A Brief History
On January 28, 1887, Fort Keogh, Montana was the scene of what was probably the most bizarre snow storm in recorded history. Established as an Army outpost in the wake of the Little Big Horn massacre of Lt. Col. Custer’s 7th Cavalry, the fort was named after Capt. Keogh who had died in that action.
On this remarkable snowy day in 1887, astonished soldiers witnessed the falling of perhaps the largest snowflake ever, measuring a massive 15 inches wide by 8 inches thick! If you think that is impossible, then you can go argue with The Guiness Book of World Records, USA Today and, of course, Wikipedia.
Normally, any snowflake over an inch across looks pretty big, but sometimes flakes of 3 inches in diameter or more are reported. Giant flakes are formed when a heavy, wet snow is falling with little wind. Under those conditions, flakes that have a slight surface sheen of water easily stick together and form larger flakes, sometimes baseball sized.
Personally, if I ever saw a 15 x 8 inch snowflake, I would pack up and move to Florida immediately!
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For more information, please see…
Whittell, Giles. Snow: A Scientific and Cultural Exploration. Atria Books, 2019.