The 5 Worst Winter Storms in Wyoming History
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The 5 Worst Winter Storms in Wyoming History

November 26, 2018

Wyomingites are no stranger to soul-crushing winters. Ask any one of us about our most memorable winter and we'll have a story for you in a jiff! I walked 30 miles to school through snow that was 15-feet deep...uphill both ways...with my lame horse strapped to my back...

 

Truly, surviving a Wyoming winter is a thing of pride! Don't believe me? Take a look back at the five worst winter storms in our state's history, and be glad you have insulation at home.

 

1. The Winter of 1887

 

Widely considered to be one of the harshest winters on record, 1887 is best known for the damage it did to the cattle industry in the western United States.

 

Ranchers had overstocked cattle across Wyoming, Montana and the Dakotas. Then, on January 8, a blizzard dumped nearly two feet of snow throughout the Rockies and the Midwest, causing the ground to freeze and cattle to starve. Experts estimate that nearly 500,000 head were lost to that freeze. 

 

2. The Siberian Express of 1933

 

Already struggling in the midst of the Great Depression, things really fell apart for Wyoming ranchers and farmers in February of 1933.

 

A storm that began in Russia (seriously!) swept across the western United States, taking temperatures all the way to -66 Fahrenheit in Yellowstone National Park. To this day, it's the coldest day recorded in Wyoming history. 

 

3. The Storm of the Century in 1949

 

On January 2, 1949, Wyoming residents were rocked by a winter storm we'll never forget. There's a reason we call it the "storm of the century!" 

 

65 mile per hour winds rushed across the state, burying homes and cars in 10-foot-tall snow drifts, while temperatures plunged to below -10 Fahrenheit. So aggressive were these storms, the federal government had to send out rescue squads all over Wyoming.

 

4. The Blizzard of 1955

 

In April of 1955 (yes, April...), an unexpected snowstorm dumped nearly 4 feet of snow on Sheridan, Wyoming and the surrounding region. Over six decades later, it still holds the mark for the most snowfall ever recorded during a single storm in Wyoming! 

 

5. The Winter of 1979

 

Wyomingites were already sick of winter by the time an arctic cold front made its appearance on New Year's Day in 1979. In Jackson, temperatures dropped to nearly -60 Fahrenheit, causing burst pipes and power outages all across the state. 

 

Unfortunately, this intense cold lasted well over a month, forcing people all across the Cowboy State to endure freezing temperatures through the entirety of January.

Did you survive any of these storms? Have family members who did?

We would love to hear their stories in the comment section below!

 

 

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