The blizzard of 1999 struck a majority of the Midwest along with parts of Canada. The biggest areas affected were Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ontario, Quebec, Wisconsin, and Ohio. There was as much as 2 feet of snow in many areas. The blizzard began on January 2, 1999 through January 4, 1999. Chicago was one of the biggest cities impacted by the storm measuring up to 22 inches of snow and rated the 2nd worst blizzard in Chicago by the National Weather Channel. Record temperatures hit a low of below 20 degrees Fahrenheit and up to 50 degrees in some places. This all resulted in airports and train stations being shut down for hours to days.
Northwest airlines were down for numerous hours with people stuck on many flights. Many people had things to say about blizzard conditions. People said they started seeing signs of the blizzard on New Year’s Eve of 1998. Weather temperatures were decreasing and snow was beginning to fall. One witness described the condition like driving through a fog of white snow without being able to see an inch in front of him. A man described being stuck on the flight by northwest airlines as being covered in blankets and other peoples clothing just to keep warm and developed frost bite on his nose and toes.
A lady described the condition as the worst she’d seen in her 83 years of life living in Chicago. A mother remembers trying to get her child to a local hospital and developing frost bite and flu like symptoms from the amount of snow accumulation on the ground. Many ask how a blizzard like this form does. The blizzard begins when snow is falling and wind is at least 35mph and it reduces visibility up to ? a mile or less. The wind speed and snow fall are the biggest factor in determining blizzard like conditions. A blizzard like this generally forms when cold polar air comes down and mixes with warm and moist air from lower altitudes.
It feeds on the dropping temperatures to occur. The overall impact of a blizzard can cost the lives of others and millions of dollars. The blizzard of 1999 resulted in 73 deaths. The cost of the blizzard was estimated between 300-400 million dollars. Chicago area was the biggest of the relief fund and over 45 counties qualified for federal aid relief. Northwest airlines paid out 7 million dollars to passengers on the flight to compensate for their hours on the flight from the storm. Overall many people, buildings, and companies were impacted in the blizzard of 1999.
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