Pat Shingleton: "December Remembers..."
Acts of God, The Old Farmer’s Almanac, compiled a list of events that were placed into The Blizzard Hall of Fame. On December 26, 1778, nine German mercenaries froze at their posts in Newport, Rhode Island that later became known as the Hessian Storm. As it struck southern New England, fifty people died in subzero temperatures that included an 18-inch snowfall. Offshore gales, associated with the storm, beached 28 vessels on Staten Island. The Blizzard Hall of Fame also recognized an event on December 26, 1947, when one of New York’s deepest snowfalls put 27 inches of new snow on the ground in Central Park in 24 hours. Twenty seven people died from the storm and snow removal costs rocketed to $8 million. Alaska holds the distinction of being the largest state in area; almost twice the size of Texas. It is also home to America’s tallest peak, Mount McKinley, now referred to as Denali. It is climbers delight at 20,320 feet and its glaciers constitute 29,000 square miles. In Barrow, the Sun is below the horizon from November 20 through January 22. According to NOAA, six of the top 25 windiest cities in the United States are in Alaska and St. Paul Island ranks as the second-windiest location behind Mt. Washington, New Hampshire. Weather extremes in Alaska include the lowest temperature at -80 degrees at Prospect Creek Camp and the highest at 100 degrees at Fort Yukon. The largest, one day snowfall, occurred in Thompson Pass with 62 inches on December 29, 1955.