We are approaching the 50th anniversary of the January 1967 Big Snow. How many consecutive hours did it snow? Wasn’t it mild and stormy before the snow?
— Ron Nicholls, McHenry, and Art Azen, Gary
Dear Ron and Art,
The paralyzing 23-inch snowstorm of Jan. 26-27, 1967, still reigns as the city’s heaviest. Chicago weather historian Frank Wachowski informed us that the snow began at 5:02 a.m. on Jan. 26 and did not end until 10:10 a.m. the next day, a duration of 29 hours and 8 minutes. The storm was a full-blown blizzard, with 50 mph-plus northeast wind gusts creating drifts as high as 15 feet. Nearly 50,000 cars and buses were stranded, making snow removal almost impossible.
Just two days before the snowstorm, the city was basking in unseasonable 65-degree warmth that was accompanied by severe thunderstorms and funnel clouds.