Today in Texas History – January 12

From the Annals of the Blue Northers –   In 1988, the Schoolhouse Blizzard roared through Texas after blanketing the Dakotas, Montana, Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma.

The blizzard resulted from the collision of a massive Artic cold front with warm humid air from the Gulf of Mexico.   The rapid temperature drop of almost 40 degrees in some places caused high winds and heavy snow.  The speeding storm struck Montana in the early hours of January 12, moved on to the Dakota Territory and reached Nebraska by mid-afternoon.

The storm caused an estimated 235 deaths.  The storm hit during mid-day and had been preceded by a short period of warmer weather. The strong winds and powdery snow caused a white-out on the open plains.  The thousands of people who were caught unawares outside were in immediate danger.   The blizzard’s name came from the fact that most teachers wisely kept children safely in their schoolrooms.

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