Pat Shingleton: "Glaze and the origination of "Blizzard..."
The Winter Storm Advisory, as of this writing, is confined to Southwest Mississippi and six parishes north of Baton Rouge, near the state line. I noted "glaze" in a previous column as a coating of transparent ice that forms when super-cooled water droplets hit roads during below-freezing weather. Glaze is heavy, sticks to objects that it coats, contains no air bubbles and appears clear and smooth like glass. When freezing rain hits a cold object, glaze can layer several inches thick causing dangerous driving conditions on highways. We're not expecting glaze or "black ice" during the morning hours...The Great Southern Glaze Storm of 1951 occurred at the end of January and was one of the most destructive in history. Covering the South in a sheath of ice 100 miles wide from Louisiana to West Virginia, it remains as the costliest winter storm on record with an estimated $100 million in damage. It exceeds all other single storm damage except for hurricanes. Nearly eight inches of snow blanketed sections of the Great Lakes. Some locations to the north are and will experience a blizzard. “Blizzard” originally meant “a stunning blow,” often referred to a boxer’s knockout punch. Davy Crockett used the word in reference to a barrage of rifle shot and to “taking a blizzard” to his prey. On March 24, 1870 the editor of the Iowa newspaper, the Easterville Vindicator, described a massive wind-driven snow event as a blizzard. He compared the event to a severe snowstorm that K.O.’ed the city. The following Spring, an Iowa baseball team changed its name to the Blizzards and within ten years numerous newspapers from New York to Canada were referencing their winter storms as blizzards.
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