Blizzards that I Remember Well

The Great Blizzard of 1978, also known as the Cleveland Superbomb, was a historic winter storm that struck the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes from Wednesday, January 25 through Friday, January 27, 1978. The 28.28 inches (958 millibars) barometric pressure measurement recorded in Cleveland, Ohio was the lowest non-tropical atmospheric pressure ever recorded in the mainland United States until the Upper Midwest Storm of October 26, 2010 (28.20" measured at 5:13PM CDT at Bigfork Municipal Airport, Bigfork, MN). Chicago got hit with 13 inches of snow.

January 26, 1978 Some of my hockey friends helped the Blackhawks make history when we met at a pizza place on Roosevelt Road. We left our cars at the lot and got into Tom's Van and headed down Roosevelt Road to the Stadium. I remember that there were so few fans that they let us go down where the rich people sit. We were right by the visitor's bench and we were there with 527 other crazy fans. That was a low attendance record that still stands. On the way home on the Congress expressway it was us in Tommie's van and snowmobiles.  Click here to see the Tribune article by Bob Verdi

In 1979, we had another blizzard that topped the one in 1978.  I shoveled the snow off of my garage and we had a hill that reached up to the gutters, so we had a snow hill that gave us a lot of fun.  That is my 12 year old daughter, Debbie, cheering on her brother Dan.  

The Chicago Blizzard of 1979 was a major blizzard that affected northern Illinois and northwest Indiana, U.S. on January 13-January 14, 1979. 16.5 inches (41.9 cm) of snow fell on January 13 alone, setting a new record for snow in one calendar day. By the end of January 14, 18.8 inches (47.8 cm) of snow had fallen.


The Blizzard of 1999 was a strong winter snowstorm which struck the Midwest United States and portions of eastern Canada, hitting hardest in Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Ontario and Quebec dumping as much as 60 cm (2 feet) of snow in many areas. Chicago received a recorded 21.6 in (55 cm).

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In 1999, before I had a snow blower, Ken brought his family over to help me clear my driveway.

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We didn't get Debbie's Camaro out until the spring.  Ken brought Mike, Amanda and Jeff to help me dig out.

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Jeff wasn't much help, but he had fun.

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Our former Duffer Referee, Agi even pitched in.

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Blizzard of 1967

I remember the Blizzard of 1967 well. It was Records Day in the Chicago Schools, so the kids had the day off, but teachers were working on their semester end records.  We were going to lunch (A rare treat for teachers)and our principal told us to go straight home because we were going to get a lot of snow.  We were lucky that he did that, because I barely made it home that day and my car stayed in front of my house for days.  I went from 47th street on the Dan Ryan Expressway to the Eisenhower, but that ramp was clogged with cars, so I continued on to the Augusta Boulevard ramp and headed west to Parkside Ave. where I lived at that time.

Blizzard of 2011  

February 1-2

We got several inches of snow overnight on January 31.  I cleared it off of the driveway by 9:00 AM.  It was still clear at 3:00 PM but it has several inches by 4:30 PM.

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The Blizzard of 2011 was just starting at 3:30

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The Birds and squirrels were loading up, just like people

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This little guy just got a drink from my heated bird bath

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I could hardly see Dzingel's house by 4:30

February 2, 2011

Groundhog Day

The Sun-Times Newspaper reported that Downers Grove had 24 inches of snow.

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At 7:00 AM it was still blowing and we had 15 inches on the ground.

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Squirrels and birds were all over my deck

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We had a wall of snow when I opened the garage door

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I had to take a beer break to cool off my snow blower

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This snow is the only thing that worries me.  If I was 39, like I was in 1979, I would go up there and push it off and make another snow hill.

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The driveway is about 40% done, my beer is 100% done.  What should I do, get another beer or go back to work?

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Downers Grove got 24 inches of snow

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No mail today, must have been Newman. 

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This Dove stopped by for a drink.

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Two squirrels joined the dove.

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The snow pile provided a waist high beer cooler-holder.

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This heated vibrating recliner is just what I need. (and a comb)

February 3, 2011

 Family Circus for 2/3/2011

It was -2 Fahrenheit or -18-9 Celsius when I woke up at 7:00AM.  I like Celsius when I convert my age, I'm 21.6.  That is barely legal.

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By 9:30 my snow blower broke through to the street!

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I finally finished a path for my car at 10:10.

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I worked up a good sweat, even though the temperature was just over 0 Fahrenheit. That is more sweat than I get from playing hockey indoors on Friday nights.  

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Once I had a path to my car cleared I went for a spin. 

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The shopping center was cleared.

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I went to Nicks to see my retired hockey friends.

I was the only one to show up so Karen rolled out the red carpet.

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February 6, 2011

On Super Bowl Sunday, we had another 2 inches on my driveway when I got up, but by the time I got dressed, my wonderful neighbor Al, had my sidewalk cleared and he even did the driveway apron.  That is the hardest part, because the city snow plow dumps the street snow there when they drive by.   

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I woke up to see 2 more inches on our drive way. I was happy to see that my neighbor had cleared the sidewalk and driveway apron!

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We took a drive to the Morton Arboretum to see if any of my GLOBE students would show up to collect GLOBE data. 

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I was pleasantly surprised to see Nate and his Mom waiting for me.  He was on top of a snow pile, looking down at the Weather station.

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I didn't have a shovel, so I started scooping snow with my clip board to dig a path to our Weather Station, but Nate had a better method.

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Nate located our snow board with our meter stick after a few minutes of digging. It took a while longer to get it out.

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After measuring the new snow and total snow, we went to our digital thermometer that records soil and air temperatures for 6 days.

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I recorded surface temperatures with a pen that was freezing up.  (I should have used a #2 pencil, they even write upside down)

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I thanked Nat's Mom for bringing him out every Sunday.  They enjoy the Enchanted Railroad last month and the sled dogs last week.

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This is Lake Marmo where we record freeze up and melt dates. 

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Some kids enjoyed this tree limb.

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Looking north at Lake Marmo.

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Cross country skiers had a fun filled day.

Blizzard of 2015  

February 1-2

We got several inches of snow overnight on January 31. Our great granddaughter had a 7:00 AM game and as they left their house, a power line snapped and they were without power for 15 hours. Carm won her game.  Luke had a game at 10:10 and he scored 2 goals .  Hockey players don't let blizzards stop them. I cleared it off of the driveway by 12:00 PM.  It was covered with another inch when I finished. The snow plows filled the driveway apron with 15-20 inches at 2:00.  I went out at 3:00 and the driveway had 3 more inches on it, so I cleared that and the apron. I measured 14 inches at that time. The blizzard conditions started after that and lasted until midnight.  I had a snow covered driveway to clear on February 2nd.  The drifts were high.

This is the view from our living room window at 9:00 AM.

This is the view from our deck, there is a foot of snow on the table.

I cleared a path to the street.

I knocked some snow off of this tree with my hockey stick.

The number on this yard stick is 17 inches, but that has blown snow.

February 2, 2015 Groundhog Day

When I opened the back door, I was greeted by snow drifts that made it a challenge to get to the Snow blower.

The sun was helping me clear the drive.

I was warm and sweaty.



February 1-2, 2011 Blizzard of 2011

December 25, 2010 Christmas at our house

December 20, 2010 Enchanted Railroad at the Arboretum

December 20, 2010 Cosley Zoo

August 5-8 Softball World Series in Mankato

Biggest snow of 2010

February 2010 Snow