Major Blizzards in the U.S.
Updated February 11, 2017 | Infoplease Staff
- Jan. 12, Dakota and Montana territories, Minn., Nebr., Kans., and Tex.: “Schoolchildren's Blizzard” resulted in 235 deaths, many of which were children on their way home from school.
- March 11–14, East Coast: “Blizzard of 1888” resulted in 400 deaths and as much as 5 ft of snow. Damage was estimated at $20 million.
- Jan. 2–4, Nebr., Wyo., S.D., Utah, Colo., and Nev.: Actually one of a series of winter storms between Jan. 1 and Feb. 22. Although only 1 ft to 30 in. of snow fell, fierce winds of up to 72 mph created drifts as high as 30 ft. Tens of thousands of cattle and sheep perished.
- Nov. 25–27, eastern U.S.: “Storm of the Century” generated heavy snow and hurricane-force winds across 22 states and claimed 383 lives. Damages estimated at $70 million.
- Jan. 28–29, Buffalo, N.Y.: “Blizzard of 1977” dumped about 7 in. of new snow on top of 30–35 in. already on the ground. With winds gusting to 70 mph, drifts were as high as 30 ft. Death toll reached 29, and seven western N.Y. counties were declared a national disaster area.
- Feb. 6–8, eastern U.S.: “Blizzard of 1978” battered the East Coast, particularly the Northeast; claimed 54 lives and caused $1 billion in damage. Snowfall ranged from 2–4 ft in New England, plus nearly 2 ft of snow already on the ground from an earlier storm.
- March 12–14, eastern U.S.: “Superstorm” paralyzed the eastern seaboard, causing the deaths of some 270 people. Record snowfalls (with rates of 2–3 in. per hour) and high winds caused $3 billion to $6 billion in damage.
- Jan. 6–8, eastern U.S.: heavy snow paralyzed the Appalachians, the mid-Atlantic, and the Northeast; 187 were killed in the blizzard and in the floods that resulted after a sudden warm-up. Damages reached $3 billion.
- Jan. 1–3, Midwest U.S.: major blizzard and sub-zero temperatures wreak havoc in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio; 25 were killed in the blizzard and transportation systems in the region were paralyzed. Damages reached about $1.4 billion.
- Jan. 13–16, Central and Eastern U.S.: Winter storm affecting the Central and Eastern states including IL, IN, OH, MI, WV, VA, MD, PA, NJ, NY, MA, CT, VT, NH and ME. No deaths reported, but cost estimated at $1.2 billion.
- Feb. 1–3, Central, Eastern, Northeastern U.S.: “Groundhog Day Blizzard“ impacted many central, eastern and northeastern states, causing 36 deaths. The city of Chicago was brought to a virtual standstill as between 1 and 2 feet of snow fell over the area.
- Jan. 5–8, Midwest, Southeast, Northeast U.S.: Winter storm caused widespread damage across numerous Midwest, Southeast and Northeastern states, with $2.2 in damages and 16 fatalities.
- Feb. 14–20, Central and Eastern U.S.: A large winter storm and associated cold wave impacted many central, eastern and northeastern states. The city of Boston was particularly impacted as feet of snow continued to accumulate causing load-stress on buildings and clogging transportation corridors. Total, direct losses in Massachusetts alone exceed $1.0 billion for this event, with considerable damage in many other states. Thirty deaths were reported.