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Memorable Winter Storms of the 1900s

9 months ago

It is natural to wonder about the worst winter storms of the 19th century. While it is nearly impossible to rank North American winter storms, some naturally rise to the top as unforgettable events for those who lived through them.

The Great Blizzard of 1967

The Great Blizzard of 1967 dumped 28 inches of snow in Chicago. On January 26, people in Chicago and throughout the region enjoyed temperatures in the upper 60s. Then, the storm started without warning the following day, causing many people to become trapped at work or school. Winds up to 50 miles per hour pushed snow into drifts up to 15 feet tall.

The first snowflakes at Chicago's official weather station fell at 9:03 a.m., with snow falling continuously until 10 a.m. the next day. When the event fueled by pressures over Lake Superior was over, Chicago officially had 23 inches of snow. The snowfall set a record as the heaviest snowfall in the city. The record stood until the Groundhog Day Blizzard of 2011 occurred.

The heaviest snows fell in suburbs west of the city, with some cities taking up to three weeks to clear the streets as temperatures never rose above freezing. Twenty-six people died during the storm, which completely paralyzed the area.


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