January 30, 1982: Blizzard of 82 begins
The “Blizzard of 82” started on n Saturday, January 30, 1982 and lasted through the weekend dumping as much as two feet of snow in some places. The National Weather Service says it was a 1-in-70 year snow event, and the worst winter storm to hit St. Louis since 1912 that delivered 15.5 inches of snow.
According to the NWS the “thunder snow” lasted about five hours, and in some spots snow fell at rates of two inches per hour. In some areas snow drifts reached six feet tall.
Thousands of motorists were stranded on area highways. Owners of four wheel drives were called in to help ferry doctors, nurses and emergency crews to and from work.
The NWS says the 1982 storm was a surprise for everyone, with forecasts from the NWS and local meteorologists calling for light snow with minor accumulations.