Baby It's Cold Outside...
"America is set for the coldest month of the century as weather forecasters predict yet another freezing blast of Arctic air - putting Super Bowl Sunday in jeopardy. Teams have been warned to stay on high alert for changes to the scheduling of the first Super Bowl to be played in an open-air stadium.
Temperatures have already hit record lows, at times making parts of the U.S. colder than the North Pole, and are expected to continue to plunge."
However, if we think we have it bad, let’s take a look back to the wintery days before electricity, telephones and the lifesaving amenities we know today.
Did you know that...
In October of 1880, snowfalls so deep in the Northern Plains reached the second floor windows of two story homes. Blizzard after blizzard occurred, the first one known as “The October Blizzard”. No one was prepared for the deep snow so early in the season and farmers all over the region were caught before their crops had even been harvested, their grain milled, or with their fuel supplies for the winter in place. By January the train service was almost entirely suspended from the region. Railroads hired scores of men to dig out the tracks but it was a wasted effort: As soon as they had finished shoveling a stretch of line, a new storm arrived, filling up the line and leaving their work useless.
There were no winter thaws and on February 2, 1881, a second massive blizzard struck that lasted for nine days. In the towns the streets were filled with solid drifts to the tops of the buildings and tunneling was needed to secure passage about town. Homes and barns were completely covered, compelling farmers to tunnel to reach and feed their stock.
The well known "Children’s Blizzard" of 1888 was preceded by a snowstorm on January 5th and 6th, which dropped powdery snow on the northern and central plains and was followed by an outbreak of brutally cold temperatures from January 7 to 11. What made the storm so deadly was the timing, the suddenness, and the brief spell of warmer weather that preceded it. In addition, the very strong wind reduced visibilities on the open plains to zero. The death toll was 235. Travel was severely impeded in the days following.
Two months later, on March 11, another severe blizzard hit the East Coast. This blizzard was known as the "The Great Blizzard of 1888" and the worst in American history. It hit the Northeast, killing more than 400 people and dumping as much as 55 inches of snow in some areas.
And now, for one more thought to ponder while we are thinking of cold weather:
Did you know that, due to the lack of available lumber on the Northern Plains, most homes and buildings, from the 1850's until 1920, were built from primarily from sod?