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1979 Chicago blizzard

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The Chicago blizzard of 1979 was a major blizzard that affected northern Illinois and northwest Indiana, United States on January 13–14, 1979. It was one of the largest Chicago snowstorms in history at the time, with 21 inches of snowfall in the two-day period.[1]

Only two to four inches of snow was expected[2] but by the end of January 14, the depth of snow on the ground peaked at 29 inches.[3] The blizzard lasted for a total of 38 hours.

At its peak, wind gusts reached speeds of 39 miles per hour.[4] Five people died during the blizzard, with about 15 others seriously injured. One of the five deaths came when a snowplow driver attacked 34 cars and a man.[3]


[change | change source]
  1. Wagner, James A. (1979). "Weather and circulation of January 1979: widespread record cold with heavy snowfall in the Midwest". Monthly Weather Review. 107: 499–506. Bibcode:1979MWRv..107..499W. doi:10.1175/1520-0493(1979)107<0499:WACOJ>2.0.CO;2.
  2. Benzkofer, Stephan (January 5, 2014). "1979 Blizzard was Debacle". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Changnon, Stanley A., Jr.; Changnon, David; Stone, Phyllis (1980). Illinois Third Consecutive Severe Winter: 1978-1979 (PDF) (Report). Illinois State Water Survey. Retrieved 25 November 2015.{{cite report}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. "2011 Blizzard Storm Total Snowfall Adjusted & In-Depth Look at Chicago's Top 4 Big Snows". National Weather Service. Retrieved September 15, 2016.