It's the daddy of "historic" snowstorms in Buffalo.
The Blizzard of '77.
Today, the city marks the 39th anniversary of the morning it first blew into Western New York, and with it feet of snow off of Lake Erie - the likes of which remain unequaled.
Anyone in their 40s or older has at least faint recollections of the final days of January 1977. For many, it involved hunkering down inside the house for nearly a week while the blizzard raged outside burying cars and even houses in massive drifts of snow. Others harbor much darker stories of being trapped inside cars, being stuck without heat, electricity or food.
There are plenty of recent big snowstorms this millennium alone from which to draw comparisons -- November 2000, Christmas Week 2001, the October Surprise Storm of 2006, December 2010, the first Blizzard of 2014, the second Blizzard of 2014 and the double lake-effect snowstorm of November 2014.
You get the picture.
Each one conjures its own "special" memories.
But where does the Blizzard of '77 stack up again those?
On top - Slam dunk.
During the first blizzard from Jan. 6-8, 2014, The Buffalo News' Gene Warner offered a front-page comparison between that blizzard and its 1977 counterpart. Read all about it: http://www.buffalonews.com/city-region/winter/as-bad-as-the-blizzard-of-77-no-way-20140107
And, in case you forgot, or are too young to remember, here are a few choice images from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' post-storm report for "Operation Snow Go" (their name for the Blizzard of '77).
Besides the photos, stories and the memories, the statistics about the blizzard, as reported by the National Weather Service in Buffalo, help tell its tale too:
Storm's official arrival time: 11:35 a.m., Jan. 28, 1977
Visibility: dropped from 3/4-mile to zero
Average wind speed: 46 mph
Peak wind gust at the Buffalo Airport: 69 mph
Peak wind gust at the Niagara Falls Airport: 75 mph (hurricane strength)
Lowest temperature: -7 degrees, Jan. 29, 1977
Wind chills: -50 to -60 degrees
Total snowfall: 12 inches
Storm ended: Feb. 1, 1977
More stats and stories are available at http://www.erh.noaa.gov/buf/blizzard/blizindex.html
All of Western New York was declared a "federal disaster area" by President Jimmy Carter as the result of the blizzard - "the first time ever for a snowstorm in the United States," the National Weather Service reported.
Here's a copy of a letter penned by President Carter to "the people of Buffalo" in the days following the blizzard: