Dirty Weather In 1888

The US was hit by two of the five worst snowstorms in history during early 1888.

1. The Great Blizzard of 1888 (the Great White Hurricane)
March 11 – 14, 1888
Eastern United States

Snowfall of 40 to 50 inches was recorded over New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut as sustained winds created drifts as much as 50 feet tall. Total deaths are thought to have exceeded 400. Most of the cities on the eastern seaboard were shut down for days, if not weeks.

5. The Schoolhouse Blizzard (aka The Schoolchildren’s or Children’s Blizzard)
January 12, 1888
Great Plains States

This blizzard gets its name from the many schoolchildren who died when trapped in one room school houses. More than 230 are said to have died.

The tragedy of this storm was created by its suddenness, and by the warm conditions that immediately preceded it. Lulled into complacency by a balmy day, people ventured from their houses to do chores and head to town. Many were improperly dressed. Then, an arctic front crashed into moisture laden air from the Gulf of Mexico, bringing sudden drops of temperature to as low as -40 F, as well as large amounts of snow.

This was the first of two major blizzards in 1888.

The Worst US Winter Storms | Epic Disasters

The Schoolhouse Blizzard brought temperatures of -20 F as far south as the Gulf Coast, and was the only time the Colorado River in Texas has frozen over.

03 Mar 1888 – BLIZZARDS.

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3 Responses to Dirty Weather In 1888

  1. Ron C. says:

    Ever wonder why Iowa State teams are called cyclones?

    “The “Cyclone” nickname came from a game Iowa State played at Northwestern in 1895. Iowa State beat what was a well-regarded Wildcats team, 36-0 and the Chicago Tribune had a headline the next day that read “Struck By A Cyclone” in reference to a tornado that had devastated the Iowa town of Grinnell a year earlier. The Cyclone name has been associated with Iowa State ever since.”

  2. Ivan says:

    I’ll see your 40deg. below, and raise you another 10deg:
    “Cold of a phenomenal intensity is now being experienced in America. In the Northern States the average minimum temperature is 25deg. below zero, while in some of the North-western States 50deg. below zero has been recorded. Lake Champlain, which forms the boundary between the northern portions of the States of New York and Vermont, is completely frozen over.”

    “The absence of food in the Carpathian Mountains, consequent on the extreme cold, has driven the wolves there to the plains for food, and thousands are now ravaging the plains, devouring cattle, women, and children.”
    http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/21629207
    ~16 Feb 1895

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