The ground blizzard on Wednesday, Feb. 12, was not short on substance.

Shortly before 4 a.m., the wind went from west at 8 mph to north at 36 mph, gusting to 43 mph. The peak gust was 53 mph. The temperature fell 40 degrees in seven hours and the wind chill dropped 60 degrees in that same time. At 3 a.m., it was 29 degrees with a wind chill of 19. Seven hours later, at 10 a.m., it was 11 degrees below zero with a wind chill of minus 41.

The sudden increase in wind loosened much of the existing snowpack, causing it to become airborne, lowering visibility to near zero for several hours and to less than a quarter mile through mid-afternoon. This was a true ground blizzard, with hardly any new snowfall. A pre-dawn snow shower produced 0.2 inches of snow; the rest was just windblown old snow.