A Brief History of the Biggest Snowstorms in Ohio

The 1950 Great Thanksgiving Snowstorm

At the time, the 1950 Thanksgiving Snowstorm was the biggest in Ohio’s history. Here’s a brief timeframe:The Great Thanksgiving Storm of 1950

Thursday, November 23 – On the first day, most of Ohio receives 10 inches of snow, with eastern Ohio receiving 20 to 30 inches.

Friday, November 24 – On the next day winds increase to 40 mph, and temperatures drop to near 0 degrees. Snow continues to fall.

Saturday, November 25 – The storm peaked on the third day with near-blizzard conditions. The “Blizzard Bowl” is played in Columbus between Ohio State and Michigan. The game decides the winner of the Big Ten championship, and who gets a trip to the Rose Bowl. The morning temperature is 5 degrees, and winds gust at over 40 mph. Michigan wins with a score of 9-3, with 27 total yards gained and without gaining even one first down.

Monday, November 27 –  Finally, the snow reaches 33 inches in Steubenville. Bulldozers are used to clear roads for ambulances, and the National Guard uses Jeeps to transport people to hospitals and deliver food to rural homes. Winds as high as 60 mph knock over trees, and buildings collapse under the weight of 2-3 feet of snow.

The Blizzard of 1978

The Blizzard of 1978

Dubbed “The White Hurricane,” the Blizzard of 1978 was the worst recorded winter storm that Ohio has ever seen. Originally forecasted to be rain and fog, two low-pressure zones converged on the Ohio Valley to create a “storm of unprecedented magnitude,” according to the National Weather Service.

It was officially categorized as a rare “severe blizzard,” the most severe grade of a winter storm. the Blizzard of ’78 lasted from Wednesday, January 25 through Friday, January 27. Wind gusts blew up to 100 mph, and wind chills reached -60 degrees F.

Snow drifts buried homes. Afterward, over 5,000 members of the National Guard were called in to prepare rescues. The police even called upon citizens with 4-wheel drive or snowmobiles to help transport doctors in order to care for the sick and injured. In Ohio alone, 51 people died in what some called “the storm of the century.”

North American Blizzard of 2008

The North American Blizzard of 2008 started with a low-pressure system that developed in Texas. The system swept northeast across the country and into Canada. It lasted from March 6-10, with the hardest hit area being from the Ohio Valley to southern Quebec.

The storm produced severe weather across the country, including tornadoes. Certain areas of Ohio had 28.5 inches of snowfall. At Port Columbus International Airport, an incoming plane skidded off the runway after landing.

As a result, The storm caused $789 million in damages with 17 deaths across the U.S. and Canada. In fact, 5 of those fatalities happened in Ohio.


When the snow starts piling up this winter, give us a call at 1-800-LAWN-CARE or Click Here for all your Commercial Snow Removal and De-Icing needs!

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