The ice storm of 2013 was a nightmare before, during & after Christmas

Randi Mann
·2 min read
The ice storm of 2013 was a nightmare before, during & after Christmas
The ice storm of 2013 was a nightmare before, during & after Christmas
The ice storm of 2013 was a nightmare before, during & after Christmas

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The December 19, 2013 ice storm was a "remember where you were" event.

The storm was a result of a low-pressure system that formed over Texas and made its way to Ontario. The warm front from Texas mixed with the cold airmass in Eastern Canada.

The storm officially began on December 19 and dissipated by December 23, but there were prolonged impacts. The storm reached Ontario, Quebec, Atlantic Canada, Maine, New England, New York, Michigan and Arkansas.

The affected areas were faced with varying conditions, including extreme snow, an ice storm, and a tornado outbreak.

The ice was so aggressive, that trees were more ice than they were tree.

Ice branch
Ice branch

Courtesy George Kourounis

Because of the weight of the ice, trees started to droop onto vehicles, roads, and anything beneath them. The ice also caused branches of all sizes to break.

Ice storm
Ice storm

Courtesy George Kourounis

The ice and snow also took out power lines, leaving over a million residents without power. The storm killed 27 people and cost $200 million.

Ice storm - car
Ice storm - car

Courtesy TWN

Toronto, Ont. was one of the hardest-hit cities. Two waves of ice hit the city, one on December 20 and another on December 22. Even by December 24, 69,800 homes were still without power.

The city set up warming centres to support those who were affected by the storm. Around 1,000 people spent Christmas Eve in these centres.

people cleaning up ice storm
people cleaning up ice storm

Courtesy TWN

This weather event had similar conditions and affected similar areas as the storm in January of 1998. Those who were around for both storms have the fun opportunity to play a round of "compare and contrast extreme winter storms."

To hear more about the impacts of this storm, listen to today's episode of "This Day In Weather History."

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by The Weather Network that features unique and informative stories from host Chris Mei.

Thumbnail courtesy: George Kourounis