The Children's Blizzard - David Laskin When I lived in Nebraska, we always heard about the brave young teacher who saved her students by tying them together as they walked to safety. We also heard about the people who froze to death while trying to find their way from their barn to the house, just 50 yards away.

White-out conditions can mean not being able to see your hand in front of your face. This storm hit on a balmy day with such suddenness and fury that people who were outside couldn't find their way in. People who were already inside froze to death after burning all their wood, furniture, and anything else that would burn.

The storm was horrific.

[a:David Laskin|92055|David Laskin|]has written a book which captures the terror and fury of the storm, but also gives us the information necessary to understand what happened and how it happened. He skillfully blends the stories of students, teachers, farmers, and mothers at home with (or without) their children, with clear explanations of the atmospheric causes of the storm. He also interweaves the story of the weather forecasters. I use the term 'forecasters' cautiously. At that time, they didn't forecast so much as report what they called 'indications'. They were essentially taking reports from a variety of stations, mapping the data, comparing it to what had happened over the past six hours, and then making an estimate of the weather trends.

The freak atmospheric conditions that created the blizzard could not have been anticipated with the state of understanding of weather during that period. And given the technology of the time, warnings could not have gone out to the general public in time to do anything. It was a complete tragedy.

I highly recommend this book. It's a chilling account (no pun intended) of a freak storm and the lives it ruined.