35th Anniversary of the Blizzard of 1978

January 26th is the 35th anniversary of the Blizzard of 1978, one of the most powerful winter storms in Michigan history. The storm came up from the Gulf of Mexico, bringing plenty of moisture that combined with arctic air to produce record snowfall. The stormed "bombed" as it moved north, deepening to record low barometer readings across Ohio and Michigan and into Ontario, Canada. The intense pressure gradient brought strong wind gusts which piled the heavy snow into mountainous drifts. Here are some snowfall measurements across southwest Lower Michigan from the four day period of January 25-28, 1978.

Snow Amount (inches)...Location



28.0...Grand Haven

24.0...Kalmazoo and Battle Creek



21.0...Hart and Hastings


19.6...Lansing and Grand Ledge

19.5...Grand Rapids and Holland

17.1...Big Rapids

Here is a map of the four day snowfall (in inches) from January 25-28, 1978. The southwest part of Lower Michigan got the most snow as Lake Michigan helped contribute to the snow totals through January 28th.

Here is a photo of the Grand Rapids airport from January 28, 1978.

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