This Chicago Sun-Times photo was taken on 21 January 1959, and published on 22 January with this caption:
"Even a snowplow needed digging out. Joseph Sorci, custodian of the Jane Stenson School in Skokie, rescues Jeep from drifts. Many commuters were late for work because they had to shovel paths for their autos before they could drive to the railroad stations."
The photographer was Howard Lyon, who was assistant chief photographer when he retired from the Sun-Times in 1982 with 32 years of service; he died in 1994. Some of his other photos are included in the book Real Chicago. Lyon noted on the photo that this school in Skokie, on the north side of Chicago, did not close for the day.
The National Weather Service confirms that on 21 January 1959, "A winter storm produced 8 to 12 inches of snow across the northern third of Illinois. Further south, a 70 mile wide area, from Jerseyville to Danville, received 1/2 to 1 inch of ice accumulation. Thousands of homes were without power for several days. This was described as the worst ice storm in Springfield since 1942, and the worst in Champaign in at least 50 years." Statistics from the Farmer's Almanac show that the temperature in the area was just below freezing on Wednesday, the 21st, with rain and drizzle observed, as well as snow and ice pellets. The next day it turned much colder, which no doubt made recovery from the storm more difficult. School caretaker Joseph Sorci was probably glad he got all the snow cleared on the Wednesday.
The biggest single snowstorm in Chicago recorded by the National Weather Service was 23 inches on 26-27 January, 1967. And according to Graphical Climatology of Chicago, the average annual snowfall in Chicago from 1885-2011 has been about 34 inches. The years 1977 and 1978 were the two years with the most total snowfall on record (80-90 inches). After 1978 the annual accumulation varied widely until 2006, and since then the total has been consistently well above average (50-60 inches).
The photo at left of the 1967 record snowstorm was taken at Foster and Kenmore Avenues (photo source unknown.)
Iqaluit, Nunavut in northern Canada, gets an average annual snowfall of 93 inches, and it is dark and cold in January (average high temperature is -27C or -17F) so any snow that falls, stays around.
Photographer Ron Wassink speculated that this Jeep he spotted in Iqaluit in 2011 was military surplus, and the rear bumperettes suggest that might be the case.
Lawrence Wade took this photo in Priceville, Alabama on 10 January 2011, date of the third largest snowfall on record in the state (8.9 inches). The biggest was 1 January 1964 with 17", and second was 8 January 1988 at 9.6".
Lawrence always takes his Jeep in the local Christmas parade, and there's never snow on the ground for that. The 2011 storm came just 3 weeks after a very rare white Christmas, and the bloggers were busy: see North Alabama Buried in Snow -- Again and Alabama Weather Blog and Snow Picture Awards.
David Bucher is a member of the Mid-Tennessee Vintage Willys Club and took this picture of his wife Donna in their 1953 CJ-3B shortly after buying it in 2008. David said, "We bought the Willys in January in West Carrolton, Ohio which is a suburb of Dayton. When we got the CJ it was driveable but it had many things that needed repair such as brakes, rotten wiring harness, etc. Today was the first time that we have had the Jeep out for any extended driving.
"The previous owner installed a tilt steering column from a Chevy Camaro or Nova, and a Saginaw steering gearbox. My plan was to put an original column and steering gearbox back in the Jeep, however after driving the CJ with this setup I am going to leave it as is. I had read about this modification on The CJ3B Page and it does significantly improve the steering. I would like to find a steering wheel of a diameter closer to the factory steering wheel."
Many of us have experienced the situation, where the first snowfall catches you before you get the top back on the Jeep. John Carroll took advantage of the opportunity to test his electric wiper, and get a nice photo. This is his "Beer Truck," built from Willys, Mahindra, Viasa, and Hotchkiss parts. It was featured on our cover page in 2007; see 3B's in the Sand.
Ladislav Sulc and his CJ-3B in U.S. Army livery including military-style tilt roof, are seen playing in the snow near Prague. Lada did a frame-up rebuild of the former Swiss Army Jeep; see more details in Things Are Not Always What They Seem... on The CJ3B Page.
Lada also has lots more photos on his website at 1954willys.net.
Thanks to the photographers. By the way, we still need information about the mystery Meyer Snowplow Jeep in CJ-3B Snow Jeeps on The CJ3B Page. -- Derek Redmond
Also on The CJ3B Page, see Snow is the Maine Attraction and First Snow of the Year, and Winter in Camprodon.
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