Friday, January 6, 2017

Snow and the Blizzard of 1887

Last night it was cold, really cold. When I got up this morning, I checked our indoor outdoor thermometer which read -20. The weather app on my phone said -25 with a wind chill of -41 now that is cold. We live in a nice valley where we don’t see such extreme temperatures as a norm but this year seems a bit different. Coming out of the Wyoming news this morning was the fact that Wyoming was reporting five of the ten coldest temperatures on earth last night. Sometimes the old, “We’re number one chant doesn’t feel all that good.
Under Our Feeder - Temperature Up to Zero at Noon

The winter of 1885-86 should have been an indication of what was to come with the great blizzard of 1887, but as people say in today’s world, “who knew?”


Fall and early winter in 85-86 were some of the most pleasant days, for that time of year, on record. Reminds me of last year when I played golf six or eight times in December. Hope that was not a harbinger of even worse things to come this winter.

In 1887, January 9th Wyoming and a big area including most of the states around were hit with the great blizzard. Snow fell at the rate of nearly an inch and hour for 16-20 hours and temperatures plunged as low as -46. The temperatures stayed bitterly cold for ten days when the snow came again.


The rest is history, starved cattle, snowed in towns and ranches, starving people. Ranchers lost from a third to all of their herds. In all, an estimated five million cattle died. That winter changed the way American ranchers would operate forever. 





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