Historic Snow: Remembering Some of New Jersey’s Worst Winter Weather

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Milk! Bread! Eggs! Ahhhhhh!

Hype is already building for this week’s alleged “historic” winter storm, Save Jerseyans, and if these snow total projections from the National Weather Service ultimately prove accurate, it could be one of the most disruptive in U.S. history:

blizzard 2015

No one who saw the “Great White Hurricane” of 1888 is alive to tell the tale; veterans of the Knickerbocker Storm are hard to find.

Bad snow storms impacting New Jersey in recent memory?

– Many of you will recall the “Great Blizzard” of 1978 that caused $1.88 billion in damage (adjusted for inflation) and buried the entire state in 20 inches or more (parts of Northwestern N.J. saw 30+). 

– Topping the list, however, was the unforgettable March 12-15, 1993 so-called “Storm of the Century” that killed 300 Americans and cost the U.S. somewhere in the neighborhood of $6 to $10 billion in damage. It wasn’t the worst in terms of snow totals but for the sheer scope of its wrath: 26 states were affected included New Jersey where storm swells battered coastal towns and parts of New Jersey were buried under 2 feet of snow:

storm of the century

– Cold air from Canada, colliding with warm Gulf of Mexico winds produced up to 30 inches of snow over a 3-day period from January 6-10, 1996, mostly in isolated pockets near the Delaware River. 187 lives were lost in the Blizzard of ’96 (which, meteorologically speaking, technically wasn’t a blizzard).

– The Presidents’ Day Storm II of February 2003 blasted New Jersey and, consequently, some New Jersey school districts didn’t adjourn for the summer until June 30th to compensate for the snow days.

– A decade after the Blizzard of ’96, the North American Blizzard of 2006 dumped 21 inches of snow at Newark Airport and 27 inches in Rahway. Though fatalities and damage were relatively minimal (compared to the other storms on this list), N.J. Transit took a hit and some school children were off for days.

– Bringing about a year without a Valentine’s Day for some, the February 2010 Snowpocalypse saw not one but three blizzards batter the Garden State over a period of 20 days:


– White Christmas? Lovely. But on December 26-27, 2010, the December 2010 North American blizzard (a nor’easter) introduced “thundersnow” into the popular consciousness, inflicted $60 million in damage on the Eastern Seaboard, and the worst snowfall total – 32 inches – was experienced in Rahway, New Jersey.

Be safe out there, folks!

But do us all a favor and don’t loose your s#%t like NJ 101.5’s Vic Dibitetto:


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