New Years Eve's Freak Snow in the Deep South, 1963

On New Years Eve of 1963, University of Alabama Head Football Coach “Bear” Bryant prophetically said that the only thing that could have messed up his team’s chances in the Sugar Bowl against Ole Miss in New Orleans, LA was a freak snowstorm. 

Well, that's just what they got, as 4.5" of the white stuff fell the day before the game. 

Groundskeepers clearing the snow before the Sugar Bowl at Tulane Stadium. Image: The Times-Picayune,

According to NOLA, "a record-breaking snowstorm socked much of the South that day, with flakes starting to fall locally at 2:45 a.m., according to a story in The States-Item. By the time the city began waking up around 6, cars and trees were already coated in white. By noon, an inch had fallen. When the snow finally stopped a good 18 hours after it started, it measured 4.5 inches, the most the city had seen since before the turn of the century."

Nonetheless, 'Bama won the game the following day, by a score of 12-7.

The storm impacted the entire southern US, with some of the most impressive snow totals occurring in Mississippi, with Meridian receiving 15 inches of snow, and 10.5 inches at Bay St. Louis. But it was Huntsville, Alabama that had the distinction of having the most snow with the storm, and incredibly the largest total of the day across the United States, clocking in with 17.1". (NWS)


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