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The Blizzard of 1978: Remembering the deadly blizzard that pummeled Ohio 44 years ago

Posted at 11:02 AM, Jan 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-25 11:04:20-05

CLEVELAND — Tuesday marks the 44th anniversary of the start of a massive and deadly blizzard that pummeled Northeast Ohio, resulting in the deaths of dozens of people. It's a storm long remembered by those who lived through it.

From Jan. 25-27, 1978, the entire Midwest was hit by the ferocious storm. By the time it was over, 51 people in Ohio were dead, according to records from the National Weather Service.

On the evening of Jan. 25, rain and fog were widespread. While relatively quiet, an ominous combination of weather was headed for Ohio, according to weather maps of that time. By the next morning, blizzard conditions arrived across Ohio, as temperatures fell 30 degrees in two hours and winds increased to over 50 mph.

Remembering the deadly 1978 blizzard that pummeled Ohio

Snow drifts were so large, they blanketed cars and houses. The weather was so bad that for the first time ever, authorities had to shut down the Ohio Turnpike.

The snow wrought such devastation that the Ohio National Guard was deployed to help rescue people trapped in the snow.

Snow drifts buried cars and made roads impassable. In some parts of Northern Oho, snowdrifts were tall enough to bury tractor-trailers.

Transportation, business, industry and schools were closed statewide for two days, with the normal pace of society not returning to the state for five days, according to the National Weather Service.

During this storm, atmospheric pressure measured at 28.28 inches in Cleveland, which was the lowest pressure ever recorded in Ohio.

Power of 5 meteorologist Trent Magill compared how are our recent snowstorm compared to that of 1978.

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