Support Us Button Widget

It’s been 30 years since Louisville’s snowstorm of 1994

We’re still digging ourselves out from under the snow.

Two feet of snow cover a street after a blizzard.

Many of Louisville’s streets looked like this one in January 1994 — buried in snow.

Photo courtesy of David L. Williams, Jr.

If LOUtoday had existed on this day 30 years ago, your fingers would have probably been shivering as you clicked through the newsletter.

(Well, maybe they still are shivering, but at least today is warmer than yesterday.)

Overnight, from Jan. 16-17, 1994, Louisville experienced a winter storm for the ages. There were record amounts of snowfall + record low temperatures, a wintry combination that made for a frozen few days across Derby City.

So grab your snow boots + a shovel, we’re digging back through Louisville’s snow storm of 1994.

By the numbers

The precipitation started as freezing rain, but transitioned to snow around midnight. For the next several hours that snow did not stop, falling at ~three inches per hour. Before most of Louisville had brewed their morning coffee — or caught up on their morning news the city was in deep with the powdery white stuff.

The area recorded some new weather records during during the storm:

  • 15.9 inches | A new single-day record for snowfall in Louisville
  • -22°F | A new record-low temperature for Louisville
  • -37°F | A new record-low temperature for Kentucky, recorded in Shelbyville

According to one estimate, the total amount of snow in Louisville would’ve filled Freedom Hall 25,000 times — that’s a lot of snowballs.

Digging ourselves out

Louisville was out in the cold — literally and figuratively — for several days following the storm. Roads were covered and traveling was difficult if you didn’t have four-wheel drive. The Ohio River even froze over as a result of the winter blast.

Some folks were stranded on their way to work, while others commuted on foot — walking right down the middle of roads. Others broke out the skis and went for a ride down the Derby City streets. Never change, LOU.

Bonus: In the aftermath, city officials invested heavily in the Metro Snow Team to better clear roads in the event of another storm. Does this winter have a similar snowstorm in store? We’ve got you covered.

More from LOUtoday
The Bikeway Implementation Plan hopes to make Louisville a “low stress” place for cyclists.
Waterfront Park now spans 85 acres, but it wasn’t always green space and walking trails.
We’ve got details and a map full of drink deals: We’ll be highlighting the vibrant beverage scene across Louisville, KY from July 22 to July 26, 2024.
The 7,000-sqft home is over 130 years old and has seven fire places and historic design elements with modern appliances and conveniences.
Don’t flip over these LOU burger deals
Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggity dog.
If it goes in the air, you need special permission.
The Speed Art Museum’s latest exhibit highlights a pioneering Louisville artist’s 40+ year career.
A new LOU spot for coffee, breakfast, and drinks.