CHICAGO (CBS) — On this 45th anniversary of the infamous blizzard of 1967, conditions in Chicago are calm and mild, with temperatures expected to hit the 40s.
CBS 2 Meteorologist Megan Glaros says the temperature is expected to hit 40 degrees Friday, with some shower activity south of the city.
Conditions are mostly dry, but some moisture has been seen in areas far to the south and some slickness could be seen on the roads in places such as Valparaiso, Ind.
A cold front is hovering over western Iowa and Minnesota, but will peter out before it makes it to Chicago. Overnight, the high drops to 25, and it climbs again to 41 Friday.
But another cold front will come through Friday night into Saturday, bringing up to 1.5 inches of snow and cutting temperatures down to 35 on Saturday and 28 on Sunday.
The Blizzard of 1967, 45 Years Later
The forecast for Jan. 26, 1967, called for only a modest amount of snow. The temperature had hit a record 65 degrees just two days earlier.
But starting in the early morning hours on Jan. 26, the blizzard began dumping snow at a rate of 2 inches per hour. Wind gusted to 53 mph, as snow drifted 6 feet in some areas. When it was all over, there were 23 inches of snow on the ground.
Thousands of people spent the night in hotels, hospitals and fire stations. There were thousands of cars, trucks and CTA buses abandoned and left in the snowbound streets and on the expressways.
More snow fell over the next 10 days, grinding cars, buses and air traffic to a halt.
“I was almost 10 years old when this happened, and I can remember buses and cars stranded on Lake Shore Drive. People were walking in the middle of busy streets,” CBS 2’s Jim Williams said back in 2007. “I have never seen a snowstorm like this.”
Some of the estimated 75 million tons of snow was sent south to Florida by rail, for children who had never seen snow, according to the Chicago Public Library.
Sixty deaths were attributed to the storm – mostly heart attacks caused by shoveling snow – but one young girl was accidentally shot and killed by police who were trying to take down looters, according to the Chicago Public Library. A total of 273 looters were arrested.
The Blizzard of 1967 still holds the record for the heaviest snowstorm in Chicago history. The blizzard on Jan. 1-3, 1999, comes next with 21.6 inches, followed by the blizzard on Feb. 1 and 2 of last year, which dumped 21.2 inches of snow on the city.