"A GREAT STORM IS UPON MICHIGAN"
THE GREAT BLIZZARD OF 1978!
While I worked countless snowstorms in my long career with the NWS; the two most impressive storms were in order: the January 26-27, 1978 Blizzard and the December 1st, 1974 snowstorm. The huge snowstorm of December 1974 was quite noteworthy in the amount of snow that fell continuously for hours over the Detroit Metro area and portions of Southeast Lower Michigan.
A more powerful (in terms of intensity/extent) storm and remains of strong interest to all meteorologists who have studied winter storms in the Great Lakes is the January 1978 Blizzard. This storm is also of interest and remembrance to many longtime residents of the Great Lakes, the Upper Ohio Valley and Ontario, Canada who had to deal with winter's full fury late in January of 1978. In addition, the storm certainly casts many memories for those of us (author included) who were on duty and worked during the storm while observing in tremendous awe the development and subsequent immense strength of this great monster. With the 40th anniversary of this Great Blizzard at hand, it is worth taking a step back in time to re-live this monumental example of nature's fury.
The Great Storm
"The most extensive and very nearly the most severe blizzard in Michigan history raged throughout Thursday January 26, 1978 and into part of Friday January 27. About 20 people died as a direct or indirect result of the storm, most due to heart attacks or traffic accidents. At least one person died of exposure in a stranded automobile. Many were hospitalized for exposure, mostly from homes that lost power and heat. About 100,000 cars were abandoned on Michigan highways, most of them in the southeast part of the state."
More on the storm in surrounding areas can be found here.
Making weather fun while we all learn,
Bill Deedler -SEMI_WeatherHistorian