Historic Winter Storms

There is something about a big dramatic snowstorm to bring out the kid in me. While they can be dangerous and sometimes deadly, snowstorms are a time to make memories. 

Here are six super storms from the past. And one very recent storm....

The Great Snow of 1717 – Colonial New England

The Great Snow of 1717 - Source: John W. Barber, Historical Scenes in the United States, New Haven: Monson and Co., 1827, p.30.

This was actually a series of 4 storms in quick succession that piled up an additional 3 to 4 feet of snow on top of the 5 feet that was already there from earlier snowfalls. It was likely caused by 3 volcanoes erupting, sending ash into the atmosphere. There were drifts of snow reaching 25 feet, burying people inside their homes. Some people escaped from their second story windows.

The Blizzard of 1888 – Northeast

The Blizzard of 1888 - Library of Congress

This epic storm killed 400 people (100 of them at sea). Snow drifts of 50 to 60 feet were recorded on Long Island burying houses and trains.

The Great Blizzard of 1899

The Great Blizzard of 1899, Harlem - Library of Congress

This big storm first put the country into a deep freeze: - 12° F in Diamond, Georgia, - 26° F in Columbia, Missouri, -35° F in Dayton, West Virginia, -2° F in Tallahasse, Florida, -61° F in Fort Logan, Montana. Next came the blizzard conditions in Florida all the way to Maine. Brrr.

The New England Blizzard of 1978

Cars stranded on the highway during the Blizzard of 1978. Photo by That Hartford Guy on Flickr

This howlingly windy storm included 100 mph winds, 1 to 3 feet of snow, and came during high tide resulting in massive flooding. It started after a lovely clear morning and by then many had gone off to school and work, leaving many stranded in cars along the roads and highways. 100 people died.

The Storm of the Century – 1993

1993 Storm of the Century. Photo by Melissa Cuppett on Flickr.

Often compared to the Blizzard of 1888, this massive storm was part blizzard, part cyclone. It covered an incredible swath of 26 states in snow and destruction. 70 mph winds, with 100 mph winds in Cuba. There was 50 inches of snow in some places. It caused an estimated 300 fatalities, $9 billion in damages, and stirred up tornados in some states.

The Ice Storm of 1998

The Ice Storm of 1998. Photo by Bill Stevenson on Flickr.

A series of 5 successive ice storms coated the Northeast US and Southeast Canada in thick ice in January of 1998. In New York cars were found encased in three inches of ice. The storm caused massive damage to trees and the power grid leaving millions without power for days, weeks, and in some cases for months.

 Storm Juno of 2015

Friends, Meghan and Corinne, playing in a snow drift, January 27, 2015. 

Will our latest storm make history??? 

Storm Memories:

I remember a winter storm in Michigan that caused a power outage when I was in high school. My mother and I visited my sister and her family and we all huddled around the fireplace. I recall wearing my dad’s big black gorilla slippers. The slippers spooked my little nephew and I kept teasing him about it. That was the night my sister announced she was pregnant with my niece Hannah. Later that night I crawled under many layers of blankets to keep warm (since the heat didn’t work without electric power) and wrote in my journal by candlelight. It was a happy memory of coming together during a storm.

What kind of stories are in your snow banks? Share them in the comment section below.

Remember, when you are ready to document your memories and make a book I'm here to help.