21 Famous Blizzards Of All Time: You Probably Didn’t Know About! | Kidadl


21 Famous Blizzards Of All Time: You Probably Didn’t Know About!

Arts & Crafts
Learn more
Reading & Writing
Learn more
Math & Logic
Learn more
Sports & Active
Learn more
Music & Dance
Learn more
Social & Community
Learn more
Mindful & Reflective
Learn more
Outdoor & Nature
Learn more
Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

The first snowfall can be a magical experience, and who doesn’t enjoy the snow?

Those snowflakes falling down from the sky like cotton it’s almost magical. Just like every yin has a yang, snowfall does too, and the dark side for snowfall is the snowstorms. People living in the countries where it snows are familiar with the closing of schools, flight cancellation or delay, roadblocks, clearing the snow-filled roads, and quite familiar with the snowstorms.

Although light snowstorms are not that big of a deal in snow countries, often there arrives a form of snowstorms that is far more destructive, a record-breaking snowstorm, and is likely to cause heavy damage to property and loss of life.

These events might even stretch for days on end, and their impact can last from months to years, making some of them unforgettable. They are not anything like the beautiful, lightly windy snowfall that one sees or imagines to see. Instead, they are like a swirling giant snow monster out there just to cause destruction. There are ways by which we can now estimate the degree or harshness of a snowstorm.

Just like the Fujita scale is used to measure tornadoes, the Richter scale is used to measure earthquakes, Saffir-Simpson Scale is used to measure hurricanes, the Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale aka NESIS is used to measure the scale of intensity of a snowstorm. NESIS was first created in the year 2004 with a scale measuring from 1 to 10 to measure the snowstorm intensity, which can at times go higher than 10.

Some of the most significant snowstorms in history are the Groundhog Day Blizzard of 2011, the New York City Blizzard of 1996, and the Schoolhouse Blizzard of 1888. Read on to know more about the reasons behind heavy snow and wind gusts that accompany a storm surge to turn into the worst blizzards of history. Afterward, also check out facts on the biggest blizzard in the world and the biggest blizzard.

What is the most famous blizzard?

Some of the worst blizzards have been experienced over the years, some more famous than the others and some only remembered by those who experienced them.

One of the most famous blizzards to this time is ‘The Great Blizzard of 1888’, which occurred over the entire month of March 1888.

The Atlantic Coast of the U.S. became the place of chaos for this storm. It was the middle of a Sunday morning on 11th March 1888 when the snow started falling in New York City and covered the city with 10 in (25 cm) of snow by the following day. This was just the start as within the course of a few more hours, and the city was covered in 22 in (55.8 cm) of snow with about 50 in (127 cm) of snow in the areas surrounding the city, especially the suburbs due to heavy snowfall.

High winds with the lowest intensity of 85 mph (136 kph) started to blow, destroying the power lines, causing about 50 ft (15 m) of snowdrifts and forcing people to get stranded out in the shops or streets, which led to the death of over 400 people. Aside from this, property damage of approximately 20 million dollars was caused by the lizard, and at the very least, 100 people got lost at sea. Although it wasn’t just the damage caused by the blizzards that made it among one of the most famous blizzards, it was the fact that these snowstorms had all the factors that can be categorized under storm severity.

It had freezing temperatures, a large-scale impact that covered almost all of the northeast U.S. from New England, including the many metropolitan cities like NYC, stretching all the way to the Chesapeake Bay, and the wind howling as the snow fell due to snowdrifts. This was the impact of what started as a typical rainstorm at the beginning of March 1888, which soon evolved into a snowfall to a snowstorm and ended up meaning one of the most famous historical events in blizzard’s history.

Another massive blizzard that was accompanied by high winds was the Groundhog Day Blizzard of 2011. The impact of this blizzard was experienced from Canada to Mexico, with over 40 in (100 cm) of snow being reported in various areas. As a result, multiple flights were canceled due to adverse weather conditions. Moreover, due to wind chill, the temperatures also plummeted considerably in a short time.

What causes a blizzard?

When it comes to the factors leading to the formation of a snow blizzard, three very important factors need to be present. These are a rising current of warm air, the high humidity level in the air, and a cold chilly atmosphere.

To form snowflakes, it is important that the ground and the clouds have a freezing cold temperature; otherwise, this snow might melt and produce rain. Cold atmosphere not only ensures snow but also points to the fact that a cold wind blowing through a snowfall is the starting point in the formation of a blizzard.

Water vapor present in the air as a result of evaporation from the lakes, rivers, and ocean is what we call the amount of moisture or humidity in the air. The wind blowing over these water bodies helps in the blizzard formation as the more the wind blows, the more the evaporation, which leads to more amount of water vapor. The warm drifting air causes the water vapor to rise up and form clouds.

One of the most important factors for the blizzards to happen is the flow of warm air above cold air. When the cold and warm air collides, they create a front for rainfall to occur. This can be achieved by two conditions; first, the flow of cold air towards the equator, and second the flow of warm air all the way to the poles.

What is a blizzard?

A snow blizzard can be defined as a supremely strong snowstorm with minimum wind intensity of 35 mph (56 kph), and as a result, reducing the visibility up to 0.25 mi (400 m) when this wind starts to drift the snow with it.

It is a relatively short journey for a regular snowfall or snowstorm to turn into a full-blown blizzard suddenly. The only factor that can be used to distinguish between a typical snowstorm and a blizzard is the wind strength.

Blizzards are fierce and can have adverse effects on property and people. Blizzards have the power to bring outdoor life to a standstill. Not only that, but it can also lead to loss of life due to hypothermia or frostbite. The loss of visibility in the air can lead to people being lost, heavy traffic, and even car accidents.

Worst storms are accompanied by massive snowfalls, fierce winds, to form an enormous blizzard.

The Deadliest Blizzard In History

Over the years, many deadly and catastrophic blizzards have come and gone. Among these, the deadliest blizzard to date was the Iran Blizzard of 1972. It was the first week of February in 1972 when a snowstorm started and took the form of a blizzard that lasted for about a week.

It had more than 200 villages in its grasp and let them be submerged with 10-26 ft (3-7.8 m) of snow. This blizzard affected southern, central, and northwest Iran with a casualty of at least 4000 people, over 6000 missing people, and an unknown amount of property damage. People also ran out of supplies leading them to starve and die. A small village named Sheklab, which had approximately 100 people living in it, got totally wiped out as the blizzard killed all the residents.

Some of the other deadliest blizzards in history in the U.S. alone are The Great Blizzard of 1888, The Great Appalachian Storm of 1950, The 1993 Storm of the Century,  The White Hurricane, The Children’s Blizzard, The Blizzard of 1996, The Armistice Day Blizzard, The Knickerbocker Storm,  The Great Storm of 1975, The Great Blizzard of 1899 and The Chicago Blizzard of 1967.

Facts About Snow Blizzards

Before going viral in the 1880s and getting synonymous with deadly snowstorms in and around the U.S. and England, the word ‘blizzard’ was first used to introduce a snowstorm in the 1870s by an Iowa newspaper.

A blizzard watch is supposed to be issued within approximately 12 to 48 hours in the window for a blizzard occurrence.

If blizzard conditions transpire within the 12 to 18-hour window, a blizzard warning is likely to get issued.

A ‘Winter Storm Watch’ warning is likely to be received by people if there is a chance of any storm occurring at the moment or about to happen.

The largest snow city in the US, Rochester, NY, is a sort of hub for blizzards.

A storm with a fierce hurricane occurred in March of 1993 and is now popularly known as the Storm of the 20th Century.

The first-ever federal energy during a blizzard was issued during the 1977 blizzard, which affected the areas of upstate New York and southern Ohio.

Formation Of Blizzards

Snow gets blown away with the strong wind, wind makes a loud howling sound, and the visibility of the surrounding gets reduced so low that one is not even able to see 33 ft (10 m) of distance.

These kinds of conditions, when combined together, result in a blizzard. There are, however, these limiting factors that need to be met for a snowstorm to be called a blizzard. These are:

Zero visibility, wind blowing with a speed of a minimum of 35 mph (56 kph) or more, and the presence of the conditions as mentioned above for a minimum of three to four hours.

All of this happens when the clouds hold a high amount of water vapor and the air around gets to a high freezing temperature. This results in snowfall, and when the chilly winds start drifting the snow with a minimum velocity of 35 mph (56 kph), it results in a blizzard.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created many interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 21 Famous Blizzards Of All Time: You Probably Didn’t Know About! then why not take a look at the 1972 Iran blizzard or the 1966 North Dakota blizzard.

Written By
Supriya Jain

<p>As a skilled member of the Kidadl team, Shruti brings extensive experience and expertise in professional content writing. With a Bachelor's degree in Commerce from Punjab University and an MBA in Business Administration from IMT Nagpur, Shruti has worked in diverse roles such as sales intern, content writer, executive trainee, and business development consultant. Her exceptional writing skills cover a wide range of areas, including SOP, SEO, B2B/B2C, and academic content.</p>

Read The Disclaimer

Was this article helpful?