infection and we couldn't get to the pediatrician's office. He suggested we share the antibiotic our neighbor had recenlty had filled until we could get to a drug store! Fortunately, they did and all was right with the world. That storm brings back WONDERFUL memories!!!!

  • trh Jan 20, 2009

    I was 12 when my dad was the Chief of Police in Cary. Back then, his duties included anything and everything. I remember a huge snow (8-12 inches) and he had to drive the snow plow to clear the roads. After my bath and dressed in my pj's, he let me ride along with him that night. It was thrilling!

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