It’s Been 44 Years Since ‘The Great Blizzard of ’78’ Blanketed Kentucky and Indiana
If you were an elementary, middle, or high school student in 1978, you should tell your kids or grandkids how snow days were handled back then.
First, you have to make them understand that we didn't always have the Internet. And once the look of intense consternation has faded from their eyes, you can elaborate about how there was no remote learning or logging onto websites to get lessons (THAT even seems like an old term). And of course, the big one...informing them that we would all have to get up very early in the morning to find out if schools were closed for snow. Seriously, how many times did we obey standard bedtimes on winter nights when there were six or more inches of snow on the ground because school systems simply were not going to announce school closures the night before?
THE GREAT BLIZZARD OF '78
I'm reminded of school closing procedures of old because this is the week that saw the tri-state all but shut down 44 years ago when 'The Great Blizzard of '78' dumped a ton of snow on Kentucky and Indiana. And by "ton," we're talking double-digit inches. It was a crippling weather system that did far more damage in Ohio than it did here. The National Weather Service has saved some old maps from the period of January 24th through January 27th. It also mentions that the "massive and powerful storm system produced some of the lowest pressure readings ever recorded in the United States mainland that were not associated with hurricanes."
MOUNTAINS OF SNOW
It is mind-boggling to consider low pressure like that in the winter. And to think that it truly WAS a blizzard, at least in Ohio. I'm not sure if the tri-state recorded wind speeds in excess of 35 miles per hour, which is the minimum speed required by the NWS to issue such a warning. Here's some of what folks were dealing with that January.
I just remember there was a lot of DEEP snow on the ground for a very long time. Yes, the temperatures kept it all from melting too quickly. We were out of school for quite a while.
While this January has seen a few systems move through that included snow, we've not had to deal with anything REMOTELY like that. I call that one of many reasons to be thankful.