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Ralph Wiggum

Blizzard of 1996....20 years ago today!

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1996 still remains as one of my favorites. I had just moved to Chester County in an apartment next to my girl friend's apartment (later that year to become my wife) and she had to go to France for work on Saturday night. I remember taking her to the gate (back in the pre-911 days) and being the weather geek I was then and now. My GF was offered the chance to take a flight the next day and get a free voucher for anywhere in the US....but I told the gate agent that PHL would be closed by noon on Sunday so she needed to get on the flight that night. The agent said PHL rarely closes and it would not be that bad....she was not correct.

Unlike what Red Sky noted I remember the incredible blowing snow on Sunday night and looking out and seeing all of the cars in my parking lot of my apartment in Exton PA just gone and covered. The next morning I opened my door and the snow just fell in from over my head. I actually have 2 DVDs (transferred from VHS of a combination of coverage from the night before through Monday AM of the event. Lots of local Philly coverage including Larry Cosgrove when he was the Lead MET at Channel 17 doing live coverage on Sunday night from outside in the blowing and drifting snow + lots of Weather Channel coverage way back when they actually did cover the weather etc. The 27" blitz we had here in East Nantmeal back in 2010 is in 2nd place. I am also old enough to remember the first 20" snow of my life the February 1983 event where I grew up in Northeast Philly. The Thunder snow was incredible but not a lot of wind with that one. As shocking as some of the younger folks on the board may find it big snows like we seem to have every year during the past 15 years (global warming....uh climate change uh well u know ) but in NE Philly we never had a significant snow event (over 6") that I could remember until I was 14 years old back in January 1978. Where I live now in Chesco had 6 such storms during that same period - it always seemed as a kid that the North and West burbs got all the snow!  I will always remember that first big snow the January 20th storm in 1978 - was forecasted by the only weather sources available at the time NWS and AccuWeather to be 5" of snow and then a turn to heavy rain.....I went to bed and it was snowing and was shocked when my Mom woke me up to tell me I needed to go our and help shovel the driveway so my dad could get up the driveway on arriving home from his night shift job. But still 1996 remains as an all timer in my mind.....

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I was in school at Delaware...not much better than a blizzard in a college town...all your friends are around, bars are within walking distance...I can remember sticking a bunch of cases of beer in a snow bank and playing an enormous game of capture the flag with what seemed like my entire apartment complex...ivy hall :wub:

Good lord I'm old

Yes. You are old! I was on East Cleveland Ave. In a loft I shared with two Chi O girls. The day before I had received 2 acceptance letters to law school....so I was pretty hammered the whole time

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk

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I was in school at Delaware...

Good lord I'm old

 

How do you think I feel? I was already 10 years OUT OF SCHOOL for the Blizzard of 96.

 

It's still the best snowstorm of my lifetime, though. At that time, I was living in Bethlehem. Approximately half the storm occurred during the daylight hours. We had a CTG lightning strike about 1/4 mile from my house that afternoon that scared the crap out of the two teenage girls from up the street who thought they were going on a nice snowy walk. The winds were howling all day and drifts were as high as garage doors when the storm finally ended.

 

The icing on the cake for me though was that when I went to bed that night I thought the storm was pretty much over as the intensity of the snow had lightened considerably. We already had about 15-18 inches, and for me (who at that time still loved snowstorms) was plenty to be happy with. When I woke the next morning, however, the final bands were pivoting through with what would be the heaviest rates of the entire storm. I literally could not see the houses across the street.

 

It was nearly impossible to measure the snow in my backyard due to the drifting, but the official Allentown total was 26 inches at Lehigh Valley Intl Airport.

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It was nearly impossible to measure the snow in my backyard due to the drifting, but the official Allentown total was 26 inches at Lehigh Valley Intl Airport.

 

That's what made '96 so different - the dry powdery nature of the snow, with impressive liquid equivalent ratios.  To have had none of that stuff stick to my car and mostly blow off in the wind, was a godsend.    :thumbsup:

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I was taking a year off to work but living at home as I was preparing to go to law school. Our house had a big sledding hill behind it that faced the house. Winds usually whipped down that hill and the huge drift created by the winds during the storm made the hill look like a cresting wave about to crash on the house. It was the coolest part of the storm for me. Somewhere in a basement I have a picture of it.

My snow-loving golden retriever at one point waved the white flag on going out to do his business, so I shoveled a network of paths in the yard and a couple larger areas where he could go. We were over 30" by a nose in East Norriton.

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The duration of this storm was epic...from what, 4:00am Sunday to Monday afternoon. Just awesome, I was at a Christmas party and kept checking on the weather channel and saw updates of the storm. Best ever, for me better than '78 and for some reason don't remember '83.

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I remember getting up to it snowing, 8 degrees, and a blizzard warning on the little weather radio I had at the time. An awesome storm, I probably spent too much time shoveling, so there would be less to do on Monday, but all I did was wear myself out and still wound up getting a plow to come in on Monday...(lol).

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I remember getting up to it snowing, 8 degrees, and a blizzard warning on the little weather radio I had at the time. An awesome storm, I probably spent too much time shoveling, so there would be less to do on Monday, but all I did was wear myself out and still wound up getting a plow to come in on Monday...(lol).

 

We had one of these bad boys at the time and I still had to crawl up onto the snow and take half of it, then repeat the process to get it down to the blacktop driveway. It was a beast, and having the track drive was a big help as a wheeled thrower would have kept digging in. This one just rode on top of the snow and was a breeze to operate.

 

Img_2170.jpg

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We had one of these bad boys at the time and I still had to crawl up onto the snow and take half of it, then repeat the process to get it down to the blacktop driveway. It was a beast, and having the track drive was a big help as a wheeled thrower would have kept digging in. This one just rode on top of the snow and was a breeze to operate.

 

Img_2170.jpg

 

Nice! The snow in the background looks good too. What do you use now? I like the idea of a bobcat for pile making purposes.

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Nice! The snow in the background looks good too. What do you use now? I like the idea of a bobcat for pile making purposes.

 

It's a photo I borrowed from the web for illustrative purposes as we never took one of the actual machine. The Yamaha was my parents' snowblower, whom I lived with at the time. When they (we) moved to Arizona, they sold it. These days I go with manual labor (shovel) unless we get a big snow, then the neighbor brings out the quad with a plow blade.

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We had one of these bad boys at the time and I still had to crawl up onto the snow and take half of it, then repeat the process to get it down to the blacktop driveway. It was a beast, and having the track drive was a big help as a wheeled thrower would have kept digging in. This one just rode on top of the snow and was a breeze to operate.

 

Img_2170.jpg

My snow blower that's sitting on the sidelines waiting  :wub:

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We had one of these bad boys at the time and I still had to crawl up onto the snow and take half of it, then repeat the process to get it down to the blacktop driveway. It was a beast, and having the track drive was a big help as a wheeled thrower would have kept digging in. This one just rode on top of the snow and was a breeze to operate.

 

Img_2170.jpg

 did not exist back in 96

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 did not exist back in 96

 

Like I said, I borrowed a pic from the internet for illustrative purposes. It may not be the exact model, but we had a Yamaha track drive snowblower. My parents bought it in the fall of 94, following up the record breaking 93-94 winter. They/we swore we would never hand shovel the driveway again after that winter.

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I was in school at Delaware...not much better than a blizzard in a college town...all your friends are around, bars are within walking distance...I can remember sticking a bunch of cases of beer in a snow bank and playing an enormous game of capture the flag with what seemed like my entire apartment complex...ivy hall :wub:

Good lord I'm old

I was in high school in 96 in chesco, but ivy hall, ahhhh the memories. Fun times, lived there my sophomore year.

96 and 16 are very close in my book now.

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Thank God for the Phillies.....some trivia for you

 

Who has won more playoff games this decade (since 2010) - Phillies or Eagles?

Answer: Phillies 7 wins - Eagles Zero playoff wins

How many Championship Finals (Super Bowl/ World Series) have each team participated in during the last 50 years?

Answer: Phillies 5 World Series - Eagles 2 Super Bowls

How many championships have each team won during the last 50 years?

Answer: Phillies 2 and Eagles....zero!

 

Incredibly if the Phillies did not win the World Series in 2008 a 35 year old Philadelphia sports fan would have no major sports team championships in their memories....

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Thank God for the Phillies.....some trivia for you

 

Who has won more playoff games this decade (since 2010) - Phillies or Eagles?

Answer: Phillies 7 wins - Eagles Zero playoff wins

How many Championship Finals (Super Bowl/ World Series) have each team participated in during the last 50 years?

Answer: Phillies 5 World Series - Eagles 2 Super Bowls

How many championships have each team won during the last 50 years?

Answer: Phillies 2 and Eagles....zero!

 

Incredibly if the Phillies did not win the World Series in 2008 a 35 year old Philadelphia sports fan would have no major sports team championships in their memories....

I grew up a Braves fan due to TBS but don't really follow them anymore since they're never on TV. I started becoming a Phillies fan in 07 when the braves we're kicked off TBS. So while the Phillies winning was cool and I was rooting for them, it didn't really do it for me. To me it's 25 years and no championship for the Philly teams I love. (Flyers, Eagles, Sixers). At least I've seen them in 4 finals even though we lost them all. Such is life as a Philly fan.

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