Remember how it was 65 degrees in February? That was nice wasn't it? I wore shorts and ate dinner on the porch while the cats across the street rolled around in the grass. Now.... not so much.
Yes another storm has trapped us in Buffalo, a blast of northern ice to remind us winter is over when it decides it is over. How does this storm stack up to past storms? Clearly its not even close to Snowvember or the Blizzard of 77, events I thankfully missed. What about the other big storms the city has faced? How does Winter Storm Stella compare to storms of the more distant past?
The first major storm I found was the White Hurricane of 1913. Occurring between November 7th and November 11th 1913, this horrific storm took 250 lives and sank 12 ships on the Great Lakes. The storm was not a traditional snow storm and as the name implies it was a horrible mix of a blizzard and hurricane that spawned snow squalls, winds that gusted at over 80mph, and icy cold spray that made many ships founder. Waves 35 feet high broke across the Buffalo Harbor as Lake Erie attempted to swallow downtown. Though the White Hurricane caused significant damage to Buffalo, the brunt of the storm's violence was suffered by other Great Lakes cities like Chicago and Cleveland. Many of the foundered lake vessels washed up on the shores near these cities and the removal of bodies and wrecked ships was a difficult process.
The White Hurricane was a freakish and violent weather event and led to a tragic loss of life. Without a doubt it was one of the worst disasters to befall the Great Lakes region in the last 200 years. While no subsequent storms matched its destruction, there have been a number of major snowstorms in Buffalo that occurred after the White Hurricane.
|Aftermath of the White Hurricane in Cleveland. Image from Weather.com|
|Kenmore after the streets had been dug out. Taken from Fultonhistory.com|