The Biggest November Snowstorm in North Carolina History

Written by Justin Sexton
Published: October 14, 2023
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North Carolina Winter

The study of weather patterns is an ingrained part of the human condition.

©Sharkshock/Shutterstock.com

North Carolina has more noticeable rain storms than snow storms. Their snow storms typically begin in December. One of their biggest snowstorms hit North Carolina back in January 2000. The Carolina Crusher gave the state twenty-four inches of snow in twenty-four hours. The Raleigh-Durham area got thirty inches of snow! The average annual snowfall for North Carolina is five inches. It can vary in some areas. The coastal areas get two inches of snow per year. The Raleigh-Durham area averages six inches of snow. There are only a few documented November snowstorms in the state’s history. So, what is the biggest November snowstorm in North Carolina’s history? Keep reading to find out.

What’s The Biggest November Snowstorm In North Carolina?

On November 9, 1968, a snowstorm hit the western and central parts of North Carolina. This snowstorm lasted three days! The Salisbury Post recorded an account of a Carolina citizen about the storm. Harold, who The Salisbury Post interviewed, recalled the unusual snowstorm happening shortly after he moved back to Salisbury after living in Florida for a few years. On the 11th, he recalled the heavy snow and harsh winds destroying trees and power lines. The Salisbury Post said it was one “freakish snowstorm” and called it the biggest snowstorm in the Rowan County region at that time. The snowstorm was accompanied by an even weirder thunderstorm and sleet storm that made dangerous road conditions.

The large snowstorm technically was two small snowstorms that hit almost simultaneously. Two low-pressure storms simultaneously moved northeast through North Carolina on similar paths at similar times. The first one brought heavy snow to the mountains and its surrounding areas. Meanwhile, the second one briefly followed and hit the mountains and central Piedmont areas. The overall accumulation of snow in the three-day span was four to twelve inches in the mountains and four to five inches of snow in the Piedmont region.

Damages & Impact

The first small snowstorm brought five hundred thousand to five million dollars worth of property damage due to the very wet snow. However, the second storm created property damages between fifty grand to five hundred thousand dollars.

Eastern North Carolina might’ve been mostly out of the snow path from the first storm, but it was greatly impacted by the combination of snow, sleet, and thunderstorms from the second storm. It was also the meeting point of the two storms and where winds were at the most dangerous. Powerlines were destroyed and created outages in the Piedmont areas for two days. Houses were damaged due to trees falling through them. The massive snowstorm affected the state’s agriculture, impacting some of the state’s main crops like corn, cotton, and soybeans.

Several boats were lost in the storms. There were only a total of three fatalities in the three-day span. Cape Outlook, in the southeastern part of North Carolina, got abnormally high tides between the 11th and the 12th.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © digidreamgrafix/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Justin is an A-Z Animals Writer that loves to cover places, unique natural disasters, and travel. He has eight years of experience as a writer in the medical and media fields. He wrote for the likes of VCU Health, theMSQshop, PayDay LA, and Comic Book Resources under the penname Jay Guevara. Although he's a full time writer, Justin graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2019 with a Bachelors in Health, Physical Education, and Exercise Science with a background in Community Engagement. After spending over two decades in Richmond, Virginia, Justin now resides in the suburbs of Rancho Cucamonga, California. He's a dedicated gymrat. He's also a two-time poetry author who's influenced by rappers Joe Budden and IDK along with Dante Alighieri.

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