New York received five feet of snow, with drifts taller than 50 feet. At least 400 people died. Winds were close to 50 mph. CO2 levels were 294 ppm, far below Hansen’s safe and stable 350 ppm.
The days before “The Great White Hurricane” were unseasonably mild as temperatures ranged from the 40s and 50s (Fahrenheit) along the U.S. East Coast. As torrential rains fell, the temperature plunged suddenly, producing howling winds and wet, heavy snow. Major cities such as New York, Boston, and Philadelphia soon lay silent and alone as miles of telephone wires and telegraph cables snapped. (See the picture above.) Fire fighters with horse-drawn carriages stayed stuck in their stations as travel became impossible and roads impassable. During the 36-hour Blizzard of 1888, an estimated $25 million (USD) worth of property burned. At sea, two hundred ships were grounded and over 100 seamen died.