Relive '78: A look at the weather maps

Relive '78: A look at the weather maps

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Relive the Blizzard of '78.  #relive78

One thing many locals talk about is how it was relatively warm before the Blizzard of '78.  Also how it was raining.

The following sequence of weather maps will provide you with an overview of how this great storm came together.

It should be pointed out that Blizzard Warnings were issued by late evening on the 25th, hours before the storm hit Ohio.

Of course the Blizzard of '78 went on to surpass all expectation in both intensity and duration all the way across Ohio.

*Daily weather maps here courtesy of NOAA and National Weather Service.

January 24, 1978

Two low pressure areas can be seen on the weather map. One is drawing moisture in off the Gulf of Mexico, the other is tapping into a severely cold
air mass across central Canada.

The weather in Ohio is relatively warm.

Upper air chart shows a positively tilted trough with a closed area of low pressure located directly over the four corners region of the southwest.

January 25, 1978

The southern low pressure area deepens over Louisiana and Mississippi, continuing to draw gulf moisture northward.  The northern low pressure area strengthens over Minnesota.

Strong northerly winds develop pulling colder air across the Dakotas into the central plains states.

Rain and fog is reported across Ohio this evening as blizzard warnings are issued.

Upper air chart shows a closed low pressure developing over the Dakotas and Minnesota.

Winds increase rapidly with northwest winds over 100 mph driving colder air into Nebraska and Kansas.

Two distinct waves can be seen in the north and south, two waves that were soon to merge.

January 26, 1978

The two low pressure systems combined into one, creating one of the worst storms in United States' history.

Rain in Ohio changed to snow in the morning as the storm intensified very rapidly.

The barometric pressure would set records in Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati - with the all-time Ohio record set in Cleveland 28.28'.

Blizzard conditions begin before sunrise in Cincinnati, then Dayton, Columbus and Toledo - reaching Cleveland by around 7:00 AM.

It is simply dangerous to be outside all day long.

Visibility near zero, winds gusting over 100 mph causing wind chill readings colder than 50 degrees below zero.

Many schools cancel early preventing the children from being stuck at school.

Upper air chart shows trough becoming negatively tilted with low pressure deepening rapidly over the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley.

This caused the storm to become a very heavy precipitation maker over Ohio.

January 27, 1978

The surface low moves quickly to the northeast.  North to northwest winds pour in across the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley.  This setup causing extended
bitterly cold and windy conditions.

Snow is difficult to measure.  The incredible winds causing snow drifts of 15-25 feet burying vehicles and covering doors and windows of homes.

Upper air chart shows low pressure moving into Quebec as heavy snows fall across the northeast United States and into Canada.

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