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How Monday's snowstorm compares to the 1978 blizzard

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Posted at 8:09 AM, Jan 18, 2022

CLEVELAND — Forty-four years ago... do you remember? I don't but I've heard the stories and I've studied the weather features of The Blizzard of 1978.

What I do remember is yesterday. Over a foot of snow in most spots and a lot of people saying it was the worst they've seen it. We dug cars out of our parking lot for hours before the snowplow arrived because the plows were snowed in. But how does that compare to 1978?

By the numbers: The NWS releases 12-hour snowfall totals; Ashtabula with 25.3 inches

Monday morning's winds were gusting 35mph. Plus, temps in the mid-20s, wind chills in the teens and heavy snow all dropping visibility under a half a mile at times. Jackknifed city buses, cars stuck all over the roads and ODOT begging for Northeast Ohioans to avoid travel if at all possible. Storm total snowfall numbers at Cleveland Hopkins Airport came in at 8.2 inches.

So how does that stack up to 1978? Well, more snow fell yesterday. Only 6 inches fell during the Blizzard of 1978. But that's not all. Hurricane-force winds, in excess of 70mph blew that 6 inches into drifts over 20 feet tall! Visibility was well under 1/4 of a mile and tractor-trailers were buried. Those winds also dropped wind chills to 50 degrees below zero.

For you weather buffs, the lowest pressure in the state of Ohio was also recorded on that day at 28.28. The National Guard was called in to help rescue people that were stuck for days, 51 people died in the storm. The Blizzard of 1978 really was the Storm of the Century.

RELATED: Remembering the deadly 1978 blizzard that pummeled Ohio

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