The Five Biggest Spring Blizzards In Wyoming History
Here in Wyoming, Old Man Winter never leaves quietly. As we prepare for a major storm this week, here is a look back at five of the biggest spring blizzards to ever hit Wyoming.
The May Day Blizzard of 1844 - Nearly 50 years before Wyoming officially became a state, the fur trapping industry was in full swing in and around Fort Laramie. On May 1st, fur trader Seth Ward and his party set out from Fort Laramie in route to Fort Lupton, Colo. just as a massive blizzard rolled across the high plains. After heavy snow and high winds stopped the expedition in its tracks, Ward and his men finally arrived in Fort Lupton two weeks later.
The "Great Equalizer" of 1905 - May 3, 1905, a blizzard rolled through the Rocky Mountain region, killing thousands of cattle across Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska and South Dakota. The storm began with rain before turning to heavy snow later in the day. As temperatures plunged, livestock either froze to death or were trapped by huge snowdrifts. Some ranchers lost 80% of their stock.
The Blizzard of 1955 - In April of 1955, a spring snowstorm settled over central and northern Wyoming. By the time it subsided three days later, nearly 4 feet of snow had fallen in Sheridan. It still holds a record for the most snowfall ever recorded during a single storm in the state of Wyoming.
The Storm of 1984 - The Cowboy State was battered by a three-day storm on April 25, 1984. Parts of the state recorded nearly 3 feet of snow with 65 mph wind gusts causing 20-foot snowdrifts. Roads across Wyoming were impassible for two days. By the time the storm had cleared, over 200,000 cattle had died.
March Madness in 2003 - On March 18th, Cheyenne set a one day record, receiving over 16 inches of snow. By the next morning, another two inches had fallen. Hundreds of motorists were trapped along Interstate 25 from Wyoming all the way down to New Mexico. Thousands more were stranded at Denver International Airport, which was closed due to the storm.