A history of Omaha’s worst winters

Jaden Cheloha, Staff Writer

Even though the weather has finally taken a turn for the better in recent days, everyone around the Omaha area is probably going to remember just how unforgiving this winter wasInches of snowfall after inches of snowfall, multiple days below zero in a row, and roads covered in black ice at too many turns. Thweather was an inconvenience at best (and pure torture to stand a foot outside at worst), but one can always benefit from putting into perspective just how reasonable their winter months were compared to the more unfortunate ones from Omaha history. 

This winter had a combination of both bone-chilling temperatures and knee-high snowfalls, which when mixed together, can create quite the miserable experience. Only, these two different records have been set, just not in the same year. There have been seasons with a light amount of precipitation, but temperatures that make up for the difference. WOWT.com has some useful information on this subjectlisting the coldest temperature recorded in Omaha as a nippy -32° in 1884. There is a separate record for the coldest high as well, recorded in 1899 at -14°. This is in stark contrast to the coldest temperature of this year, which was recorded as -4°. 

Some of the trails my toboggan left after I went sledding with a friend

As mentioned before, there have been some winters where the freezing temperature was the main focus, and others in which it was the amount of snowfall that was the statistic that would be remembered. For this winter, the most snowfall over a single day in the Omaha area was 8.5 inches. It sounds like a ton of snow, but not compared to the record, which was set back in 1965. On Feb. 11, 1965, it snowed an egregious 18.3 inches. 

Even though the most recent winter doesn’t hold the record for the largest single-day snowfall, it is on track to beat a different snow-related record. Over the course of the season so far, Omaha has received 47.9 inches of snow. The record for the same point in the season is currently 48.2 inches, which was set during the 1974-75 winter. We’ll just have to wait to see if the current winter can reach the season-long record of 67.5 inches, set back in 1911-12. 

Even though this winter hasn’t broken any records, it’ll be an easy season to remember because of just how wintery it felt, especially for one in Omaha. There was plenty of snow, cold temperatures, and black ice lining the streets. The weather is getting better from here, just remember to stay safe in case anything turns around.