The Mother of all Snowstorms: 1916

December 3, 2015 6:49am

via pauldorpat.com

Brrrrr, it’s cold out there! But, this recent chilly weather is down right balmy compared to the frigid storm of 1916, considered by many to be the mother of all snowstorms (for here anyway).

As local historian Paul Dorpat reports, this snowstorm was the second biggest, but most visually recorded. “By the year of our second biggest snow, cameras were nearly as commonplace as shovels. Almost certainly, more photographs of the 1916 snow were kept, copied, and shared more than for any other of Seattle’s snows.  Importantly, Seattle has had no snowfalls since then to fairly “compete” with it for snapping.”

The photo above, for example, shows skaters on Green Lake, Jan 30, 1916 – before the snowfall “killed” the skating.

As Dorpat notes, “Through the first 30 unusually cold days of January, 23 inches of snow had fallen on Seattle.  January 30th was a Sunday, and for this “day of rest” an estimated 3,000 skaters and their admirers descended on Green Lake.  Many stayed well into the night, encouraged by the Seattle Park Department, which lit several bonfires along the shores. On Monday the 31st snow began to fall again, lightly at first, but steadily.  About seven inches accumulated by 5 in the afternoon.  That was enough to “kill the skating.”

So if this weather has you humming the oldie but goodie song “Baby It’s Cold Outside”…. just remember the winter of 1916!

To read more go to: http://pauldorpat.com/seattle-now-then-archive/a-history-of-seattle-snows-exposed/seattle-snows-part-5/.