February 11, 1994 dawned cold across the Tennessee Valley, an air mass that originated in the arctic snow fields of the Yukon had in previous days blasted across the northern plains state and by the 11th had settled into much of the nation east of the Rockies. Far to the south a storm was brewing on the Texas Gulf coast and pulling plenty of moisture northward out ahead of it. The cold air was holding on stubbornly in the lowest several thousand feet of the atmosphere in the Tennessee and Ohio valleys even as it began to warm up higher up in the air. As the moisture form the Gulf of Mexico was forced to rise up and over that cold layer of air near the ground it began to rain – but with temperatures still well below freezing at the surface the rain froze on everything. The result was Severe ice storm across parts of Tennessee, Alabama, and much of Kentucky. 1.45" of rain fell at Memphis --all with a temperature below freezing. Power was knocked out in many areas as ice accumulated on tree limbs and wires. In some cases, power was not restored for as much as 2 weeks. As the storm turned northward and into deeper cold air snow broke out on a wide front along the I-95 corridor and dumped heavy snow reaching depths of close to 1-2’ from Harrisburg and Allentown Pa into New England, including New York City, snarling traffic and closing airports.
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