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Terry’s Take: The Great Armistice Day Blizzard of 1940

Posted on: 10:44 pm, November 12, 2013, by

Terry Swails Weather Blog

Monday was the 73rd anniversary of the Armistice Day Blizzard, one of the worst early season snowstorms in U.S. history. The blizzard struck the Midwest on November 11, 1940 and was the type of snow storm that engenders legends. For those who lived through the event, it was a once in a lifetime fury of wind and snow. Everyone remembers where they were and how they rode out the storm!

AFTERMATH OF THE STORM, HUGE DRIFTS AND FROZEN HUNTERS

AFTERMATH OF THE STORM, HUGE DRIFTS AND FROZEN HUNTERS

Fall had been extremely mild across the Upper Midwest and temperatures were well above normal the morning of the 11th, the first day of duck hunting season. So warm that at 7:30 in the morning the temperature at Chicago was 55 degrees, and at Davenport, Iowa the reading stood at a balmy 54. Armistice Day was a perfect time for many individuals to enjoy the mild respite before winter, and for hunters an opportunity to hit the sloughs of the Mississippi. Little did they know the most infamous duck hunt in American history was about to unfold. When the storm exited the region over a foot of snow had fallen, and more than 150 people and thousands of livestock were dead.
I’ve included a link with a detailed account of the storm prepared by the NWS of the Quad Cities. http://www.crh.noaa.gov/dvn/?n=armistice_day_blizzard

THE SOO RAILROAD LINE NEAR ALBANY, MINNESOTA

THE SOO RAILROAD LINE NEAR ALBANY, MINNESOTA

12 FOOT SNOW DRIFTS NEAR ST. CLOUD, THE LOCATION OF THIS IMAGE

12 FOOT SNOW DRIFTS NEAR ST. CLOUD, MINN. THE LOCATION OF THIS IMAGE

Here’s another interesting recap from Minnesota Public Radio. http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/200011/10_steilm_blizzard-m

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