Jump to content


Ice Storm 94


28 replies to this topic

#1 InMemphis

InMemphis
  • Members
  • 1536 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Germantown, Tennessee

Posted 04 February 2007 - 12:15 AM

I have lived in this area my entire life and one of the worst weather events I have ever experienced besides the wind storm of 2003 is the ice storm of 94. Now I remember the ice and not having power and the situation with the trees and powerlines. What I have no idea about is how and why it all started. Some areas of Mississippi had ice accumulations of 5 and 6 inches which seems crazy. People tell me that we even had thunderstorms which helped enhance the event so is that the case? I have also been told that the day before we had very warm weather with even some severe weather which included some tornadoes. Some have even told me that we had no warning that an ice event was headed our way. So were there no winter storm watches or ice storm warnings issued with that event? So did precip fall just one day or was it over a few days? I am really interested in this particular event so if anyone has info it would be appreciated.

#2 StormStalker

StormStalker
  • Members
  • 9531 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tuscumbia, Al

Posted 04 February 2007 - 12:22 AM

Seems like it was a thursday when i started. I dont recall the forecasts for the day but seems like the freezing rain started in the overnight hours and continued thoughout the next day. The trees buckled and cracked all night. We were in the dark and it sounded like a war was going on. Thats a sound i can never forget is the trees buckling under the weight of the ice and snapping with a thunderous crack. We found pine needles driven into the ground where limbs had fell. We didnt have power for 2 days i think, maybe 3. They cleaned and removed trees for weeks, maybe even months. It was truly a spectacular event and one in which i will never forget. Seems like the system brought flooding rains east of here into eastern alabama.
I saw my first wall cloud on March 31, 2006 in Florence, Al around 5:15 p.m.

University of North Alabama
ROAR LIONS
!


Class of 2009

#3 hmorton

hmorton
  • Meteorologist
  • 637 posts
  • Location:Lafayette, LA

Posted 04 February 2007 - 12:27 AM

Here is a link to the synoptic set up.

http://www.meteo.psu.edu/~gadomski/NARR/1994/us0210.php
The moonlight lets me know the sun is shining somewhere.

#4 Drew

Drew
  • Members
  • 2713 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Florence, AL
  • CoCoRaHS ID:AL-LD-1

Posted 04 February 2007 - 12:28 AM

I was in 4th grade at the time, and I mainly remember the sounds of the trees and branches falling all around the house. I remember I went to school that morning, then my mom came and checked me out around 10am because the roads were getting icy. By mid afternoon, trees began falling and we lost power around 5pm. We were without power for 13 days. It was truly a life-changing event for me, even with me being so young. I will never forget it, and hope I NEVER experience anything like it again.

#5 Memphis Weather

Memphis Weather
  • Members
  • 11483 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 04 February 2007 - 12:37 AM

I don't remember expecting it at all (granted I was in first grade at the time). I went to bed and around Midnight my Mom woke me up and said everything was turning to ice and trees were cracking. We lost power about an hour later. Here in Memphis the icing ended by the following morning, so here at least it was just an overnight event, which made it all the more scary. Its the reason why I never get happy when I see an icing event on the models being even a slight possibility.

I don't remember any severe weather preceding it but going back to records it was quite warm (in the 70s) in the days leading up to it. You can see how in Heath's link though... Arctic front moved through and stalled, as impulses traveled the front. Rain falling in the shallow cold air - classic ice storm scenario.


#6 ctbpharmd

ctbpharmd
  • Members
  • 779 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Arlington, TN

Posted 04 February 2007 - 12:48 AM

That particular event came in 3 waves(I was in college):

1. Feb 9- Arctic cold front moved through MEM and dropped temps into the 20's by about 12 noon.(Temps were in the 70's 3 days earler). A wave rode the front at the same time, changing rain to sleet/snow by noon. This lasted until 10pm that night. Accumulations of sleet and snow were around 2 inches.

2. Feb 10- Front was stalled south of MEM and another wave rode the front which resulted in a secondary wave sleet/snow- some of which was heavy, with another 1-2 inches of accumulation. It started about noon and lasted until 6pm. Total accumulations up to this point were 2-4 inches. The temps began to rise that afternoon to about 28-30 degrees and stayed there all day. Nothing was forecast after this which iswhere the fun came in. I remember sledding that night and seeing what appeared to be freezing drizzle coming down pretty heavily. Went to bed with no thougts, although noticed on radar that precip was increasing rapidly to the southwest of MEM in Southern AR.

3. Feb 11-Early morning hours I awoke to the sound of loud booms, which turned out to be tree limbs crashing down. We lost electricity about 3 am. The rain was very heavy and I noticed thunder and lightning by 4-5am. I didnt keep a rain gage then, but feel that 2 inches of rain had fallen by about noon, when everything stopped. Large trees crashed down everywhere, including many homes which were completely crushed. Another arctic cold front moved through that night and temps plummeted to 15. I remember a very cold night ..in fact there was a layer of ice in the toilet.(No fun indeed).

By Feb 16-17, temps were back in the '70s and spring began in earnest; although many in the MEM area were without electricty for a month. This was a truly remarkable event, that apparently rivaled the Ice Storm of '51 which devastated Memphis and Nashville with 6 inches of sleet/snow and 2 inches of freezing rain with temps down to 10 below zero.(Was not alive for this dangit). The winter of 84-85 is the best winter I ever experienced in MEM with nearly 2 feet of snow within a month. I wish we could repeat that pattern!

Edited by ctbpharmd, 04 February 2007 - 12:52 AM.


#7 Memphis Weather

Memphis Weather
  • Members
  • 11483 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 04 February 2007 - 12:48 AM

Here's the Memphis records for that time frame...
2/3/1994    405954    MEMPHIS INTL AP                   TN    35.0564    -89.9864    258    55    31    9999    0          0       0  
2/4/1994    405954    MEMPHIS INTL AP                   TN    35.0564    -89.9864    258    51    41    9999    0.005    0       0  
2/5/1994    405954    MEMPHIS INTL AP                   TN    35.0564    -89.9864    258    57    46    9999    0          0       0    
2/6/1994    405954    MEMPHIS INTL AP                   TN    35.0564    -89.9864    258    62    36    9999    0          0       0    
2/7/1994    405954    MEMPHIS INTL AP                   TN    35.0564    -89.9864    258    70    38    9999    0          0       0    
2/8/1994    405954    MEMPHIS INTL AP                   TN    35.0564    -89.9864    258    74    63    9999    0.005    0       0    
2/9/1994    405954    MEMPHIS INTL AP                   TN    35.0564    -89.9864    258    73    25    9999    0.95     1.4     0    
2/10/1994   405954    MEMPHIS INTL AP                   TN    35.0564    -89.9864    258    31    25    9999    0.5      1        1    
2/11/1994   405954    MEMPHIS INTL AP                   TN    35.0564    -89.9864    258    34    30    9999    1.25    12.5    2    
2/12/1994   405954    MEMPHIS INTL AP                   TN    35.0564    -89.9864    258    40    32    9999    0.01    0         1  

Obviously this is a little jumbled, but the 8th column is the high temperatures, 9th is low temperatures, 11th is precip total, 12th is snow total, and 13th is snow depth. I do believe the snow total for 2-11 is wrong icon_wink.gif

Edited by Memphis Weather, 04 February 2007 - 12:50 AM.



#8 Memphis Weather

Memphis Weather
  • Members
  • 11483 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 04 February 2007 - 12:51 AM

QUOTE(ctbpharmd @ Feb 3 2007, 11:48 pm) View Post
That particular event came in 3 waves(I was in college):

1. Feb 9- Arctic cold front moved through MEM and dropped temps into the 20's by about 12 noon.(Temps were in the 70's 3 days earler). A wave rode the front at the same time, changing rain to sleet/snow by noon. This lasted until 10pm that night. Accumulations of sleet and snow were around 2 inches.

2. Feb 10- Front was stalled south of MEM and another wave rode the front which resulted in a secondary wave sleet/snow- some of which was heavy, with another 1-2 inches of accumulation. It started about noon and lasted until 6pm. Total accumulations up to this point were 2-4 inches. The temps began to rise that afternoon to about 28-30 degrees and stayed there all day. Nothing was forecast after this which iswhere the fun came in. I remember sledding that night and seeing what appeared to be freezing drizzle coming down pretty heavily. WEnt to bed with no thougts, although noticed on radar that precip was increasing rapidly to the southwest of MEM in Southern AR.

3. Feb 11-Early morning hours I awoke to the sound of loud booms, which turned out to be tree limbs crashing down. We lost electricity about 3 am. The rain was very heavy and I noticed thunder and lightning by 4-5am. I didnt keep a rain gage then, but feel that 2 inches of rain had fallen by about noon, when everything stopped. Large trees crashed down everywhere, including many homes which were completely crushed. Another arctic cold front moved through that night and temps plummeted to 15. I remember a very cold night indeed..in fact there was a layer of ice in the toilet.(No fun indeed).

By Feb 16-17, temps were back in the '70s and spring began in earnest; although many in the MEM area were without electricty for a month. This was a truly remarkable event, that apparently rivaled the Ice Storm of '51 which devastated Memphis and Nashville with 6 inches of sleet/snow and 2 inches of freezing rain with temps up to 10 below zero.(Was not alive for this dangit). The winter of 84-85 is the best winter I ever experienced in MEM with nearly 2 feet of snow within a month. I wish we could repeat that pattern!

Thanks for this. So 2-11 was the big event, the real ice storm. I don't remember 2-9 and 2-10 AT ALL. I just thought it was one night of ice and that was it. I have no idea why...but the KMEM records I just posted confirm all of this.

Edited by Memphis Weather, 04 February 2007 - 12:51 AM.



#9 InMemphis

InMemphis
  • Members
  • 1536 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Germantown, Tennessee

Posted 04 February 2007 - 12:53 AM

Ok that makes sense because my Aunt and Uncle told me they had been to the store and it had snowed a little but nothing real bad and they heard on the radio that like Mall of Memphis was closed due to weather among other closings and they thought it was laughable and then the next day we had the ice.

#10 ctbpharmd

ctbpharmd
  • Members
  • 779 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Arlington, TN

Posted 04 February 2007 - 12:59 AM

QUOTE(Memphis Weather @ Feb 4 2007, 1:48 am) View Post
Here's the Memphis records for that time frame...
2/3/1994    405954    MEMPHIS INTL AP                   TN    35.0564    -89.9864    258    55    31    9999    0          0       0  
2/4/1994    405954    MEMPHIS INTL AP                   TN    35.0564    -89.9864    258    51    41    9999    0.005    0       0  
2/5/1994    405954    MEMPHIS INTL AP                   TN    35.0564    -89.9864    258    57    46    9999    0          0       0    
2/6/1994    405954    MEMPHIS INTL AP                   TN    35.0564    -89.9864    258    62    36    9999    0          0       0    
2/7/1994    405954    MEMPHIS INTL AP                   TN    35.0564    -89.9864    258    70    38    9999    0          0       0    
2/8/1994    405954    MEMPHIS INTL AP                   TN    35.0564    -89.9864    258    74    63    9999    0.005    0       0    
2/9/1994    405954    MEMPHIS INTL AP                   TN    35.0564    -89.9864    258    73    25    9999    0.95     1.4     0    
2/10/1994   405954    MEMPHIS INTL AP                   TN    35.0564    -89.9864    258    31    25    9999    0.5      1        1    
2/11/1994   405954    MEMPHIS INTL AP                   TN    35.0564    -89.9864    258    34    30    9999    1.25    12.5    2    
2/12/1994   405954    MEMPHIS INTL AP                   TN    35.0564    -89.9864    258    40    32    9999    0.01    0         1  

Obviously this is a little jumbled, but the 8th column is the high temperatures, 9th is low temperatures, 11th is precip total, 12th is snow total, and 13th is snow depth. I do believe the snow total for 2-11 is wrong icon_wink.gif

Where do you find this info? I would be interested to see January/early Feb '85. Remarakable stats I would believe.


#11 Memphis Weather

Memphis Weather
  • Members
  • 11483 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 04 February 2007 - 01:03 AM

QUOTE(ctbpharmd @ Feb 3 2007, 11:59 pm) View Post
Where do you find this info? I would be interested to see January/early Feb '85. Remarakable stats I would believe.

http://climate.usurf.usu.edu/products/data.php

Use the COOP Data Tab. You can enter in the city and it zooms automatically. Several official/Coop stations to choose from with varying ranges of data. Memphis AP goes back to '40, you can check the Downtown site for older records (where previous official records had been kept). Then select what fields you want, it can download a Table or CSV File (for MS Excel).


#12 ctbpharmd

ctbpharmd
  • Members
  • 779 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Arlington, TN

Posted 04 February 2007 - 01:04 AM

Here is an interesting read:

http://www.srh.noaa.gov/ohx/research/ice_storm_1951.htm

It kind of summarized another big ice storm in Tennessee.

#13 Memphis Weather

Memphis Weather
  • Members
  • 11483 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 04 February 2007 - 01:06 AM

QUOTE(ctbpharmd @ Feb 4 2007, 12:04 am) View Post
Here is an interesting read:

http://www.srh.noaa.gov/ohx/research/ice_storm_1951.htm

It kind of summarized another big ice storm in Tennessee.

For That Period...

1/28/1951 405954 MEMPHIS INTL AP               63 28 1.4 0.6 1
1/29/1951 405954 MEMPHIS INTL AP               29 15 0.38 0.7 1
1/30/1951 405954 MEMPHIS INTL AP               18 14 0.07 0.4 1
1/31/1951 405954 MEMPHIS INTL AP               25 14 0.93 2.4 3
2/1/1951 405954 MEMPHIS INTL AP               15 6 0.14 1.6 5

2-2 did have a low of -11 at Memphis Int'l (FWIW, Memphis was not an international airport at that time, lol)

Edited by Memphis Weather, 04 February 2007 - 01:09 AM.



#14 ctbpharmd

ctbpharmd
  • Members
  • 779 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Arlington, TN

Posted 04 February 2007 - 01:11 AM

QUOTE(Memphis Weather @ Feb 4 2007, 2:03 am) View Post
http://climate.usurf.usu.edu/products/data.php

Use the COOP Data Tab. You can enter in the city and it zooms automatically. Several official/Coop stations to choose from with varying ranges of data. Memphis AP goes back to '40, you can check the Downtown site for older records (where previous official records had been kept). Then select what fields you want, it can download a Table or CSV File (for MS Excel).


Great info Kevin. Thanks.

#15 InMemphis

InMemphis
  • Members
  • 1536 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Germantown, Tennessee

Posted 04 February 2007 - 01:14 AM

Thanks for the info. Everytime there is a mention of ice 94 is always brought up.

#16 ctbpharmd

ctbpharmd
  • Members
  • 779 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Arlington, TN

Posted 04 February 2007 - 01:19 AM

Hmmm..... I thought I remember it getting very cold for one additional night right after the ice storm in '94 although records dont confirm that per COOP data.

#17 InMemphis

InMemphis
  • Members
  • 1536 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Germantown, Tennessee

Posted 04 February 2007 - 01:39 AM

So did emergency coverage on TV begin before the ice storm actually hit?

#18 ctbpharmd

ctbpharmd
  • Members
  • 779 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Arlington, TN

Posted 04 February 2007 - 09:55 AM

Nope. They didnt know it was going to hit. I know we trash models alot for some deviations, today they would have probably picked up on it better. There arent as many surprises as there used to be. By the time it really got bad on the 11th, TV was down everywhere, lncluding several stations. Radio was the best form of communication.

#19 InMemphis

InMemphis
  • Members
  • 1536 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Germantown, Tennessee

Posted 04 February 2007 - 10:17 PM

So activity on the 9th and 10th never really caused a lot of problems?

#20 ctbpharmd

ctbpharmd
  • Members
  • 779 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Arlington, TN

Posted 04 February 2007 - 11:52 PM

QUOTE(InMemphis @ Feb 4 2007, 11:17 pm) View Post
So activity on the 9th and 10th never really caused a lot of problems?


Sure it did. School was out including the Uof M. Everyone took to the hills to sled and all the roads were covered. Everything happened in backwards order practically....usually we start with freezing rain and transition to snow and sleet. It was just the opposite this time. The 9th and 10th were a mess which made the 11th that much worse.


#21 thundersnow

thundersnow
  • Members
  • 2060 posts
  • Location:Nashville, TN

Posted 05 February 2007 - 12:06 AM

mem wx, you could not have been in the first grade in 1994!!!  Oh my word, you're young.   icon_eek.gif

Or, maybe I'm old.  icon_wink.gif



Anyway, I was a freshman in college during the great ice storm of 1994.

I remember it being unseasonably warm in Nashville right before the ice storm.  In fact, the big weather concern was severe wx, if I recall.  I think we were in the 70s, and seem to even remember tornado and/or severe watches like two days before everything froze.  We had a lot of rain, so the rivers were already rising.  I remember sleet (and maybe snow) was in the forecast on the back side of the system.  Then, freezing drizzle was forecasted for the following night (which was when the worst of it actually hit).

I remember going to class on the morning of the day when the cold air and wintry precip was expected to move in.  It was just rainy and cool.  When I got out of my College Algebra class, I noticed that it was sharply colder and was sleeting.  Well, that night we had a sleet storm.  So, when I got up the next morning, the ground was white with sleet... but, little did we know that the worst was yet to come.

The forecast that day was for rising temperatures and rain moving back in.  Temperatures were expected to rise slightly above freezing.  Through the course of the day the rain was picking up, and I honestly didn't think much about it... just thought the rain would wash away the sleet that had fallen... until I was leaving the library where I had been studying and noticed a glaze of ice forming on everything.  That was the problem.  The air temperature had risen to about 30 or 31 and just stopped rising... while rain (freezing rain) was continuing.

In the car on the radio, they announced that a Winter Storm Warning had been issued and that it was really getting bad in Mississippi and West TN.  The worst of the freezing rain hit Nashville that night.  I remember transformers blowing, and we lost our electricity at some point during the night.  By morning, there was a wicked sound of grinding and popping trees.  Trees were broken and even uprooted in some cases by the weight of the ice.

I remember thinking how strange it was that we were under a Winter Storm Warning and a Flash Flood Watch at the same time.  Massive accumulations of ice were forming all over everything, while the rivers were rising out of their banks.  That part was surreal.

By the way, to this day, 13 years later, I can still see evidence of that ice storm on my parents' place.  They have a lot of big cedar trees that were broken and reshaped.  And, they have never looked the same since.


Regarding 1951... that was way before my time.  But, my parents and grandmother have always talked about that.  It was apparently pretty bad and made quite an impression on them.

Edited by thundersnow, 05 February 2007 - 12:23 AM.

Come visit http://www.tennesseewx.com for discussions about Tennessee weather!

#22 Memphis Weather

Memphis Weather
  • Members
  • 11483 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 05 February 2007 - 12:08 AM

QUOTE(ctbpharmd @ Feb 4 2007, 10:52 pm) View Post
Sure it did. School was out including the Uof M. Everyone took to the hills to sled and all the roads were covered. Everything happened in backwards order practically....usually we start with freezing rain and transition to snow and sleet. It was just the opposite this time. The 9th and 10th were a mess which made the 11th that much worse.

I still just can't remember those two days preceding the ice storm. I guess the ice storm was so big that the two days before just got so forgettable. Even years later when looking at pics we took of all our tree damage, I always saw that snow/sleet on the ground, and thought to myself how that must have been mixed in there that night, when in fact it must have been the leftover snow/sleet cover from the previous events! Amazing how selective memory can be, especially at that young age and when dealing with such a huge event, which made those other two events seem miniscule.


#23 Memphis Weather

Memphis Weather
  • Members
  • 11483 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 05 February 2007 - 12:14 AM

QUOTE(thundersnow @ Feb 4 2007, 11:06 pm) View Post
mem wx, you could not have been in the first grade in 1994!!!  Oh my word, you're young.   icon_eek.gif

Or, maybe I'm old.  icon_wink.gif

By the way, to this day, 13 years later, I can still see evidenc of that ice storm on my parents' place.  They have a lot of big cedar trees that were broken and reshaped.  And, they never looked the same since.

LOL. I guess I'll take that as a compliment icon_wink.gif  icon_razz.gif Thanks...

The evidence is seen here as well. At our old house, we had a huge tree that died in that event, but did not fall over. The weight of the ice did caused the tree to litterally lean and bend over the street, but it never did fall in the 12 years after the ice storm until we moved out and the new owners cut down the trunk.


#24 InMemphis

InMemphis
  • Members
  • 1536 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Germantown, Tennessee

Posted 06 February 2007 - 03:47 AM

Were the sirens ever activated locally during this event?

#25 CAPE2000

CAPE2000
  • Members
  • 218 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Jackson, Miss
  • Radio Callsign:kd5mgi

Posted 06 February 2007 - 08:36 AM

QUOTE(hmorton @ Feb 4 2007, 1:27 am) View Post
Here is a link to the synoptic set up.

http://www.meteo.psu.edu/~gadomski/NARR/1994/us0210.php



Man, the airmass had to be very shallow! 540 line is way to the north.

I still remember the event. I live in Jackson Mississippi. We sat at 35 degrees and had severe thunderstorms producing hail that stayed on the ground most of the day. These severe storms moved into the colder air and rain became ice.

#26 Coach B

Coach B
  • Members
  • 248 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Marshall County, TN

Posted 06 February 2007 - 09:25 AM

Ah yes, I remember this one.  I was a sophomore at Lipscomb Univ in Nashville.  Power went out almost areawide on Thursday night.  You could see some of the transformers popping in the range of hills south of campus from up on the 8th floor where I lived.  They cancelled classes that Friday for the first time in recent memory.  Some of the folks who lived in the heavily wooded hills in South Nashville and Brentwood were without power for weeks.

#27 thundersnow

thundersnow
  • Members
  • 2060 posts
  • Location:Nashville, TN

Posted 06 February 2007 - 10:00 AM

QUOTE(Coach B @ Feb 6 2007, 8:25 am) View Post
Ah yes, I remember this one.  I was a sophomore at Lipscomb Univ in Nashville.  Power went out almost areawide on Thursday night.  You could see some of the transformers popping in the range of hills south of campus from up on the 8th floor where I lived.  They cancelled classes that Friday for the first time in recent memory.  Some of the folks who lived in the heavily wooded hills in South Nashville and Brentwood were without power for weeks.


No way!  I was a freshman at Lipscomb that year.  

You must have lived in High Rise.

I believe that was the first time Lipscomb had closed since the storm of 1951.  At least, that's what I remember at the time.
Come visit http://www.tennesseewx.com for discussions about Tennessee weather!

#28 Pastor of Muppets

Pastor of Muppets
  • TalkWeather Administrator
  • 13321 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Parts Unknown

Posted 06 February 2007 - 10:04 AM

I was living in Nashville at this time.  I believe this was the storm where I had to go to work even though I knew nothing was going to happen.  We brought a 13" TV and a Sega Genesis to work to play Joe Montana football(or maybe we were already onto Madden by then) because nothing was happening.  After the decision was finally made to close, my buddy and I called our wives and told them we'd be closing "in 2 hours", so we could get in a good game of football before actually heading home icon_biggrin.gif   This may have also been the same storm where once I got home, I was stuck for 3 days due to where I lived.  Or it could have been another as we often got winter weather in Nashville when the folks in Huntsville got nothing.

#29 ctbpharmd

ctbpharmd
  • Members
  • 779 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Arlington, TN

Posted 24 March 2008 - 02:23 PM

In fact, talk about luck went right to it. Ah the memories....



Reply to this topic



  


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users