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Chicago Blizzard 2011

February 5, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

top 10 Chicago blizzards

It’s Chicago Feb 1st, 2011(Tuesday) It’s the day I’ve witnessed the biggest Chicago blizzard. Its not only a big, but was reported as the 3rd worst snowstorms of Chicago History.  It started around 2.30PM  and continued till 12.00PM of  February 2nd, 2011 (Wednesday) leaving around 20 inches of snow everywhere.

It climbed into Top Five On Chicago snowstorms List. Not only the snow by the blizzard, but Chicago also gets additional snow because of the ‘Lake Effect Snow‘. When it is developed it adds another 3 to 5 inches of snow. Chicago area residents were urged to stay indoors.

Lake Effect Snow: Lake effect snows occur when a mass of sufficiently cold air moves over a body of warmer water, creating an unstable temperature profile in the atmosphere.

As a result, clouds build over the lake and eventually develop into snow showers and squalls as they move downwind. The intensity of lake effect snow is increased when higher elevations downwind of the lake force the cold, snow-producing air to rise even further.

Top 10 worst snowstorms of Chicago:

( Order by inches of snow fall)
Here are the top 10 worst snowstorms of Chicago history, according to the National Weather Service:

1. 23.0 inches Jan 26-27, 1967
2. 21.6 inches Jan 1-3, 1999
3. 20.2 inches Feb. 1-2, 2011
4. 19.2 inches Mar 25-26, 1930
5. 18.8 inches Jan 13-14, 1979
6. 16.2 inches Mar 7-8, 1931
7. 15.0 inches Dec 17-20, 1929
8. 14.9 inches Jan 30, 1939
9. 14.9 inches Jan 6-7, 1918
10. 14.3 inches Mar 25-26, 1970

The Chicago Blizzard of 1967:

At 5:02 a.m. on this date, it began to snow. Nothing remarkable about that. It was January in Chicago, and, besides, 4 inches of snow had been predicted. But it kept snowing, all through this miserable Thursday and into early Friday morning, until it finally stopped at 10:10 a.m. By the end, 23 inches covered Chicago and the suburbs, the largest single snowfall in the city’s history.

Not only that, some memories were not as cheerful. Looting was rampant. Long lines formed at grocery stores, and shelves were emptied in moments. As a result of the record snow, 26 people died, including a 10-year-old girl who was accidentally caught in the cross-fire between police and looters and a minister who was run over by a snowplow. Several others died of heart attacks from shoveling snow.

The Chicago Blizzard of 1979:

In January of 1979, Chicago experienced one of its worst blizzards on record. The storm started on the night of Friday, January 12th and left 20 inches of snow over the weekend on top of a base of seven to ten inches. It closed O’Hare – the world’s busiest airport – for 46 hours.

The blizzard itself devastated areas from the Rockies to the Great Lakes and left at least 99 dead. In Iowa, National Guard helicopters brought in 75,000 pounds of hay to starving cattle. Similar efforts were made throughout the Midwest. In Chicago, roofs collapsed from the weight of the snow, and transportation was brought to a standstill for nearly a week. Garbage trucks were unable to run and the rats took advantage. The salt used to de-ice the roads caused motor failures on some of the trains. Abandoned cars slowed snow removal efforts. Buses were at least two hours behind schedule if they were running at all. After six days, only half of the runways at O’Hare were open for traffic.

The Chicago Blizzard of 1999:

On New Year’s weekend, the city was socked with a snowstorm that left 21.6 inches on the ground over its two-day wrath. On Saturday, Jan. 2, alone, it dumped 18.6 inches of snow on the ground –- the greatest single-day snowfall ever recorded in Chicago. Winds gusted at more than 60 mph, creating an eerie scene of shadows struggling through a cloud of whipping snow. Trees rocked, flags whipped, dumpsters were toppled, and those who dared to enter out were slapped and pelted in the face.

The Blizzard of  Chicago – 2011:

O’Hare and Midway airports have canceled thousands of flights on February 2nd. At least a dozen people died — of exposure, or after shoveling or pushing stuck cars. The biggest mess was Lake Shore Drive, rendered impassable Tuesday evening by several accidents and sudden whiteout conditions. Hundreds of motorists were stranded for eight hours or more. Though it seems 20/20 hindsight to ask why the Drive wasn’t closed earlier, since, with traffic moving, there was no good reason to close it. The Chicago Fire Department  rented 50 snowmobiles and placed at various stations across the city. It is believed to be the first time the city has used snowmobiles to help out during a massive snowfall.

Here you can watch the Chicago blizzard of 2011 photos:

http://wxrt.radio.com/2011/02/02/photos-chicago-blizzard-2011/#photo-1

http://www.wgntv.com/entertainment/viral/chi-110203-snow-aerials-blizzard-2011-pictures,0,4672723.photogallery

Here you can watch the Chicago Blizzard of 2011 video

The safety tip to follow in extreme weather conditions: Stay Home, and Keep Warm 🙂

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