#TBT: The “Great Colorado Blizzard” of 1982

Here’s some visual nostalgia to give you some perspective while you’re inside warming up.

Two people ski down a Denver, Colorado street in the snowstorm of 1982. Shows cross country skis and poles. (Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/X-29021)archive; archival; historic; denver public library; dpl; western history collection; blizzard; snowstorm; weather; cowx; denverite; denver; colorado;
Two people ski down a Denver, Colorado street in the snowstorm of 1982. Shows cross country skis and poles. (Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/X-29021) archive; archival; historic; denver public library; dpl; western history collection; blizzard; snowstorm; weather; cowx; denverite; denver; colorado;
Two people ski down a Denver, Colorado street in the snowstorm of 1982. Shows cross country skis and poles. (Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/X-29021)

Yeah, yeah, you had an unseasonably long summer and now the cold weather is making you whine a little bit. Just be grateful you’re not facing the 25-inch snowfall of Denver’s Christmas Eve blizzard in 1982, which still holds the record for maximum 24-hour snowfall. Here’s some visual nostalgia to give you some perspective while you’re inside warming up:

View of automobiles, houses and yards, buried in snow drifts, after the 1982 snowstorm, 2377 Elm Street in the South Park Hill neighborhood of Denver Colorado. (Allison St. Claire/Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/X-29025) archive; archival; historic; denver public library; dpl; western history collection; blizzard; snowstorm; weather; cowx; denverite; denver; colorado;
View of automobiles, houses and yards, buried in snow drifts, after the 1982 snowstorm, 2377 Elm Street in the South Park Hill neighborhood of Denver Colorado. (Allison St. Claire/Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/X-29025)
One man carries a shovel while two others shovel snow on a residential street after the snowstorm of 1982 in Denver, Colorado. (Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/X-29020) archive; archival; historic; denver public library; dpl; western history collection; blizzard; snowstorm; weather; cowx; denverite; denver; colorado;
One man carries a shovel while two others shovel snow on a residential street after the snowstorm of 1982 in Denver, Colorado. (Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/X-29020)

According to ThorntonWeather.com:

“Stapleton International Airport was forced closed at 9:30am on the 24th and remained closed for 33 hours and only limited operations were possible for days following the storm.  Thousands of travelers were left stranded in the airport and forced to spend their white Christmas on the concourses of the facility.”

A man carries logs, others shovel snow near 2377 Elm Street in the South Park Hill neighborhood of Denver, Colorado after the 1982 snowstorm. (Allison St. Claire/Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/X-29024) archive; archival; historic; denver public library; dpl; western history collection; blizzard; snowstorm; weather; cowx; denverite; denver; colorado;
A man carries logs, others shovel snow near 2377 Elm Street in the South Park Hill neighborhood of Denver, Colorado after the 1982 snowstorm. (Allison St. Claire/Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/X-29024)

And then of course there’s Donna Wyatt’s video documentation of the event, which includes some lovely imagery of life in the early ’80s, as well as a news report and some odd video art:

Stay warm out there Denver — we’ve merely just begun.

Kevin Beaty

Author: Kevin Beaty

Kevin Beaty is a media producer with experience in a variety of settings spanning Hollywood film sets to international backpack journalism expeditions. He is on a never-ending quest to meld artful imagery, functional design and intimate storytelling. His biggest struggle in any given moment is whether to shoot stills or video. Find him on Twitter and Instagram at @kevinjbeaty.