A Blizzard is an extreme snowstorm kept alive by strong winds blowing at least 3 mph, and lasting for a long period of time. The worst blizzards in history have caused extreme devastation where they take place, which is often in United States, although the worst of all was in Iran. Although most snowstorms last for 3 hours, the worst can last for days or even weeks. They can cover entire cities in snow and cause countless deaths. There was one case where a snow storm covered an entire town, and killed every one of it’s inhabitants. This is a list of the 10 worst blizzards in history.


The Snow Winter of 1880-1881

Train_stuck_in_snow - worst blizzards in history

This is widely considered to be the most devastating of the worst blizzards in history, in the United States. The snow fell so deeply that two story buildings had snow piled up to the second floor window. This storm hit at the worst possible time. It was too early in the season for people expect this sort of weather so most farmers hadn’t even managed to harvest their crops, and no fuel supplies had been left for the winter. The railways had to be closed due to the weather and transporting food into the area seemed like an impossible task. A massive blizzard stuck on February 2nd, it lasted for 9 whole days. The snow got so high people had to tunnel their way around town. When the storm ended people may have begun to relax but their troubles didn’t end their. When the snow melted it caused massive flooding. Ice dams clogged the Missouri River and when the dams broke it washed away the majority of a nearby town.


Lhunze County, Tibet – 2008 Snow Storm


Copyright Croquant / (CC BY 3.0)

Tibet suffered one of the worst blizzards in history, with snow reaching reaching an average 69 inches deep. It snowed continuously for 36 hours and the snow was even six feet deep in some places. In Tibet it was the worst blizzards in history. 144,400 heads of livestock died and, 7 people died, and one person went missing. The snow was so heavy that the roofs of some buildings collapsed killing the people inside. Over 600 people were rescued and 300 were trapped. The rescue took over 36 hours, with government officials clearing snow and attempting to transport food to people who need it. Many people had to kill their own livestock just to have a meal. Some people almost died sleeping outside, and others slept in schools and other government buildings.


Snowmageddon 2010

The_First_American_Blizzard_of_2010_on_February_5,_2010 worst blizzards in history

Snowmageddon was a devastating snow storm that affected the Midwest, and East Coast of the United States. 41 people died in the storm, due to extensive flooding and landslides, and record breaking snowfalls. Te extreme weather brought air, and interstate highway to a halt, and suspended railways. This was the snowiest winters in the history of the Mid-Atlantic. This snowstorm was the only one of three snowstorms that razed havoc in the Mid-Atlantic for a whole 12 days. The impact of the storm included extreme winter rains across Mexico, which collapsed hillsides, sending rivers over their banks which left a death toll of 15 at the least.


Mount Shasta Calif 1959

This storm is credited with producing the most snow in a single storm in North America. The snow was 189 inches deep. This city in the mountain is used to having snowstorms every now and then, and the this storm didn’t have much effect on the town despite it’s magnitude. So little people even noticed that there was a storm, that it had to be reported in the newspaper at the end of the storm before they realised. This is partly because most of the areas affected by the storm were unpopulated.


The Great Snow of 1717

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The Great Snow of 1717 was a series of snowstorms between February and march in the colonies of New York and New England. Although the storm was probably quite heavy elsewhere barely anyone was actually living outside of new England at the time to talk about their experience. The build up to the storm was already damaging, it had been the worst winter in memory. Snow was 5 feet deep, and drifts were 25 feet high. The great snow began on February 27, it was series of three terrible storms getting progressively worse. Native Americans said that not even their ancestors had spoken of such a terrible storm. The snow in some places piled up to eight feet, and people could only leave their house from the second story.


1972 Iran Blizzard


The 1972 Iran Blizzard is not only one of the worst blizzards in history, but the deadliest blizzard ever recorded. It caused a total of 4,000 people to die. The blizzard was deadly not only because of it’s magnitude but also because of it’s unusual length, the storm lasted from the 3rd to the 9th February, a total of 7 days. The storm dumped more than 10 feet of snow across rural areas in northwester, central and southern Iran. Southern Iran suffered more than 26 feet of snow which literally buried 4,000 people. In a city known as Ardakan the entire population was killed.


The storm of the century

401px-Storm_of_the_century_satellite worst blizzards in history

The storm of the century, or the Great Blizzard of 1993, was a hurricane blizzard that formed over the gulf of Mexico. It’s maybe the largest, most intense, and most wide reaching blizzard of all time. At one point it even stretched from Canada to Central America. Hurricane force winds were experienced in large portions of North and South America. The destruction was widespread, multiple tornadoes ravaged the streets, and it’s inhabitants, and record cold temperatures made it harder to survive. Over 300 people died in this storm. The storm caused a massive power outage which 40% of the United States experienced. This was not only one of the worst storms in history but one of the deadliest weather events of the 20th century.


The Buffalo Blizzard of 1997

In 1997 a large blizzard struck upstate New York and Southern Ontario. The storm lasted three days, and had rapid winds ranging from 46 to 69 mph. Snow went over 8 inches deep, and snow drifts were as high as 40 ft. 28 people died because of the storm in west and south New York. Roads became completely useless, the snow on them couldn’t be removed either, because the strong wind had packed it strongly. Even if the roads hadn’t been effected vehicles were breaking down due to the cold, and in the worst areas the only working vehicles were snow mobiles. The cold wind, and snow made some areas paralysed.


The Blizzard of 1967

This blizzard set new records for it’s area and is still one of the worst blizzards in Chicago’s history. Snow fell for days without stopping, and made it impossible for people to travel as usual. Vehicles broke down in the cold, and a lot of people were left stranded. 800 buses, and 50,000 cars were abandoned in the street. The cities airports were closed down, which left no practical way for people to leave or enter the city. The city was covered in a thick never ending snowfall.


The Great Blizzard of 1888

Blizzard_1888_01 worst blizzards in history

The Great Blizzard has been recorded as one of the greatest blizzards in the history of the united states. It was dubbed the Great White Hurricane. The snow reached 20-60 inches deep in parts of New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. The blizzard was devastating and it took weeks for people’s lives to return back to normal. Some people couldn’t even leave their houses for an entire week. Over 400 people died, and it cost the equivalent of $660 million in damages. The storm brought about 80 mph winds, and snow that was 50 feet deep. The storm caused record breaking temperatures for the country.

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