delara news Delaware Amateur Radio Association, Delaware OH   VOL 37 NUMBER 2


Will Hoffine,  N8HDM

Not Fit For Man Nor Beast The “Great Blizzard of 1978” will long be remembered as one of the worst weather related disasters in Ohio's history. It was caused by the merger of two low pressure systems, one from Texas and one from the Northern Plains. The storm produced some of the lowest barometric readings in the continental U.S. not associated with hurricanes. On Jan, 26th, new low pressure records were set at Cincinnati : 28.81 inches, Dayton : 28.68 inches, Columbus : 28.68 and Cleveland with 28.28 inches, which remains the lowest pressure ever recorded in Ohio. The three day blizzard began with fog and thundershowers on the 25th. During the night, rain gave way to snow as the temperature dropped while lightning and thunder continued for a short time. Temperatures dropped into the single digits with wind gusts of 50 to 70 mph through out much of the region producing wind chill factors of minus 50 degrees or below. The highest wind gust was recorded by stranded ore carrier off of Sandusky of 111 mph. Snowfall totals in Columbus were 4.7 inches to nearly 13 in Dayton and other areas. All forms of transportation were nearly halted, National Guardsmen were called out in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. Some areas reported snowdrifts as high as 25 feet. Over 70 deaths were attributed to the storm. Ohio reported agricultural losses of at least $73 million. Wildlife also suffered, taking years to recover. Ohio Statewide Blizzard of 1977 occurred on Friday January 28th when temperatures fell from 20 degrees to 10 degrees below zero accompanied by winds sustained at 35 – 45 mph with gusts to 60 mph. New snow accompanied by snow already on the ground created drifts that shut down highways across the area and nearly isolated some counties. 20 deaths were attributed to this blizzard. By Sunday, conditions improved and most roads were open by Monday. The Great Thanksgiving Snowstorm of 1950 began on Friday November 24th as temperatures dropped to near zero with winds reaching over 40 mph. On Saturday, the Ohio State – Michigan game was played in Columbus and became known as “The Blizzard Bowl” . Michigan won the contest 9-3 without making a first down and only 27 total yards for the game. Eastern Ohio received the most snow with Steubenville recording 33 inches by Monday. The Statewide Blizzard of 1918 began on January 12th as a system moving up from Texas clashed with another moving down from Canada. As it moved across Ohio, temperatures dropped from 30 degrees to 15 below in eight hours. Ten to Fifteen inches of snow fell while being driven by winds of 30 – 50 mph with gusts to 60 mph. Drifts as high as 15 feet covered roads, trains and some houses. People compared this blizzard to the New Year’s Day Blizzard of 1864. The Statewide Snowstorm of 1910 began on February 16th and continued for the next two days. Most of Ohio received 10 – 20 inches of snow while being lashed with winds of 40 mph, creating drifts of 10 feet or more. Single-storm snowfall totals set records for Cincinnati and Columbus with 11 and 15.3 inches respectively, which stood until the 1970's. Ref:
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