April 21, 2024

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7:15 AM | *The Great Blizzard of March 18-21, 1958…one of the worst snowstorms ever in eastern Pennsylvania* — Arcfield Weather

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The most striking characteristic of this storm was its slow-movement resulting in substantial accumulations over a several day period. Also, as is often the case in March, the snow accumulations during this event became extremely dependent upon elevation whereby significant differences occurred at differing elevations. A couple degrees of difference on the thermometer between lower and higher elevation locations made huge differences in snowfall totals. One of the most amazing measurements occurred at the Morgantown, PA exchange of the PA Turnpike (elevation of 750 feet) where an astonishing 50 inches of snow accumulated during the entire March blizzard – still the highest ever for a single snowstorm in southeastern PA.  Specifically, according to NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, Morgantown, PA reported 6 inches of snow on the 19th, 38 inches on the 20th which was a daily record and then another 6 inches on the 21st for a total of 50 during the long-lasting event.

The storm that hit on March 18-21, 1958 had arguably the biggest impact of any storm ever to hit the Lancaster, PA area. While only 13″ of heavy wet snow accumulated in the city of Lancaster, 2 to 3 feet of snow fell across the higher terrain of northern and eastern Lancaster County. In fact, snow piled up on ridge tops all the way from southeastern PA to northeastern PA with an incredible five feet of snow (60 inches) covering the ground by March 23rd in the small Poconos village of Gouldsboro – still the greatest amount ever in the state of Pennsylvania for a single snowstorm. Chester County, PA was also suffering through perhaps its biggest snowstorm ever with 36 inches reported in West Chester and 40 inches in West Grove (Credit: “Daily Local”)

Paul Dorian

2023-03-17 11:15:00

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