March snows can ruin plans in Albany

Remember “The Great” one of March 1888?

I know that March snows can ruin plans in Albany. My wife, my daughter, and I were going to do a college visit on March 12-13, but the forecasted snow and wind had us postpone the trip. The St. Patrick’s Day parade in the city, which had been canceled the last two years, was postponed a week.

The WORST two storms in Albany, at least as far back as the records go, were in March. The first one was The Blizzard of 1888 (March 11-14, 1888). “The blizzard by which all others are measured.” No, I don’t remember it. But it appeared in at least four JEOPARDY clues.

2001: AMERICAN HISTORIC EVENTS for $400: The “Great” one of these paralyzed New York City on March 12, 1888 (Triple stumper, with guesses of fire and a blackout)
2007: STORMY WEATHER for $400 (DJ): In March 1888 one of these blinding snowstorms struck the East Coast, creating 40-to-50-foot snowdrifts (correct answer)
2014: WEATHER REPORT for $2000 Remember “The Great” one of March 1888? (Triple stumper)
2018: “ZZ” MIDDLE for $600: Spring buds were blooming, but “The Great” one of these of March 1888 was one of the worst ever in American history (correct answer)

Storms I DO remember

Blizzard of 1978 (February 6-7, 1978). I was working at the Albany Savings Bank downtown while living in Schenectady. A chunk of ice hit the roof of a VW Beetle on the street where I was living.

April 6-7 1982: I saw Pete Seeger at Page Hall at the downtown SUNY campus on the 4th, when it was already uncommonly cold. Then the snow came.

January Snowstorm of 1983 (January 15-16, 1983). I didn’t remember this, maybe because it was on the weekend. But my girlfriend at the time and I DID go to a party Saturday night, despite 18″ of snow.

Unprecedented Early Season Snowstorm (October 4, 1987). I  wrote about this.

The Downslope Nor’easter (December 10-12, 1992) “This storm produced incredible snowfall totals across many mountainous locations, while barely having any effect on valley locations.” Chris Kapostasy of WNYT (later Chris Jansing of MSNBC) told this story at my church a couple of years later. She and her cameraman were trapped in the Berkshires. And no one was looking for them from Albany because it wasn’t a big deal in the city. But Chris and the cameraman recorded their final wishes.

The worst storm in my life

Superstorm of 1993 (March 13-14, 1993) This was the worst storm in Albany in my lifetime, which I wrote about here.

May 18, 2002 – Snowstorm. I remember because my wife was supposed to get her graduate degree from UAlbany outdoors. They had to find an inside venue.

Various storms in the early 2000s I recall vaguely. We went to visit my in-laws in Oneonta during the December 25-26, 2002, and again for the January 3-4, 2003 storms. When we came home, we had double-digit inches of snow to shovel.

Valentine’s Day Storm: February 14, 2007. I was working at Corporate (frickin) Woods when we were told we could leave if we wanted to. If I hadn’t taken the 2:06 pm bus out of there, I would have had to sleep at my desk. Any westbound bus from Central Avenue and Henry Johnson Boulevard took 45 minutes to arrive, then took 20 minutes to ride a 10-minute stretch. The 6-minute walk home required nearly a half-hour. I took the next day off, helping my wife dig out her car as the temperature plummeted. Dig for 20 minutes, drink hot chocolate indoors, dig for 15 minutes, go back inside for 15 minutes…

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