Wyoming December 03, 2018
It’s Impossible To Forget These 5 Horrific Winter Storms That Have Gone Down In Wyoming History
Living in Wyoming means dealing with cold, snowy winters every year. The winter of 2016-2017 was one of the worst in recent memory, and this winter is shaping up to be pretty darn cold, too. Still, nothing in recent years can compare to the brutal blizzards that have gone down as the worst winter storms in Wyoming history. Read about a few of the record-breakers below.
The Blizzard of 1887
The Blizzard of 1887 was just one part of a brutal winter that decimated cattle herds across the plains. Spoiled by previously mild winters and picture-perfect summers, ranchers in Wyoming and Montana had overstocked their land, and were ill-prepared for the winter that was coming. For months, low temperatures, high winds, and frequent snow made it a battle to keep cattle fed. When a huge storm began in January, over an inch of snow fell for every hour over 16 hours. Ranchers had no way to access their already fragile herds, and the small bits of grass that had been available to the cattle was covered in snow and ice. In the end, hundreds of thousands of cows starved to death by the time Spring came and thawed the pastures.
The Siberan Express of 1933
The surprising "Siberian Express" storm of 1933 was a system that crossed into the United States after wreaking havoc in Russia. The storm was so brutal and cold that it set a low temperature record of -66 F in Yellowstone National Park. The bone-chilling cold was a threat to wildlife, livestock, and Wyomingites, and to this day, the cold weather records have yet to be broken.
The Blizzard of 1949
The Blizzard of 1949 is known as the "Storm of the Cenutry". An unexpected massive blizzard hit the West and stranded thousands of travelers. Trains had to be thawed out with blowtorches to rescue passengers, hundreds of people had to walk from their snowed-over cars to local motels, and thousands of cattle died. The United States Military brought relief to ranchers in the form of air-dropped hay.
Read more about this storm, and watch a fascinating documentary, here
The April Storm of 1955
Most Blizzards come in strong and head out quickly, leaving Wyomingites stunned and shoveling. In 1955, though, a blizzard hit Sheridan and decided to stay - for THREE days. Each day dropped more than a foot of snow on the region, and this storm earned its place in the Wyoming history books.
Read more about this brutal blizzard here
The Spring Blizzard of 1984
The April Blizzard of 1984 is one Wyomingites surely remember! Roads were closed for days, and two feet of snow fell in Campbell County. Hurricane force winds created white-out conditions and massive snow drifts. One rancher lost his life walking out to feed his horses - he never made it back inside.
Do you remember any of these historic, brutal storms? There are still plenty of stories about the Blizzard of 1949 to be heard throughout the Cowboy State.