In December 1960, the U.S. East Coast was caught out when an early snowstorm dumped far more snow on the region than was forecast.
Date: December 12, 1960
Original Title: Blizzard of 1960: Gales & Record Snows Blaster Eastern U.S.
Film Type: Black and White / Sound
Credit: MCA/Universal Films
Archival Source: National Archives / 200-UN / 100630088
Transcript / Shot List
Sweeping up the Eastern seaboard, the worst pre-winter snowstorm in the record books paralyzed the nation’s great coastal cities from Washington [DC] to Boston.
One by one, they are blanketed by heavy snowfalls and wind-whipped freezing drifts.
Spawned in the Southwest, the storm blasted the country from Indiana, east to the coast—from the Carolinas, north to Canada.
Early reports of four inches of snow left the Northeast ill-prepared for the smothering blanket of nearly two feet that actually descended.
In the greater New York area, at least 28 were known dead. All means of transport were utterly disrupted and hundreds of thousands of commuters cut off.
In New Jersey, a highway emergency was declared by state police.
From December 11 through 13, 1960, the U.S. East Coast was caught out by an early snowstorm that dumped far more snow on the region than was forecast. The region’s largest snowstorms typically come in January through March.
According to Farmers’ Almanac, the storm dumped 20.4″ of snow at Newark, NJ; 17″ at New York City, NY; 13″ at Boston, MA: Nantucket, MA, had 15.7″ with wind averaging 36 to 51 mph.