That’s how the story has it at least. Michael Lewis in The Fifth Risk. was claims the 1993 storm, so called Storm of the Century was the first major storm in the U.S. that an accurate forecast relied almost solely on computer models.
Wikipedia makes the same claim as well:
Some of the best advice I ever got with regards to the weather was to keep the old weather fax forecasts and compare then to the most recent analysis. I started doing this at about time as this storm, 1993.
There was a big lag in the deep-sea fleet in recognizing how rapidly the forecast were improving. Big improvements over a single mariner’s career that many did not recognize.