01/18/1999 at 01:00 AM EST
Take note, Chicken Little: The sky was falling. After a deceptively mild December, the Blizzard of '99, the Midwest's most ferocious winter storm in more than 30 years, hit Chicago with 22 inches of blinding snow, turned airports into parking lots and made a human icicle of Rick Lanning (right) of Clinton, Iowa. Elsewhere, a Japanese adventurer walked to the South Pole, but if it was cold he was after, he could have tried Kungerville, Ill., where the temperature hit 36° below. No penguins, though.