The Superstorm of 1993 was a storm that mystified our country; when it hit the south, it spawned thunderstorms and tornadoes; but, when it hit the northeast, it dumped record-breaking amounts of snow.
So what exactly was it?
It was, in essence, a large cyclone; it reached from the Gulf of Mexico all the way to New England--and even parts of Canada--at its largest.
It formed over the Gulf of Mexico on March 12, 1993, and rapidly intensified because of certain conditions that were already in place. As it moved toward the U.S., it pummeled the south with thunderstorms, strong winds, and even tornadoes. Most of the tornadoes spawned in Florida, causing about 12 deaths. When the storm reached northeastern states, it began to snow in record-breaking amounts. Meteorologists ascertain that it began to snow because the storm system encountered cold air. And the reason why it snowed so much was that the cyclone had an extremely low pressure (in fact, one of the lowest ever recorded). When a storm system has low pressure, cloud formation and precipitation normally ensue. The storm had also picked up lots of water as it moved from the gulf coast to the states. In fact, it dumped about 44 million acre-feet of water. In other words, it precipitated enough to fill 44 million football fields with one foot of water!
Perhaps the most chilling of all was the fact that this storm felt like a hurricane. As it dumped snow on the state's, wind speeds of up to 90 mph accompanied it.
All in all, the storm dumped about a foot or slightly more on cities like D.C., NYC, and Philadelphia; it caused 10 million people to lose electricity; it caused 270+ deaths; it did about $5.5 billion in damage.