The Massive Ohio Blizzard Of January 1978 Will Never Be Forgotten

Do you remember the Great Blizzard of 1978? Maybe you have fond memories of the frequent school closings. Maybe you recall having to shovel yourself out of your house. This particular snow storm was dire for many parts of the country, and is commonly referred to as the largest blizzard in Ohio history. Thousands of people were stranded, power outages were widespread, snow drifts covered cars—even the National Guard was called in.

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For more information about this severe snow storm, watch the video below:


Do you remember the blizzard of 1978, what many consider to be the largest blizzard in Ohio? If so, share your memories with us!

And if you’d like to remember another extreme winter in the Buckeye State, check out our previous article on the frigid temperatures of 1994.

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The OIYS Visitor Center

Largest Blizzard In Ohio

November 24, 2019

When was the biggest blizzard in Ohio?

The Blizzard of 1978 was one of the biggest snowstorms in Ohio history, but it was one of many to go down in history. One to three feet fell in this blizzard, record snowfall across forty-eight-hours. Thousands of homes were left without electricity, and 54 people died in Ohio. What was so shocking about this blizzard was its wind gusts of more than 100 miles per hour. Hurricane-force winds also battered the region during the “White Hurricane” of 1913.

What is the most snow ever recorded in Ohio?

While the Ohio blizzard of 1978 was striking, its snowfall was… well, unremarkable compared to other years. April of 1901 treated Northern Ohioans to two and a half feet of snow in just one day. The most snow dropped by a single storm happened in 1996 during the memorable Veteran’s Day storm (which brought nearly 70 inches to the region). The worst year to live in Greater Cleveland was, without a doubt, the winter of 1959 to 1960. In this one season, thirteen and a half feet were recorded in Chardon, Ohio.

What is winter weather in Ohio typically like?

Ohio winters vary depending on a number of conditions and where in the state you are. Just south of Lake Erie’s southern shore, communities are pounded by the annual impact of lake effect snowfall. In the southernmost portions of our vast state, winter weather is much milder. Cleveland receives an average of around 68 inches each year, whereas Cincinnati receives around 11 inches. Winter weather in Ohio is diverse, impacting communities in very different ways. Portsmouth in Scioto County enjoys around 4 days with snowfall, whereas Akron in Summit County experiences snowfall for an average of 46 days each winter. What is consistently true, however, is the beauty of snow on the Ohio landscape.

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