Throwback Thursday: The Blizzard of ’83

A two-day storm in February 1983 was so memorable that someone wrote Blizzard 83 in the snow in front of the Bethesda Fountain. It dropped 17.6 inches, the 13th biggest snowstorm ever in Central Park, according to And clearly it must have been cold, because people trusted the ice enough to walk on it. Thanks to Stephen Harmon for the photo.

NEWS | 9 comments | permalink
    1. Wizard of Blizzards says:

      Google “The blizzard of 1888” to find that it lasted 3 days and dumped much more snow (amounts vary) and totally paralyzed the city as well as the entire Northeast.

      And don’t miss this Frequently Asked Question:
      “When was the Blizzard of 1888?”

      • Independent says:

        “When was the Blizzard of 1888?”

        Is that not a perfectly legitimate, intelligent question? Why assume that the ‘when’ refers to the /year/ (1888) and not to the /month/ and /day/ (not specified)?

    2. geoff says:

      oh wow! yes!! thanks for the memories!

    3. John Elari says:

      After spending two weeks riding a camel through Sahara Desert/Southern Algeria in late Jan/early Feb ’83, where we endured much — and then flying home over Mediterranean, my companion quoted from a French/English newspaper, alerting me to a major storm in NYC. “Seventeen.six inches of snow has fallen,” he said.
      “After what we’ve been through on the Sahara, a little snow in my city doesn’t scare me,” I replied. True story.

    4. Rodger Lodger says:

      I was six years old when the Blizzard of 1947 hit. I recall snow drifts over my head while walking to school.

      • manhattan mark says:

        I was 10 years old on 12/26/47 when we had 26 1/2 inches
        of snow my friend Peter and I went down to RSD @ 8am
        with our sleds and created two paths to the bottom of the hill at 104th street, we were the only ones there…we went home for lunch and when we came back there were at least 100
        kids using the paths. It was a Merry Christmas…

    5. Anne Bard says:

      Thanks! Steve Harmon’s photos are great!

    6. AC says:

      Just for the record, with regards to record snowfall amount totals in Central Park:

      #1 Jan. 2016 26.9″
      #2 Feb. 2006 25.8″
      #3 Mar. 1888 21.0″

      What made the storm of 1888 more severe was the fact that the city had its utilities above ground and, more importantly, we did not have a snow removal program in place.