I was 22 when the great blizzard if 78 moved through the Ohio Valley into the Great Lakes. I was snowed in at my fiance’s parent’s home. My greatest memory of this event was having to scramble, crawl and climb over huge snowdrifts to get to our horse barn a half a mile away twice a day to feed and water the horses belonging to my wife to be and her sister. This was quite a strenuous and dangerous undertaking to say the least. There was a line of trees on the east side of the road which we used to direct our way so we wouldn’t become lost in the blowing snow. Being young we thought of it as more as an adventure rather than something that could have killed us. Having recently come back from northern Maine I was used to heavy snow and cold and how to survive in it for a lengthy period of time. My fiance was a petite girl of about 5 foot 4 and I thought I was going to lose her in a snowdrift.
The Great Blizzard of 1978 was a historic winter storm that struck the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes regions from Wednesday, January 25 through Friday, January 27, 1978. It has been cited as the worst blizzard in US history. The third lowest non-tropical atmospheric pressure ever recorded in the mainland United States occurred as the storm passed over Mount Clemens, Michigan, where the barometer fell to 956.0 Mb (28.23 inHg) on January 26.
Michigan Governor William Milliken declared a state of emergency and called out the Michigan National Guard to aid stranded motorists and road crews. The Michigan State Police pronounced Traverse City, Michigan “unofficially closed” and warned area residents to stay home. WTCM radio staffer Marty Spaulding, who closed the bayfront location station the previous night at 11 pm, was called to reopen it the next day at 6 am as regular staffers could not get there due to impassable roads. Upon arriving after a 45-minute walk in waist-deep snow from his home 10 city blocks away, he had to dig down “a foot” to put the key in the front door.
Below are the snowfall totals from the blizzard:
We were stuck way out in the country for a week before a road grader with a huge V-plow could open up the roads, then, of course, we had to dig out the cars. This was a once in a lifetime event for sure for Michigan. In Maine they have large truck-mounted snow blowers to handle the snow, here we are not prepared for it.
Here is Slims writeup on the 1967 and 1978 snowstorms: https://michigan-weather-center.org/anniversary-of-two-of-michigans-badest-blizzards
Lastest MODELS it’s going to get bitter cold around here February 5th next week and with a warm lk Michigan dig out time coming!! INDY
Just like the polar vortex of January 5!
I see the latest CPC is on board for cold and snow in week 2! I love it! Who wouldn’t love snow this time of year? Incredible!
Bring it! The pattern will be changing in about a week or so! Get prepared now!
Ohhh boy here we go warm weather fanatic Craziness will begin…Great map Rocky!! INDY
Well you told everyone to get prepared 3 months ago in October. Now everyone’s adding Sta-Bil fuel stabilizer to their snow blowers because the gas is getting old from no use.
Keep them maps coming ROCKY great entertainment kind of like eating little peanut butter and jelly sandwiches lol….INDY
Sounds like the second week of feb it could, I say it could get snowy around here, a year ago right now I was preparing for a week of lots of snow and wind… what a
Difference a year makes!!
And with a warm lk Michigan we maybe seeing snow well into April plow away lets hope wild Bill….INDY
Look at these fantastic temps!!!! Love these short winters!!
Finally some 40’s mokiee been says 40’s and the snow gone for the last 3 weeks .. Get the grill out baby ….INDY
Keep the FACTS going Andy !
Continued above freezing temps on the 7-day forecast with 40s returning next week.
Best. January. Ever.
Great news !!
CPC showing 3 months out below normal temperatures rutt roll Winter temps into April Great Scotty ….INDY …
The same CPC that a month or so out gave us a very cold January. How’d that work out?
One day they will get it right.. Lol
They’re good on their one to two week outlooks, but they’ve been garbage all year on their monthly outlooks!
Thats good Andy back to back cool Summers will be great!! Get the Sprites ready…INDY
I’m with you on the cooler summers INDY!! I’ll take that every year!! Sitting on the back deck with a nice fire and cold sprites all summer! Love that!!
Yes!! The heat can go forever! INDY
Nope. Last Summer ended up ABOVE average temp wise. Check your facts.
Lol above average or not it was not a hot Summer but we know berry considers 60’s hot ..INDY
So now even above average counts as cool? Then this Winter must be just one of the coldest ever.
Fabulous day sledding with the temps around frezezzin made it feel even better out there fresh air nothing better on a January day …..Cant wait for snow and colder temps to move in next so can do it again …INDY
We now have more grass showing than dirty slop. Nobody is sledding, nobody is snowmobiling, nobody is snowshoeing. Just tromping through the mud.
As we wind down the last few days of January 2020 here is where Grand Rapids stands. The mean temperature is now at 31.1° if that were to hold this would become the 6th warmest January of record. With no cold in the cards this will be a top 10 warmest January of record (records go back to 1892) The high for the month will be 49 and the low will be +11. For this winter season the coldest it has been so far is just +7 If that holds for the next 2 months the winter of 2019/20 will… Read more »
Nice stats! This Winter really reminds me of one in the mid ‘80s, not sure which year. I just remember being in school and waiting all Winter for sledding snow, but all it did was rain most of the time and we never got much snow.
In the 1980’s the the two winter with little snow were 1982/83 with just 35.9″ (the most snow fell that March) and 1986/87 with 47.6″ of snow fall. This year we are now at 32.5″ but this year is warmer then either of the low snow fall winters of the 1980’s in fact we are on track for one of the warmest winters in recorded history here at Grand Rapids.
A great day to get the sled out and hit Richmond hill down hill sledding at its best in Grand rapids Michigan weeee… Catch me if you can have a sledding of a Monday …INDY
GR is reporting very little snow pack left. And what’s left is certainly not good snow to sled on. So no, not a great day.
NWS GRR: “The bottom line is no significant weather in the 7 day forecast… By next Sunday we have some 40s back for highs and lows in the 30s.”
What could be better than that?
You asked. Highs is the low to mid 70’s would be better.
Article on MLive last night says it’s looking doubtful we will see any arctic air this winter. I love it!
Four +11 degree days in a row and counting! December up to +6.8 degrees on the month. That’s some warmth!
For those of us who lived through and experienced that storm it really makes today’s “storms” of 4 to 6 inches seem like a dusting. Next week will be 9 years since our last blizzard, and even that one wasn’t a full shutdown storm.