1868: Late-March snowstorm slams East coast

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March 1868 started out relatively mild across the Eastern states. The winter of 1867-1868 had been a uniformly cold winter. Life was finally starting to get back to normal in the aftermath of the Civil War in the Northeastern states and the break in the winter, early in March was welcomed as the harbinger of an early spring. In the middle of the month though, a storm took form across the nation’s midsection and as it rolled eastward arctic air moved out of western Canada, across the Great Lakes into the Northeast. With cold weather firmly in place the storm moved in, and snow began to fall and quickly. Reports form the day indicated that 15-20” of snow fell at Philadelphia on March 21, Georgetown DE has an incredible 32” in just 16 hours. Many other parts of Delaware and New Jersey had close to 2 feet of the white stuff. The winter itself would go into the record books as the snowiest recorded up to that time. The storm on March 21, 1868 would bring seasonal snowfall totals to more than 80” in both New York City and Boston.

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