Blizzard of 1993 Official Obs

| March 13, 2008 @ 3:31 am | 8 Replies

I was a freshman at Samford University, and a volunteer at the National Weather Service office in Birmingham (then at 11 West Oxmoor Road) in March 1993. I printed out from AFOS (the old 1970’s computers we were still using at the time) the official observations from the Birmingham airport (text printed below). They are in the old SAO format. I didn’t stick it out at the office that weekend, I was without power at my Granny’s house in Tarrant. I printed these on the following Monday.


Decoding a few things. The order is BHM SA, time (UTC), sky condition, visibility, weather, altimeter, temperature, dewpoint, wind, sea level pressure, and comments.

A sky condition of W3 X meant the sky was obscured, and vertical visibility was 300 feet.

Visibilities are given in miles. No spaces are used in the fractions.

Wind is given by direction (first 2 digits, 35 means from 350 degrees, or north), then speed and gust in knots.

LTGICCG means lightning in cloud and cloud to ground.

SNOINCR means snow increasing rapidly. Numbers are accumulation in past hour, past 6 hours, and past 12 hours, maybe?

PRESFR means pressure falling rapidly.

904XX means XX inches of snow are on the ground.

R05VR numbers mean something about runway visual range.

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