This is a long standing weather debate issue for upstate NY (long standing meaning since 1993 anyway), on which storm was worse, the infamous Blizzard of 66â?? or the so-called Storm of the Century of March 1993.
I can tell you this from a pure meteorological perspective, they were both unusually strong storms from amounts of snow to wind to barometric pressure.
From a non-meteorological perspective, they both caused a lot of damage and many deaths over a large geographical area. If you were stranded inside your home for five days with 20 foot snow drifts back in 66â?? and running short on food, then maybe, for you, this 66 storm was the worst. But, looking at things from a broader perspective, the 93â?? storm was much more deadly, a total of 310 people perished (from the Gulf coast to New England) far exceeding the 66â?? storm. Like I said, much hardship and much damage from both.
So, trying to take the â??humanâ?? element â??outâ?? of this comparison, lets deal with strict weather facts.
Here is the â??Tale of the Tapeâ?? as they say in the boxing worldâ?¦
Blizzard of 66â?? Blizzard of 93â??
Snowfall: 42â?? Syracuse/103â?? Oswego 43â?? Syracuse
Wind: 60 mph CNY, Gusts to 100 mph Fairhaven/Oswego 40-60 mph gusts
Barometric Pressure: 28.94â?? 28.35â??
Duration: 4 1/2 days 2 ½ daysCNY
In the end, it seems snowfall was about the same for Syracuse and CNY, but lake effect in the wake of the 66â?? storm more than doubled the storm total, at least around Oswego.
Winds speeds appear noticeably higher with the 66â?? blizzard, producing snow drifts two stories high near the shoreline of the lake. However, the barometric pressure was substantially lower with the 93â?? storm.
The 66â?? blizzard lasted 48 hours longer than the 93â?? storm, at least for central NY. The heart of both storms hit over the weekend, roughly speaking, so I suppose business and school concerns were minimized somewhat.
Lets consider two final factors:
1. Snow plows and snow fighting capabilities: I think its safe to say snow fighting technology in 66â?? was less sophisticated than in 93â??. Granted, this isnâ??t a weather or economic factor, but it certainly plays a part in how we feel and how these storms affect our living.
2. Geographic area: The Blizzard of 66â?? was much more localized than the 93â?? storm. The 93â?? storm tore through the Gulf Coast states with dozens of tornadoes, crossed Florida with more severe weather, storm surge and tornadoes, then made its way up the coast eventually into the northeast. Itâ??s the severe weather in the deep south that was the primary reason for the more than 300 deaths.