Sat Jan 4, 2014, 10:07 AM
jakeXT (10,575 posts)
7 replies, 8365 views
The Blizzard of 1949 - a Nebraska Story (Original post)
Response to jakeXT (Original post)
Sat Jan 4, 2014, 11:20 AM
Ptah (28,165 posts)
3. Schoolhouse Blizzard (1888)
The Schoolhouse Blizzard, also known as the Schoolchildren's Blizzard, School Children's Blizzard,
or Children's Blizzard, hit the U.S. plains states on January 12, 1888. The blizzard came unexpectedly
on a relatively warm day, and many people were caught unaware, including children in one-room schoolhouses.
What made the storm so deadly was the timing (during work and school hours), the suddenness,
and the brief spell of warmer weather that preceded it. In addition, the very strong wind fields
behind the cold front and the powdery nature of the snow reduced visibilities on the open plains
to zero. People ventured from the safety of their homes to do chores, go to town, attend school,
or simply enjoy the relative warmth of the day. As a result, thousands of people—including many
schoolchildren—got caught in the blizzard. The death toll was 235. Teachers generally kept
children in their schoolrooms. Exceptions nearly always resulted in disaster.
Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #4)
Sat Jan 4, 2014, 04:29 PM
jakeXT (10,575 posts)
5. It probably depends on where, but it was a long winter.
The Winter of 1948/49: A Very Harsh Winter
The storm referred to as "The Blizzard of 1949" started on January 1, but to truly frame the context of the storm, it is necessary to get a grasp of the weather activity of the previous few months. Farmers enjoyed a warm September and October and brought in an outstanding harvest of corn, wheat, and soybeans. But on November 18, 1948, that all changed when the first severe winter storm swept in with heavy snow, sleet, and winds of 50-70 mph. Roads were blocked, schools were closed, snow drifted over rooftops, and cattle were stranded. Trains were forced to stop, and stranded travelers forced any available hotels into overflowing. The Weather Bureau (the precursor to the National Weather Service) called the storm, "One of the most severe blizzards of record over much of the central and northeastern parts of the state." Northeastern Nebraska received the worst of this first round of weather as Bloomfield and Hartington registered 24 inches of snow, and Wausa received 30 inches. As a result of this storm, the phone company reported more than 500 wire breaks and more than 1700 telephone poles were downed.
Another smaller snow storm on December 29th gave way to a brief warming period before the New Year. Depending on which accounts you read, the Blizzard of 1949 started on January 1 or 2, but there is no debating that this winter storm was the worst seen since 1888. It began as everyone likes to see in winter. "Cattle and sheep were grazing winter range and growing fat." The announcer, this time from radio station KOA, Denver, predicted another nice day with a possibility of snow flurries. This was a powerful station that could be heard for hundreds of miles around. Rain began to fall on the first day of the storm, then the temperature and barometer dropped and the rain turned over to snow. In the evening, snow began to fall heavily, and soon there was twelve inches on the ground. Snow drifts were already piling up on the highway where bushes or bands stopped the wind. The storm raged for three full days across western, central, and northern Nebraska. Winds of 50 to 60 mph drove heavy snow on top of what had already fallen since November. Many accounts across the State say that the heavy snowfall did not let up for three full days. On January 5, the Omaha World Herald quoted, "Snowplows were in action over Nebraska early Wednesday and the wheels of transportation were beginning to turn in some areas as the blizzard let up."
But the severe winter weather did not end in early January. The last two weeks of January were very cold with eight to eleven days with lows of zero degrees or below. The cold and snowy weather continued into March, when another major snowfall dropped 20 inches of snow around North Platte. The Big and Little Nemaha Rivers were flooding because of ice jams. On April 14th, the last of the big storms hit south central and eastern Nebraska, dropping 12 inches of snow. During the winter of 1948-1949, parts of the State had received more than 100 inches of snow. The Wausa/Bloomfield area received a total of 90 inches. One area in Antelope County had drifts that reached over 35 feet and didn't melt until June.
Response to jakeXT (Reply #5)
Sat Jan 4, 2014, 04:45 PM
PatrynXX (5,656 posts)
6. think there's a better narrative
but had never really heard of it. But it doesn't snow like that much anymore. hence when people start talking about snow in relation to Climate Change basically ignore it. It's the cold thats gonna do us in. Hot in some places Cold in others