1863, 1867, 1870, 1918, 2004……….all historic storms that produced tremendous snowfall over the Tri-State. Now, 1864, 1978 all had blizzards, but they did not produce the extremely heavy snowfall from one storm. Both saw deep snow depth, extreme cold & heavy amounts, but not the +19″ totals like the storms mentioned.
The January 14-15, 1863 was impressive along the Ohio River. Owensboro reported 13″ from this storm…………..atop the already 12″ on the ground, giving the city a record snow depth +26″. 18″ was reported over parts of Daviess (KY) & Henderson counties, while local press reported that totals of 12-24″ fell along the Ohio River from Mt. Vernon, Indiana to Tell City.
12″ was reported at Jasper, while 12″ fell at Greensburg, Indiana, 18″ at Madison, Indiana & 10″ at Lexington, Kentucky.
Official measurement northwest of Evansville measured 7″ of snowfall, while 10″ was measured downtown, according to local press. 6″ fell in Terre Haute, 3″ in Springfield, Illinois & Indianapolis.
18″ fell at Louisville, Kentucky, 12″ fell at Springfield, Ohio, 16″ Dayton, Ohio, 16-18″ Columbus, Ohio area, 12″ northeast of Mansfield, Ohio (Crestline) 10″ Cleveland. Cincinnati reported a record-breaking (record still stands) of 23.4″ (20″ of it fell in 24 hours). This fell atop already 4″ on the ground, giving a snow depth of 30″. It was reported that this was the first time the snow depth at Cincinnati reached 24″ since 1843. The last time it reached 30″ was reportedly 1813. It has been incorrectly reported that 30″ fell from the storm at Cincinnati, but this was the snow depth after the storm. A train reportedly became stuck in the snow & had to be manually dug out & fence posts were completely buried in the snow depths. Several roofs of homes & businesses reportedly collapsed from the weight of the heavy, wet snow. 24.2″ was reported at Wilmington, Ohio from the storm alone.
Elsewhere, outside of the region, 12″ fell at Alexandria, Virginia, though NO SNOW fell at Jefferson City, Missouri.
New Harmony data shows that it was not overly-cold during the storm. Temperature was 31 at the storm onset & dropped to 27 at the snowfall height. Temp bottomed out at 13 after the storm, but was 37 at 2 p.m. on January 18. Rain fell on January 20.
Interestingly, Owensboro & Evansville press reported that the snow was largely gone by January 21 with temperatures surging into the 50s & a significant rise in the Ohio River.
I was not able to find any daguerreotype or sketch/painting of the storm, but I did find a drawing of the great December 31, 1863-January 1, 1864 storm from the Midwest:
This storm bears resemblance to the March 19-20, 1996 snowstorm, though the track is just a bit more to the east & southeast.