Yes, we survived the blizzard of 2011. I've got to tell you - this was one of the more impressive storms I've ever seen. Over the past 24 hours, not only did we get 16.7 inches of snow in Moline (the official reporting station in the Quad Cities), but the wind associated with this storm was simply unbelievable. I've never encountered a storm where the wind blew so hard for so long. Sustained winds from yesterday afternoon into late last night averaged between 25 to 30 miles per hour with gusts topping the 50 mph mark on a couple of occasions. The snow coming down was hard enough, but the blowing made it seem even worse than it was. There were times when I could hardly make out our neighbor's house across the street.
Depending upon who you talk to, this snowfall - coupled with the nearly 2 inches we got on Monday - tied for the most snow during one snow event in the history of weather keeping in the Quad Cities. 18.4 inches had fallen from Monday before noon to 6 a.m. this morning at the Quad City International Airport in Moline tying the record set in 1979. The Davenport Municipal Airport got about 13.4 inches of snow on Tuesday afternoon to Wednesday morning. We're just about right smack in between the two airports, so I'm making an educated guess that we had 15.05 inches of snow from this one last night. And with the inch and a half on of snow we got on Monday, 16.5 inches of snow is a pretty impressive total.
However, it's not as bad as the situation in Chicago. Officially at O'Hare International, they had received a tad over 20 inches of snow as of this morning with just under 20 inches at Midway. My sister-in-law, Becky, lives in Winchester, IL, about 40 miles from Springfield - and they got 18 inches. Of course, it's still not as bad as places like Kansas City, St. Louis or Indianapolis where ice was the big problem. I'd rather get 15 inches of snow than a half inch of ice. Only those places got ice measured in the inches, not fractions. And K.C. and St. Louis got snow on top of the ice.
Everything was shut down today throughout the region. I made it into work only because I office at home and it doesn't take much work to walk across the hallway from the bedroom to get into the office. But a quick call to dozens of dealers across Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and Indiana found that many of them were closed today.
Now that the snow has stopped, its supposed to turn brutally cold in the region with low temperatures tonight to bottom out around -10 (F). But a mild warm up is supposed to take place later this weekend. But with it comes another chance for snow.
I got up this morning and went out to blow some snow around the neighborhood. The snow was more than two feet deep in places. I went down to a neighbor lady's house to help her with her sidewalk and a drift on her corner lot was about three foot deep. It was all I could do to get the snow blower through that.
Below left is my Weber smoker. It may be a little while before we use it. There's about two feet of snow around it.
Now we're just sort of waiting on the streets to be cleared. I understand the main thoroughfares around town are plowed and pretty easy to navigate, but the side roads are all choked off from the deep snow drifts that the snow plows have piled up. I don't anticipate that we'll be plowed out until sometime later tonight or even tomorrow morning. But I'm guessing that most of us should be able to be back to normal lives - or as close to normal - as we can be by Friday.
Update - The National Weather Service officially combined the snow total from Jan 31 with the snow total from Feb. 1/2 to tie the Blizzard of 2011 with the storm of 1979 as the greatest snow event in the history of the Quad Cities. For some reason, they didn't know if they were going to put the Monday and the Tuesday/Wednesday events together, but they determined that the same low pressure system was responsible for both snows. The low pressure tracked just a tad north of where they originally thought it would go and it hit the Quad Cities dead on.
The 16.7 inches of snow at the Quad City International Airport was the highest 24 hour total in the history of weather keeping in the area. Here's a map of the total amount of snowfall across the Eastern Iowa/Northern Illinois region.
I've had some longtime Davenport residents tell me that the one in 1979 was worse. What they don't remember is that there was well over a foot of snow on the ground from a tremendous storm that had come through just days before the big one. Sure, there was a lot of drifting, but the 18.4 inches in 1979 fell on an already deep snow cover. We had - maybe - five or six inches of snow on the ground at the start of this particular event on Monday. We've got a lot more than than right now.
Oh, and the City of Davenport finally did get around to plowing out our street on Thursday around 2 p.m. Life is slowly getting back to normal.