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The year it snowed 3 Wednesdays in a row in March.

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This is the stuff of legends around the Carolinas. People who were around still talk about it and even if you weren’t around you have likely heard about it from your relatives or friends. I’m talking about that crazy March that it snowed the first 3 Wednesdays in 1960.

It wasn’t just in Charlotte either.  Most of the state of North Carolina had one of the worst runs of winter storms for any month on record. Let alone the month of March.  Check out the 4 storms that impacted the state in March 1960.

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It snowed every Wednesday for 3 weeks!

The crazy part of March 1960 and what sticks in people’s minds was the 3 straight Wednesday’s of snow in Charlotte, Asheville, Greensboro and Raleigh.  For Charlotte the 1st 2 Wednesdays were huge events. In fact the storm on the 2nd through 5th of March. Was a Category 4 Winter Storm for the entire region.  This was a huge storm from the Carolinas into the Northeast.

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Charlotte saw a 2 day storm total of 9.5” of snow. Below is the entire month of March in 1960 for Charlotte notice the Wednesday’s highlighted in yellow. Then the 1st 3 Wednesdays have a red box around the snowfall for those dates.

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March 1960 remains the snowiest month on record in Charlotte.

How crazy was that March? It was and still is the snowiest month on record in Charlotte with 19.5” of snow for the entire month. That’s snowier than any other month including December, January and February. Even more, 1960 is the snowiest year on record in Charlotte as well. With 22.9”  of snowfall and 19.3” of that falling in March alone.

Month of March snowfall in Charlotte (1878-2014)

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Yearly snowfall on record in Charlotte (1878-2014)

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Snowiest year on record in Charlotte (1878-2014)

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It was very cold as well!

It’s amazing to think that one month outside of Winter in one year can still be the record holder for snowfall in Charlotte.  Not only was it snowy it was frigid. The March of 1960 was the coldest March on record by 3.4° and it was an astounding 11.5° below average.

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There is good reason that so many people who were here remember the March of 1960. It will remain one the coldest and snowiest periods in the history of the area. For more information on that crazy March here is a great write-up that the National Weather Service Office in Greer, SC did in 2010. That was the 50 year anniversary of the memorable March.

http://www.erh.noaa.gov/gsp/localdat/cases/2010/Review_Feb-Mar_1960.pdf

Pleas share your memories or stories you have heard in the comments. There are very few pictures from that event on the web.

  • Susan Stokes Shirley

    I was 5 years old that year (or would be that June). My parent’s front porch was 5 steps off the ground and the snow was level with the porch. We built ‘snow igloos’ in the back yard that stayed around for what seemd like forever.

  • Sandra Rowell Race

    I was 10 years old and it was a blast… we had sleds for the very first time… which were really the lids off of trash cans … thought we would never get out of school that year… but it was fun….and it stayed on the ground for weeks … or so it seemed … as a kid it didn’t matter it was just fun … i bet we ate a case of pork ‘n beans … still make me sick to this day even to look at them .. but what an amazing March that was!!

    • wxbrad

      What an awesome memory!

  • Jerry Martin

    I was 11 that year and it was fun but also a lot of work on the farm. We had to be sure the livestock was fed and stayed warm in the barn. Wood was used for heating so we had to saw some logs we were going to use in the fall for curing tobacco. Cutting into the supply we had just cut since December. The wood was still green so it took longer for it to burn and it gave off a lot of smoke. My dad had just bought a new truck right before Christmas. (1961 Chevy Apache long bed straight drive and that was about it) As I remember the snow banks were up to the windshield. We had a lot of canned food mama had canned in the summer and fall. We had just killed hogs so we had some meat but we also hunted rabbits. Since they were easy to track in the snow we didn’t have to stay out too long at a time. We would take the tractor down to the bottoms and start tracking them from there. Also I would check the rabbit gums I had put out and we would find 1 or 2 in them. They were also out looking for food so there were a lot of them. We would get 6 or 8 and bring them back to clean and mama would make a stew. Usually it would be rabbit stew, bacon or sausage, gravy, green beans or pintos, biscuits, canned tomatoes blackberry or grape jelly. It varied with other foods too but that’s what stands out in my memory right now. It was a long month and I was glad to get back to school.

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