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January 25-27, 1978
The Blizzard of 1978 -- CMH

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JANUARY 25TH - 27TH OF 1998 MARKS THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BLIZZARD
OF 1978.

ON JANUARY 25TH - 27TH OF 1978...A LARGE STORM SYSTEM RACED ACROSS THE
OHIO  VALLEY REGION  AND TRACKED ACROSS  CENTRAL OHIO.   THIS DEEP LOW
PRESSURE  SYSTEM PRODUCED  PRESSURE READINGS  AROUND  28.50 INCHES  OF
MERCURY ACROSS  MUCH OF  THE REGION...COLUMBUS  RECORDED A RECORD  LOW
PRESSURE  OF 28.47  INCHES  OF  MERCURY ON  JANUARY  26TH.   CLEVELAND
AIRPORT HAD A  READING OF 28.28 INCHES.  NO READING THIS LOW  HAD EVER
BEEN  REACHED ON THE UNITED STATES MAINLAND BEFORE THIS TIME EXCEPT IN
HURRICANES.

ACROSS WESTERN AND  SOUTHWESTERN SECTIONS OF OHIO...THIS  STORM SYSTEM
WAS A  MAJOR PRODUCER OF  SNOW WITH DAYTON RECEIVING  ALMOST 13 INCHES
AND CINCINNATI NEARLY 7 INCHES DURING THIS TIME PERIOD.  WHILE  ACROSS
CENTRAL OHIO...THE  PRECIPITATION FROM  THIS STORM  BEGAN AS RAIN  AND
CHANGED OVER  TO SNOW...WHICH RESULTED  IN LESSER AMOUNTS  ACROSS THIS
REGION.  WIND  GUSTS ASSOCIATED WITH THE  BLIZZARD WERE AS HIGH  AS 69
MPH AT THE  PORT COLUMBUS AIRPORT.   THE RESULT OF THESE  STRONG WINDS
WAS THE SIGNIFICANT  BLOWING AND DRIFTING  OF SNOW ACROSS MUCH  OF THE
REGION.

FOR COLUMBUS  IN PARTICULAR...THIS  STORM WILL GO  DOWN IN  THE RECORD
BOOKS FOR PRODUCING  THE LOWEST PRESSURE EVER RECORDED  WITH A READING
OF 28.47 INCHES  OF MERCURY ON  JANUARY 26TH 1978.   THE HIGHEST  PEAK
WIND FOR THE MONTH OF JANUARY WAS ALSO RECORDED DURING THIS STORM WITH
A WIND MEASUREMENT OF 69 MPH ON JANUARY 26TH 1978.

THE  MONTH OF  JANUARY  OF 1978  WAS A  COLD AND  SNOWY MONTH  FOR THE
COLUMBUS AREA.  THE MONTHLY  SNOWFALL TOTAL WAS 34.4 INCHES...WHICH IS
THE HIGHEST  AMOUNT OF SNOWFALL FOR ANY  MONTH.  THE SEASONAL SNOWFALL
TOTAL  WAS 54.1 INCHES... WHICH  IS THE SECOND  HIGHEST SNOWFALL FOR A
SEASON.  JANUARY  1978 WAS THE FIFTH  COLDEST MONTH ON RECORD  WITH AN
AVERAGE TEMPERATURES OF 19 DEGREES  AND THE WINTER SEASON OF 1977-1978
WAS  THE  SECOND COLDEST  WINTER  SEASON  ON  RECORD WITH  AN  AVERAGE
TEMPERATURE  OF 21.7 DEGREES  FOR THE MONTH  OF DECEMBER...JANUARY AND
FEBRUARY.  THE MAXIMUM  SNOW DEPTH EVER  RECORDED WAS JUST BEFORE  THE
BLIZZARD WITH 17 INCHES ON JANUARY 20TH - 23RD OF 1978.  THE LAST SNOW
FROM THIS BLIZZARD MELTED AWAY ON MAY 5TH IN NORTHWEST OHIO.

                               SNOWFALL
                             -------------

TOP FIVE SNOWFALL AMOUNTS FOR A MONTH
-------------------------------------
      AMOUNT                  DATE
     --------                ------
       34.4 INCHES           JANUARY 1978
       29.2 INCHES           FEBRUARY 1910
       25.4 INCHES           JANUARY 1918
       25.2 INCHES           MARCH 1906
       24.5 INCHES           JANUARY 1996

TOP FIVE SNOWFALL AMOUNTS FOR THE MONTH OF JANUARY
--------------------------------------------------
      AMOUNT                  DATE
     --------                ------
       34.4 INCHES           1978
       25.4 INCHES           1918
       24.5 INCHES           1996
       24.3 INCHES           1910
       21.9 INCHES           1985

TOP FIVE SNOWFALL AMOUNTS FOR A SEASON
--------------------------------------
      AMOUNT                  DATE
     --------                ------
       67.8 INCHES           1909-1910
       54.1 INCHES           1977-1978
       53.9 INCHES           1995-1996
       46.6 INCHES           1966-1967
       44.3 INCHES           1969-1970

                         TEMPERATURES
                       ----------------

TOP FIVE COLDEST JANUARYS
-------------------------
      TEMPERATURE             YEAR
     -------------           ------
       11.4 DEGREES          1977
       15.6 DEGREES          1940
       15.8 DEGREES          1918
       18.8 DEGREES          1893
       19.0 DEGREES          1978

TOP FIVE COLDEST WINTER SEASONS (DEC-JAN-FEB)
---------------------------------------------
      TEMPERATURE             YEAR
     -------------           ------
       20.9 DEGREES          1976-1977
       21.7 DEGREES          1977-1978
       22.8 DEGREES          1917-1918
       23.0 DEGREES          1962-1963
       24.1 DEGREES          1903-1904

WHAT IS A BLIZZARD?  A BLIZZARD IS DEFINED AS THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS
LASTING FOR 3 HOURS OR LONGER. (1) WIND  SPEEDS OF 35 MILES AN HOUR OR
MORE, (2)  CONSIDERABLE FALLING  AND/OR BLOWING  SNOW (THE  VISIBILITY
MUST FREQUENTLY BE  BELOW 1/4 MILE) AND (3)  GENERALLY TEMPERATURES OF
20 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT OR LOWER.  A SEVERE BLIZZARD HAS (1) WIND SPEEDS
OF 45  MILES PER HOUR OR MORE,  (2) A GREAT DENSITY  OF FALLING AND/OR
BLOWING SNOW (VISIBILITY FREQUENTLY NEAR ZERO) AND (3) TEMPERATURES OF
10 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT OR LOWER.  THE 1978 STORM WAS A SEVERE BLIZZARD.

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