With all this talk of how terribly cold this winter has been, how does it compare with winters within the last 150 years? In 1911, the Niagra Falls froze solidly enough that people were walking on the ice to the edge. In 1899, the Mississippi had ice on it all the way to New Orleans. It was discharging ice floes into the Gulf. Thus far, what we have had this year is a cold snap, and a winter precipitation event.