Sunday, January 26, 2014

NASA Photo of the Day

January 22:

The Upper Michigan Blizzard of 1938
Image Credit: Bill Brinkman; Courtesy: Paula Rocco
Explanation: Yes, but can your blizzard do this? In Upper Michigan's Storm of the Century in 1938, some snow drifts reached the level of utility poles. Nearly a meter of new and unexpected snow fell over two days in a storm that started 76 years ago tomorrow. As snow fell and gale-force winds piled snow to surreal heights; many roads became not only impassable but unplowable; people became stranded; cars, school buses and a train became mired; and even a dangerous fire raged. Fortunately only two people were killed, although some students were forced to spend several consecutive days at school. The above image was taken by a local resident soon after the storm. Although all of this snow eventually melted, repeated snow storms like this help build lasting glaciers in snowy regions of our planet Earth.
Ok, so maybe this winter hasn't been too rough around here.  A little bit on the blizzard of 1978, the biggest one in this area, here and here.  The record setting blizzard of 1888 is recounted here.


  1. I remember some storms like that. On March 21 1962, a massive snowstorm rolled through the town I lived in. The reason I could look this up that is that a fading actress named Faye Emerson got stranded with her troupe for three days. And she really was stranded. When they finally opened the town streets, my dad drove us to the edge of town where there was a snow drift at least 15' tall and 300' deep blocking highway 60—an amazing phenomenon for a landscape so flat.

    The funny thing about this event was in our little town, almost no one had ever heard of Ms. Emerson even though she had been married to a son of FDR, and also Skitch Henderson of the Tonight Show Orchestra. Even worse, ours was a resolutely dry municipality. That's what happens when you have a lot of Mennonite neighbors. Rumor had it that some farmer had made a booze run to the town six miles away using a tractor with a front-end loader but since the winds howled for those three days, I never believed it happened. (A few later, snowmobiles ended getting cut off like that.)

    Trust me on this—this winter may be pretty intense but the old ones were MUCH worse. Even better, there are records to prove it.

  2. I'm glad we haven't seen any storms like that. And being well-stocked with booze is #1 on the storm preparation list as far as I'm concerned.