© 2019 Terry Swails

THE GREAT GROUNDHOG DAY BLIZZARD OF 2011...

February 6, 2014

This past Sunday was the three-year anniversary of the Great Groundhog Day Blizzard of 2011 which buried the Quad Cities in an all-time record 18.4″ of snow. With temperatures in the teens and winds that reached 66 mph in Clinton, Iowa, it was a blizzard in the truest sense. During peak intensity, sheets of swirling snow created whiteout conditions and the most vicious conditions I’ve ever seen in a winter storm.

 

The blizzard brought the area from central Oklahoma to the lower Great Lakes and central New England between 1 and 2 feet of snow spanning Jan. 31 to Feb. 2, 2011, affecting over 100 million people along its path.

HI RES SATELLITE FEB 1ST, 2011

ACCUWEATHER DEPICTION OF THE AREA HARDEST HIT

The area from northeastern Missouri to SE Iowa and northeastern Illinois was hit the hardest.

Wind gusts to 60 mph in Chicago brought travel to a standstill and created haunting images of hundreds of stranded vehicles in waist-deep snowdrifts along Lake Shore Drive. The storm resulted in power outages, school closings and even halted mail service for a time.

LAKE SHORE DRIVE DURING THE PEAK OF THE STORM

LAKESHORE DRIVE THE NEXT DAY

HERE’S ONE MORE POST MORTEM FROM THE NWS IN LINCOLN, IL.

I’m old enough to remember many great snowstorms going back into the 60s. The only storm that was worse in my mind was the January 1979 blizzard. It too produced 18.4″ of snow in the Quad Cites. However, it came with nearly a foot of snow already on the ground and was followed by all-time record breaking cold of 27 below. It also set the record for snow depth in the Quad Cities upon its completion with 28″ on the ground.

Two amazing storms and I was on the air to forecast both of them. Great memories that show I’m getting a little long in the tooth. Time flies and weather rolls….TS

 

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