The Massive Michigan Blizzard Of January 1978 Will Never Be Forgotten

Were you a resident of the Great Lakes State in 1978? If so, you undoubtedly remember a winter that was more than just a little out-of-the-ordinary. Sure, we Michiganders are used to getting our fair share of snow and ice, but the destructive storm that swept across the region in 1978 was like nothing we had ever seen before — and the memories remain fresh to this day. Of course, it’s not easy to forget the largest blizzard in Michigan history…

Did you live through Michigan’s massive blizzard in 1978? Do you have any interesting, sad, or frightening memories to share of what many consider to be the largest blizzard in Michigan history? We’d love to hear about your experiences in the comment section below.

Did these memories chill you to the core? These tips will help you survive a Michigan winter.

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Largest Blizzard In Michigan

December 15, 2019

When was the biggest blizzard in Michigan?

Year after year, snowfall batters the Great Lakes region. Fueled by the vast bodies of water that are the Great Lakes, annual precipitation is always astronomical in the surrounding states. Lake effect has accounted for some of the biggest snowstorms in Michigan history, though some storms are more striking than others. The Michigan blizzard of 1967 has gone down in local memory as particularly shocking. On a cold January day, a fairly heavy snowfall began. Over the course of 24 hours, circa 20 inches covered most part of the state. Yikes!

What is the most snow ever recorded in Michigan?

The most snowfall ever recorded understandably came in the winter of 1978 and 1979. A whopping 355 inches battered the state, leaving residents flustered and overwhelmed. Nearly 119 inches fell that December alone – the rest, fortunately, was stretched between the months of October and May. To put that into perspective, most winters receive between 150 to 200 inches of snow in Michigan. Nonetheless, lake effect makes local weather patterns somewhat unpredictable… so this record could truly be beaten at any point in our state’s timeline. There’s certainly a reason locals say, “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes!”


What is winter weather in Michigan typically like?

With a name like The Great Lakes State, you know wintertime can be brutal. As expected, winter weather in Michigan consists of a great deal of lake effect snow. The majority of the state receives, on average, more than 30 inches of annual snowfall. Its weather ranges from cold to extremely cold, depending on the presence of cold or warm fronts and other additional weather factors. The northern part of the state is typically more severe in terms of snowfall and temperature, although the Lower Peninsula can receive just as much snow and chill.

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