Dear Tom,

November 11 was the anniversary of the Armistice Day Blizzard of 1940. Where does this blizzard rank on the all time list of Midwest blizzards?
John Weaver Schiller Park

Dear John,

The Armistice Day Blizzard was one of the worst storms to ever hit the Midwest. Other storms have produced more snow, but this early-season storm struck with unexpected fury, following some very mild weather. The Nov. 11, 1940, storm, one of the deadliest to hit the Midwest, delivered high winds, heavy snow and phenomenal temperature drops. The storm was responsible for 150 deaths, including 66 on Lake Michigan, where five ships sank. The day began mild, with temperatures in the 50s and 60s, but when the storm hit, temperatures plunged, turning rain to heavy snow and creating instant blizzards in the Upper Midwest. Many hunters froze to death after being trapped in huge snowdrifts. In Chicago, temperatures crashed from 63 degrees at 11 a.m. to 16 degrees the next morning. While only a trace of snow fell here, the storm’s 65 mph wind gusts caused $1.5 million in damage and blew out countless windows.

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