Today in Weather History:

Weather History for December 17
A three week blockade of snow began at Portland, OR. A record December total of 34 inches was received. (David Ludlum)

A severe icestorm struck central Illinois. It coated the ground with nearly two inches of glaze at Springfield. The storm caused 21 million dollars damage along with much hardship. Ice was on the trees until the 4th of January, and electricity was not restored until January 10th. (David Ludlum)

An icestorm in western New York State resulted in much damage and hardship. A Buffalo report stated, "one was kept awake by the breaking limbs, which snapped off with a report much louder than a rifle shot." (17th-18th) (The Weather Channel)

A storm in the southwestern U.S. brought heavy rain and heavy snow to parts of California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah and New Mexico. Charleston NV was blanketed with 12 inches of snow. Lake Havasu City AZ was drenched with 2.26 inches of rain. (Storm Data) (The National Weather Summary)

Squalls brought locally heavy snow to the southeastern shores of Lake Michigan. Totals in Michigan ranged up to 14 inches at Harvey. Totals in Ohio ranged up to 16 inches at Chardon. (The National Weather Summary) (Storm Data)

Twenty-one cities from Kentucky to Pennsylvania reported record low temperatures for the date, including Columbus OH with a reading of 12 degrees below zero. Heavy snow continued in the Colorado Rockies. Vail received 65 inches of snow between the 14th and the 18th of December. Steamboat Springs was buried under 74 inches, and reported a total of 108 inches of snow between the 10th and the 18th of the month. (The National Weather Summary) (Storm Data)

Thunderstorms preceding a strong cold front pushed into the U.S. Mississippi Valley, producing severe weather and tornadoes. Three people were killed in Missouri and Arkansas with more than 40 injuries (Associated Press).

A winter storm dumped as much as 3.6 inches of snow across Las Vegas, Nevada, prompting the closure of schools and highways. This was the largest December snowfall on record and the heaviest snowfall since January 1979 when a total of 7.5 inches fell (Associated Press).

Data courtesy of