March 1993 Blizzard Memories: Scott Martin

| March 12, 2018 @ 4:00 pm

My memories from the Blizzard of 93 will more than likely be much different than what you read from the other guys on the blog, as I was 16 years old and about to get ready to take my driving test at the courthouse. Unfortunately, smartphones with cameras were not around in ’93, so no pictures to go along with my story.

On March 11, 1993, I was checked out of Shades Valley High School at 1:00 PM, so my mother and I could make the nearly 3-hour trip up to my sister’s house in Stone Mountain, Georgia, before rush hour traffic, started picking up. My sister had an extra ticket for me to attend the NASCAR race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. I wore shorts to school that day, as I knew that the temperatures were going to be in the 70s. We had heard about a system that was going to move through the area but knew with the temperatures so warm that snow shouldn’t make a big travel issue on the roadways.

The next day as the storm was getting closer, we still didn’t believe it was going to be a big deal, so we packed up our stuff and headed down I-75 to Hampton where the speedway is located. There were several practice sessions on the track throughout the morning before qualifying took place around 2 o’clock. Temperatures were in the 70s but we did notice that clouds were starting to move in. By the way, Rusty Wallace won the pole position for the race that would end up being delayed for one week.

We get back home that evening and the news was on TV. All of the weather teams on Atlanta news stations were all in agreement that this was going to be a storm of a great magnitude. Projecting well over a foot of snow in some places and will start as soon as around midnight. I believe I fell asleep around 9 o’clock and slept a few hours before my sister woke me up to tell me I needed to see something.

I got up and looked out the front door… pine trees were swaying wildly in the gusty winds, but I could only get a brief glance at them at times due to the blowing heavy snow. I have only heard of blizzards on TV and read about them in newspapers and school books. Never had I experienced one in person. For hours and hours, the wind whipped through the neighborhood as the snow continued to pile higher and higher on the ground and the roadways outside. I do remember counting 13 rumbles of thunder throughout the storm, but there were several more flashes of lightning that the wind more than likely muffled the thunder.

I was already well over 6 feet tall in 1993, but I had never seen snow that would be that deep. When much of the storm had passed late in the day on the 13th, we got out to take a look at all that took place. Snow depth in my sister’s yard measured over 1 foot deep easily, which was nearly up to my knees. You couldn’t tell the ground from the roadways, or the cars from shrubbery… everything was the same… snow-covered white. We did measure a snowdrift that had formed on the front of my sister’s house at 9 feet 2 inches tall… easily dwarfing me, who was the tallest in the family at that point.

My heart was broken as I knew that the race would be postponed until a later date, but I was also worried about when we would be able to make it home. We were not able to make it back home in Irondale until the following Thursday. We still had parts of our yard covered in a couple inches of snow in the shady areas and our power was still out. Our power did not come back on until Friday afternoon, so a gas oven was used to heat the house and we had hot water. Wasn’t that bad at all.

The race ended up being run just one week later as it was a normal off week for the NASCAR guys, but I did not get to go back to see that race. Morgan Shepherd was the victor and would be the last time he would win in NASCAR. It would be really awful as qualifying would be the last time that I would see Alan Kulwicki and Davey Allison on track. Both would pass away in different circumstances later in the year.

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Category: ALL POSTS, Met 101/Weather History

About the Author ()

Scott Martin is a meteorologist, graphic artist, musician, husband, and a father. Scott is a member of the National Weather Association and the Central Alabama Chapter of the National Weather Association. Scott is also the co-founder of Racecast Weather, which provides accurate forecasts for many racing series across the USA.

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