Monday, December 22, 2008

The Blizzard of 1966

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) maintains an online Photograph Library that houses thousands of public domain images that cannot be copyrighted. The collection includes many images of New Orleans, especially in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

The photograph above was taken outside of Jamestown, North Dakota by State Highway Department employee Bill Koch 9 March 1966, and captioned: "I believe there is a train under here somewhere!" The early March storm was considered the blizzard of the century, and was known for its 30-foot-high snowdrifts. This morning, 22 December 2008, Grand Forks, North Dakota reported a windchill factor of -30° F.

If you want to know more about snow, see the National Snow and Ice Data Center's (NSIDC) All About Snow, which includes this and other photographs of major historic blizzards, as well as images of snow formations, such as sastrugi.

If you want to see ice/snow construction firsthand, there are ice hotels in Canada, Finland, Romania and Sweden.  Better yet, build it yourself.  Click here to learn more from Dr. Nobert E. Yankielun, a research engineer for the Army Corps of Engineers Cold Regions Laboratory or watch Douglas Wilkenson's 1949 film How to Build an Igloo, provided by the National Film Board of Canada.
Hôtel de Glace, Canada. ©

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