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1888 Blizzard Facts That Will Send Chills Down Your Spine

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A blizzard is a type of natural disaster that can be dealt with easily in the modern-day because of advanced technology.

What about the people of the era when there was no technology? How would they have dealt or coped with such a dangerous situation?

The 1888 blizzard was an event that was beyond the imagination of most people and took the lives of innocent people. The winter season makes it difficult for humans to live if they are not provided with warm clothing, water, and a heater. In a year like 1888, when there were fewer facilities and people were more dependent on themselves or nature for their daily requirements, it would really have been difficult for them to survive. The same thing happened twice in the United States in the year 1888. The first blizzard was in the month of January, and the second one was in the month of March. In the history of the United States, this was one of the worst events that ever took place, leaving 400 people dead and many others stranded. There were huge economic losses in the month of March, while in the month of January, around 200-250 children suffered at the hands of the natural disaster.

If you enjoy reading this article about snowdrifts and blizzards in American history, then do read some interesting and surprising fun facts about the 1966 North Dakota blizzard and the 1972 Iran blizzard.

What was the temperature during the blizzard of 1888?

The temperature during the blizzard of 1888 was 6 F (-14.5 C) in New York. It was one of the coldest temperatures on record in the month of March.

It was one of the worst blizzards ever recorded. It was very severe and the heavy snow and wind created a bad situation in various parts of America. Heavy rains are generally known for creating floods, but this heavy snowstorm was something that was not expected, and scientists of the era thought it to be early spring. This was a huge disaster in America's history.

It was this blizzard of 1888 that made the people feel the need for an underground subway system. Spring was expected, and warm weather was about to arrive. Better weather was expected in New York City, and the northeast coast was also believed to be at the same temperature. The scientists of the time never expected such a bad climate and weather conditions. A cold wave, along with a snowstorm, hit New York, Canada, New Jersey, and many other parts of the country.

According to scientists, there was instead a prediction of warm temperatures along with rain. From March 11–14, the temperature was cold with strong snowstorms and winds. The temperature in the area was the lowest recorded until that date. The temperatures were very low in many different areas, causing around 400 deaths on the east coast.

In New York City, around 200 deaths were reported. The natural disaster affected the area as well as the people. Many could not tolerate the severe, cold winds, and as a consequence, some people passed away. In today's time, you can get in contact with other people even if there are bad weather conditions, but in the old days, it was not at all possible for people to use cell phones.

Only the telegraph and the telephone (invented in 1876) were widely used. The telephone was not affordable for the middle and lower classes. Only aristocrats and businesses could afford a phone. The storm was one of the worst in American history up to that point. New York City, Canada, and Manhattan were buried in snowdrifts from the storm.

The same year also saw the coldest winter season on record, with a low of -70 F (-56.8 C) degrees near the Poplar River in Montana on January 15. The School Children's Blizzard and the March blizzard of 1888 both contributed to many deaths. In the Children's Blizzard, the cold and snowy weather led to the deaths of around 200-250 people near the south of Dakota and Minnesota. The blizzard that hit on March 12-14 was something that was a bit strange for many reasons.

No air mass was observed before the arrival of the snowstorm, and it was more noticeable as it made its way to the Atlantic Ocean. The rain forecast turned into a storm and heavy snowfall, grinding New York City to a halt. New York City was converted into a hill of ice and snow.

How many people died during the blizzard of 1888?

The blizzard of 1888 killed around 400 people in the month of March, while in the month of January, around 200-250 people were killed.

The blizzard of 1888 in the month of March is known as 'The Great White Hurricane', and it almost lasted for two days. Snow hills were created up to a height of 60 in (152 cm). The northeast coast was badly affected. Many people died due to immobility. The blizzard that hit almost paralyzed the east coast from Chesapeake to Maine.

Property damage in New York City, as well as other cities, was estimated to be in the millions of dollars. The victims included 400 people, 100 of which were seafarers. In America, there were actually two heavy snowstorms and snowy winds in the months of January and March. The Great White Hurricane in the month of March was beyond expectation.

The first snowstorm hit on January 12 in the plains states of America and was called the School Children's Blizzard. This blizzard was the second blizzard after the first blizzard that hit on January 6. The Children's Blizzard was also one of the unexpected ones. The death toll of this blizzard was around 235. School children were majorly affected by this blizzard as they were kept in school.

From Dakota territory to Nebraska, many areas were badly impacted, and the wind took many lives. After two months, it was followed by the Great Blizzard. More than 250 ships were abandoned in bizarre circumstances. Snow hills, or heaps, were thrown into the Atlantic Ocean. When the snow melted, it caused a massive flood.

The Great Blizzard storm badly affected New York City and many other parts of the United States.

Which states were affected by the blizzard?

The Great Blizzard hit New York City. New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island were badly affected, while South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho were badly impacted by the Children's Blizzard.

In the year 1888, there were two snowstorms named 'The Great Blizzard' and 'School Children's Blizzard'. In January, storms and cold winds covered regions in the southeast to the northeast. It all started on January 11, with an extremely low dip in temperature and a strong snowstorm from the southeast of Alberta, Canada, to the central part of Montana.

On January 12, it spread out to the northeast of Colorado. The central plain areas of Omaha and Nebraska were known to reach -6 F (-14.5 C). It covered regions from the south of Dakota to its north, and the storm kept moving on to the southeastern parts of the state. It finally slowed down in the southwest of Wisconsin on January 12, 1888.

People later relaxed as the icy wind and snowstorm stopped, but it was not the end. There was yet another record-breaking blizzard that created one of the worst situations in US history, leaving hundreds of people stranded and dead. Many people were harmed, whether they were business owners or ordinary people earning a living.

In the month of March, no one expected that, with a weather forecast of rain, there could be a snowstorm in a city like New York. The weather forecast declared it to be early spring and said that there would be normal rain on March 12. However, there was an unexpected calamity that rendered New York City immobile. The Great Blizzard, or the Great White Hurricane, was unique and unexpected.

The first reason given was that there was no air mass accumulated before the snowstorm formation in the air. The snowstorm was more focused on the north of New England and the south of Canada, and it should have followed its usual route from north to east, but this was not the case. The storm took a different route.

The second reason given was that it was more stagnant and circular near southern New England's coast. It followed a route from the southwest to the northeast region, and later, snow drifted into the sea. New York City was badly impacted by the snowstorm, along with many other cities. Brooklyn was then affected by a severe flood once the snow started to melt.

Has there been a worse blizzard since then?

When the question is specific to America, then the answer to the question is no. However, when the question is broadened to include all areas, the answer is a resounding no.

The blizzard of 1888 lasted for two to three days in the month of March, while in the month of January, it lasted for a day or two but went back to normal on January 6. The 1888 blizzard was one of the worst natural disasters in American history, prompting the government to consider building an underground subway system. The city of New York was heavily impacted as it was a main hub for businessmen.

When the scope of the question widens to a global level, the 1972 Iran blizzard was one of the worst, taking the lives of around 4,000 people and stranding 200 villages. The 1972 Iran blizzard was a type of extratropical cyclone created due to a winter storm. This blizzard took place from February 3 to February 10, 1972. In the world's history, it is considered to be one of the worst blizzards. This is how blizzards took the lives of people when there was less technology and people were mostly stranded.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked reading these 1888 blizzard facts, then why not read about how a true blizzard is characterized or about the process of a volcano erupting?

Written By
Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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