Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Is It Too Cold for the Koehler Polar?

Erie Daily Times articles from Jan. 26th (guess the year).
Is it too cold for the Koehler Polar? If you're old enough to remember the Koehler Polars, there's a pretty good chance you remember this storm. 

No, it's not the Polar Vortex. Not by a long shot. But, it could have been ripped from the headlines and published in the January 7, 2014 issue of the Erie Times-News. 

The details of each major winter storm are practically interchangeable. The old: "Police Warn Of Danger As High Winds Rip Area." "Winds Batter Midwest, East, South: 13 Dead." The new: I just Googled the phrase 'winds batter midwest' and got 2,360 results, including a Sky News headline "US Weather: 13 Dead As Snow Batters Eastern US" published on Jan. 3, 2014.

Thankfully, the wind did not reach the intensity of the storm in the seventies.

Let's see if you can guess the year of the 'Worst storm ever.' Here are a couple of hints: 

The Char House restaurant at 12th and Peach was without power.
Picture windows at Goofy's (at 12th and Raspberry) were blown out.
The Erie International Airport was closed.
The whole Allegheny Airline system was shut down.
General Telephone said telephone lines were downed by high winds and tree branches.
Technical-Memorial closed at 2 p.m.

Are you getting warm yet?

My favorite event from the January 26th storm was the request by General Telephone. "The telephone company also urged customers to use their phone only when necessary, and to also keep their children from using the telephone unless it's necessary." Good luck with that.

Enjoy more historical weather facts about Erie, PA at Old Time Erie


  1. 1979. I think they've been marking their 125th anniversary and the page is part of Vol. XC so my subtraction savvy says 1979.

  2. Hi Joe. You're getting warmer….almost there!

  3. Well, I remember the brutal winter of 77-78 vividly. I remember empty grocery store shelves, a friend who used cross country skis to get to work because there was no bus service and snow piled so high it almost touched utility lines. So, since this is a January headline, my guess is 1978.

    1. If someone can find pictures of those snow piles, I want to see them!

  4. It was January 1977! I was in high school , my Senior yr and remember having to make up 2 weeks which pushed our Graduation in to mid June!

  5. Hmmm….are you sure that's the reason you missed school?

  6. I was born and raised in Erie and I am 62 years old. I remember when my 3rd child was born so it had to be between 1977 and 1979 on January 23 or 26 as I remember, the temperature was 43 degrees that day and my 2nd child was watching tv and then were closing schools. I stopped working and watched the news report. That day the temp dropped to 3 Degrees in 2 hours. Winds were 150 MPH. They said a child's flesh would freeze in 60 seconds. The temps were below 20 degrees for 6 weeks. When it hit 20 degrees again we were walking around with our jackets unzipped it seemed so nice.

    Do you have a way of determining which year that was and if I have my facts mixed up?