Utah February 06, 2017
A Massive Blizzard Blanketed Utah In Snow In 1949 And It Will Never Be Forgotten
Every winter in Utah, we suffer from a period of really cold weather, horrible inversions and sometimes even massive snow storms. But none can compare with the winter of 1949.
The winter of 1948-9 was Utah's worst ever, according to the National Weather Service. In early January of 1949, a three-day blizzard hit Utah hard.
The blizzard broke windows and caved in roofs. Snowdrifts of up to ten feet tall accumulated in driveways and along roads. The temperature plummeted to well below zero.
Once the snowdrifts froze, plows couldn't remove them. People all over Northern Utah were stranded.
Sardine Canyon was closed for an entire month; families were trapped in their homes and had to be rescued.
Livestock couldn't graze, and many were exposed to the cold temperatures and froze to death. "Operation Haylift" was put in place to drop hay from military cargo planes to starving animals.
Then, on January 15th, a second storm hit Northern Utah. A week later, a third blizzard pummeled the Beehive State.
Roads were closed and snow drifted as high as the telephone poles in Millard County. People were stranded in vehicles, and several avalanches trapped skiers at Alta and Brighton resorts.
After the storms cleared, the cold, cold weather rolled in. Temperatures dropped to -25 F in Salt Lake City...and stayed there. In Woodruff, the temperature was recorded as low as -45 F.
Schools closed and power outages were common. Another storm hit on February 5th, and the state continued to suffer through blizzard after blizzard all the way to April. Utahns pulled together to emerge from this series of storms stronger than ever.
Neighbors helped each other dig out, and made sure that elderly folks were cared for. And of course, Utahns spent plenty of time playing in the accumulation of powdery white snow...sledding, skating on the solidly-frozen Liberty Park Pond and staging snowball fights.
Take a look at this video posted by Utah State History on
Do you remember the winter of 1949? If not, what’s the worst Utah snow storm you can remember?
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