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40th Anniversary of Blizzard of 1978


snowlover2
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Yeah, even in the less hard hit places it was very memorable! Like the one I was in near KFNT. Can only imagine via stories how awesome it must've been in the harder hit regions. One of which was South Bend where I lived 20 yrs ago when that anniversary was all over the local news. Ofc, then a year later came along the blizzard of '99 dropping 21-27" on most of Michiana. That was nice too

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I like looking at the Cleveland obs from the 26th.  This is some pretty crazy stuff. I believe they gusted to like 82 mph or 84 mph intrahour.

https://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KCLE/1978/1/26/DailyHistory.html?req_city=Cleveland-Hopkins+International&req_state=OH&req_statename=Ohio&reqdb.zip=44126&reqdb.magic=4&reqdb.wmo=99999

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21 minutes ago, Hoosier said:

I like looking at the Cleveland obs from the 26th.  This is some pretty crazy stuff. I believe they gusted to like 82 mph or 84 mph intrahour.

https://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KCLE/1978/1/26/DailyHistory.html?req_city=Cleveland-Hopkins+International&req_state=OH&req_statename=Ohio&reqdb.zip=44126&reqdb.magic=4&reqdb.wmo=99999

I’ve never seen an hourly obs breakdown of this storm before. Purely spectacular and amazing. 

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5 minutes ago, osubrett2 said:

I’ve never seen an hourly obs breakdown of this storm before. Purely spectacular and amazing. 

It really is.  Conditions sure changed fast after the wind shift.

I don't think I will ever see temps in the single digits with wind gusts over 70 mph in my entire life.

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35 minutes ago, Hoosier said:

I like looking at the Cleveland obs from the 26th.  This is some pretty crazy stuff. I believe they gusted to like 82 mph or 84 mph intrahour.

https://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KCLE/1978/1/26/DailyHistory.html?req_city=Cleveland-Hopkins+International&req_state=OH&req_statename=Ohio&reqdb.zip=44126&reqdb.magic=4&reqdb.wmo=99999

Iirc, that 82 gust was per a ship anchored off-shore in Lk Erie. WC dropped 57 degs in 3 hrs from 4 am to 7 am, and ambient was coldest during mid-day. Now that was some wild weather!

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2 minutes ago, RogueWaves said:

Iirc, that 82 gust was per a ship anchored off-shore in Lk Erie. WC dropped 57 degs in 3 hrs from 4 am to 7 am, and ambient was coldest during mid-day. Now that was some wild weather!

I thought it was CLE that gusted over 80 mph.  That ship gusted over 100 mph IIRC.

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I remember this storm very well: was a junior in high school in Carmel, Indiana. We had a ranch style house and the snowdrifts were up to the soffets.  Good times digging out the front walk-took me an entire afternoon to clear about six feet of sidewalk. It was my first thunder snow too; I wrapped up in a blanket and looked out a window for most of the night of the storm. 

Winds were absolutely howling too, gusts were about 70 miles per hour,  probably more.

 

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9 minutes ago, nokywx said:

Born 2 years after this storm, but growing up in South Bend this is THE historic weather event, along with the Palm Sunday Tornadoes.  The stories I heard growing up we're unbelievale...an amazing storm in what was a truly epic winter for the area.

Cincy had 58" of snow that winter; an all time high..

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I remember attending a three day house party with 30 people because of no heat or electricity at home. Lots of snow, riding my first Ski doo and walking on a roof of a house because the drifts were just that high. Hope to witness another system like this with my son, great memories.

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Was a sports anchor at WTHI in Terre Haute...but secretly wished I was the weather guy. I remember the day before the storm hit there was a winter storm watch. Then the next morning...if I remember correctly....the forecasters back peddled...and it looked like not much was going to happen. My desk in the news room was right next to the AP and UPI teletype machines....pre-historic I know. At about three that afternoon....the warning bells on both went crazy. I went over to see what was up...and the zone forecasts were coming out from the National Weather Service for the state. The first zones to come down were always the Northwest zones...and worked there way down to Southern Indiana. I couldn't believe it...the bells were going off because they were issuing a blizzard warning...something I had never seen before. At first I was honked...because I figured we in West Central Indiana were going to miss it...and Northwest Indiana folks were going to be the winners. To my total shock....the entire state was under a blizzard warning. I ripped the forecast off the wire and ran it to the weather lady. I had a history of pulling pranks on her...so when I told her we were now under a blizzard warning....she scoffed and didn't believe me. Finally she went back to the teletype...and saw that I had not faked it and it was legitimate. Looking back...my only regret is that we were on the far western fringes of highest impact. Had amazing winds for a couple of days....but we were in the cold sector for the entire storm....and the snow was very dry and really not that heavy. What struck me the next day that there were drifts of several feet....and then in area right next to it...bare ground. I had to have a station four wheel drive come get me at my apartment for a couple of days to get to work. For areas east of us...from Indy and on east...they were absolutely buried.  I moved to Dayton in 1981 and gave up the on air stuff to sell ad time for WHIO-TV. I had long since noticed the sales guys were the ones that had the nicest cars and played the most golf. Its now been forty years....and still waiting for a repeat of the blizzard of '78. My luck...if it happens next time....Terre Haute will be ground zero...and Dayton will be warm sectored.

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Was 16 at the time and just moved to IN from LA.  Lived on a few acres in the country on the Hamilton Madison county line.  We were living in a 2 bedroom trailer while building our family house.  The trailer was completely covered in a 12 foot snow drift.  My dad and I had to take out a window and dig about a 6 foot tunnel to get to the outside.  (Guess who was the tunnel rat lol.)  Quite the shocker after living in the desert for 10 years!

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26 minutes ago, michsnowfreak said:

This must have been one heck of a storm. Snowfall totals were actually not impressive here, but the storm has certainly withstood the test of time and countless other heavier snow falls. So that wind and temperature drop combined with the blowing and drifting snow must have been a sight.

You wouldn't have liked it because even here there were spots where it was almost bare ground, although it would be next to a 10' drift. lol

Seriously though, it was a combination of heavy snow with hours and hours of blizzard conditions followed by days tundra and digging through unbelievably huge drifts.

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I went to the ILN page from the first post and it does say that Cleveland gusted to 82 mph.

Wind gusts averaged 50 to 70 mph for much of the day on the 26th, reaching 69 mph at Dayton and Columbus and 82 mph in Cleveland. An ore carrier stranded in thick ice on Lake Erie just offshore from Sandusky reported sustained winds of 86 mph with gusts to 111 mph that morning! 

 

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I lived in NW Athens Co in SE Ohio when the blizzard hit it was my senior year in high school and we've already been off for 2 1/2 weeks then after the blizzard we were off to 3 1/2 more!  I didn't graduate until the end of June!  We already had almost 2ft of snow on when it hit, it was so dense you could walk on top of it, didn't get much new snow with the blizzard mostly heavy rain until about 1am then all h3ll broke loose!

Here are some pics from around our house, had to shovel the roof off as our carport was sagging from the weight, had some snow rollers, and big snow piles:

Jan78 Roof Pics.jpg

Jan78 Snow Rollers.jpg

Jan78 Digging Out.jpg

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18 hours ago, on_wx said:

I can never remember if this blizzard or the one before it is everyone talks about. It started here in SWON in the afternoon and as school was ending and everything became a wall of white. 

The "Wall of White" is a phrase I remember being used in the KBUF historical write-up on the '77 bliz. The Arctic front from the Clipper-ish SLP brought 1-2 hrs of Zero vis weather to much of the S Lakes and Michindio Region even in non-LES areas. But, I've also seen eye witness reports from IN and OH mostly that a similar effect was seen as the '78 Arctic front plowed into the warm drizzly stuff. Could've been  either, tho '77 happened in daylight and '78 was more an overnight deal, so that may help sort the two?

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