Remembering The Groundhog Day Blizzard Six Years Ago
Sometimes we like to remember things that happened in our past. Unless you like being stuck, this is something we hope will never repeat itself.
Six years ago, a major weather system made its way to the area. It all started on January 31st. There was not much snow to talk about as the area only received about two inches of snow in a 24 hour period. Then the worst showed up.
On February 1st, the skies dropped almost 9 inches of snow on Rockford in a 6 hour period. According to the National Weather Service, 8.7 inches fell from 6 PM till Midnight. That equals out to almost 1.5 inches of snow an hour.
Overnight, another 3 inches of snow fell and by the time it was all said and done, 14 inches of snow fell in the Rockford area starting on Feb 1st in the morning and ending in the afternoon on February 2nd.
The three day total was measured at 15.1 inches, making it the third largest snowfall over a three day period in the history of weather forecasting. Only back in 1918 and 1926 did we have more snow during a span of three days.
Along with the heavy snow, Rockford experienced gusty winds close to 50 mph at times during the evening of the 1st. This made travel next to impossible and created one of . Here are a few pictures from around the area.
If you thought we had a lot of snow, head east towards O'Hare Airport and they received over 21 inches of snow during that same time period. It was also the third highest snowfall on record.Unfortunately, 11 people lost their life during the storm in Chicago.
Here is a map of how much snowfall was recorded during the three day period in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa.
I was working in Peoria at a radio station at the time and I lived an hour away from the studios. The only place I was going was on an air mattress in an office down the hallway from the studios. Everyone was forced to spend the night since the roads were so bad.
That will be a snowstorm I will never forget. Hopefully we will never have to live thru something like that again. Now if we can just get some warm weather here soon.