1909: A very severe blizzard struck the majority of Iowa from January 28-30, 1909. The storm began with light rain during the day on the 28th then changed to heavy rain that evening and to snow overnight. Very strong northwest winds whipped the snow into large drifts, reduced visibility to near zero, damaged homes and businesses, broke windows, and blew down thousands of windmills, utility poles, and outbuildings. Temperatures plummeted as the northwest winds kicked up with readings at Audubon plummeting from 40°F to -8°F in less than 24 hours. The highest winds occurred during the early morning hours on the 29th with gusts of 60 to 75 mph across portions of western Iowa including a peak of 72 mph at Sioux City. Thousands of livestock died from exposure as many would not face the storm to seek shelter. Many observers across about the northwestern two thirds of Iowa noted that this was the worst storm in several decades.