WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

Your Birthday Weather Map?

Posted April 29, 2009 8:42 a.m. EDT
Updated April 29, 2009 8:50 a.m. EDT

Weather map for Mar 2, 1927, as a powerful nor'easter passes along the NC coast.

Or, you can find the weather map for the United States from most any other day in history that you might be interested in, going back as far as 1871. I came across this service in the process of helping an e-mail correspondent from Nash county find some information about a huge snowstorm that occurred not long before his dad was born, back in March 1927.

This was a storm I had not heard much about before (despite growing up in Rocky Mount), but it was a "doozy" as they say. On March 1-3, North Carolina was swept by a monster nor'easter passing by just offshore, with snowfall amounts that topped a foot over much of the state and bands of snow topping two feet in places from the Sandhills into the northern coastal plain, including amounts like 24 inches at Fayetteville, 25 inches at Enfield, and a reported 31 inches in Nashville!

The first attached map image shows that storm, as analyzed by the U.S. Weather Bureau back on March 2nd, 1927. The second image is a group of weather maps showing a different format that came into use beginning in April 1968. Both of these images are cropped in somewhat from the full image available from the NOAA Central Library Data Imaging Project, for which I've included a link in case you're interested in seeing a map from a date that is special to you or your family.

The site is very easy to use, but does require that you install a small browser plug-in to view and manipulate (zoom, pan, etc) the images. I found that a modest zoom, followed by panning around the map, helps out greatly in reading some of the smaller print. Also, note that the pre-1968 maps are a single page, while the later maps are in eight page sets covering one week at a time - just page down to the date you're looking for using the forward and back arrows just above the image. Overall, a fun and historically useful service - enjoy!