The calender was about to turn to June in 1947 when an astonishing snowstorm swept across Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa and Wisconsin.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln climatologist Ken Dewey called attention to the storm of May 27-29, 1947, and to research by the National Weather Service meteorologist who provided an account of it.
“As unusual as our recent May 1-2, 2013, snowfall was, there is an almost forgotten snowstorm that blanketed almost all of Nebraska with amounts up to a foot of snow, just a few days before June 1,” Dewey said.
“Can you imagine, all the trees in full leaf, gardens planted, etc., and just a few days before the start of June, a major winter snowstorm buries Nebraska in snow?”
In Oakland, Neb., where the sticky snow clung lightly to trees, the storm created a fairyland, according to accounts of the day. But in other areas, it was a heartbreaker, crushing shrubs, evergreens, fruit trees and shade trees.
As Dewey pointed out, nearly all of Nebraska and Iowa received at least a dusting of snow.
National Weather Service meteorologist Jeff Boyne said in his history of the storm that 6 to 12 inches fell over northeast Wyoming, northern Nebraska and northwest Iowa.
The highest snow totals from the storm occurred in northwest Nebraska, where about 12 inches accumulated in Harrison and Alliance.
Omaha and Lincoln have no record of accumulating snows from that storm, but Norfolk recorded 2.7 inches, according to the National Weather Service. Valentine recorded 4 inches and Grand Island, 4.5 inches.
Power lines, telephone lines and telegraph lines were all damaged by the weight of the snow. Trees and shrubs were crushed.
For more information, check out this story from The World-Herald's archives: "Heavy Losses to Gardeners."