1960: The Upside Down Winter

In March 1960, Daviess County had an unusually large snow. An excerpt from the March 17, 1960, Gallatin Democrat stated that “winter-weary Daviess County is digging out from under the worst snowstorms of the season which hit the area Tuesday, dumping an additional 10 inches of snow accompanied by high winds which closed most roads and brought activity to a standstill.”

In March 1960, Daviess County had an unusually large snow. An excerpt from the March 17, 1960, Gallatin Democrat stated that “winter-weary Daviess County is digging out from under the worst snowstorms of the season which hit the area Tuesday, dumping an additional 10 inches of snow accompanied by high winds which closed most roads and brought activity to a standstill.”

Weather records were broken everywhere. Snowfall unofficially increased the snow count to 44 inches for the winter. When this last snow had ended, there was still over two feet of snow on the ground. Some drifts were four and five feet high.

This last snow storm lasted almost nine hours. A large portion of it was heavy. The highway department trucks, which had been battling to keep the roads open for several weeks, had to shut down because the blowing snow prevented them from seeing what they were doing. Traffic was held up several hours, delivery trucks couldn’t get through, mail was delayed, schools were closed, farmers had difficultly getting to pasture to feed their livestock. Even birds and wildlife were handicapped as to moving around and finding food. Country roads were covered with great drifts.

The large snow surface caused other effects by having a tendency to keep the air cold and stormy which caused more snow. Climatologists called it an “upside down” winter as it was colder than normal in the south and warmer than normal in the north.

Temperatures during the storm didn’t drop below 27 degrees. With only four days until spring, the area had only two or three days above freezing since Feb. 21. During this period of time the mercury had dropped three times below zero: March 4 it was nine below; March 5 it was 18 below; March 6 it was nine below.

According to the weatherman, the crazy March weather of 1960 started in February when a westerly river of air in the upper atmosphere moved suddenly south of its normal course across the country which produced the first March snows that covered most of the nation.

— researched by Wilbur Bush, Gallatin