upload image

The Blizzard of 1978

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 25 Jan 1978 to 31 Jan 1978
Location: Dayton, Ohiomap
Surnames/tags: Blizzards Worldwide_disasters
This page has been accessed 374 times.

See Also: FreeSpace pages


The Blizzard of 1978


1978 Miami Valley Blizzard

Hundreds of thousands of homes were without power, heat and phone service due to the strong winds knocking down power poles. Seventy people died from this storm 51 of them were from Ohio.

There are records this storm created that still stand today. The lowest pressure ever recorded in Ohio was from this storm and here in Dayton the most snowfall in a 24 hour period occurred in 1978.

On January 25, 1978 There were two upper level waves that ended up merging together. The result was a strong area of low pressure that ended up intensifying and moving from the gulf coast into the Great Lakes.

Shortly after midnight on January 26th blizzard conditions began in Cincinnati and ended up reaching Dayton a few hours later. Visibility was near zero, and winds gusted between 50 and 70 miles per hour. Dayton picked up a total of 12.9 inches of snow but snow drifts were 15 to 25 feet high at times.

After the snow stopped the cold took over. Wind chills were as low as 50 below prompting many schools to close for several days.

Many transportation routes were closed for more than 24 hours including the Ohio Turnpike which was completely shut down for the first time in its history.

The night before the blizzard, Dobbs' wife, Martha, warned him of the pending storm, but since it was raining at the time, he “brushed off” his wife, thinking Wright-Patterson AFB would not call him in. Dave was in the Military and he was assigned to Snow Removal for the runways on Base. When he received the phone call telling him to come in hours before he was due at work — he realized his wife was right. Dobbs was stuck on Base for 3 straight nights of snow removal duty. Martha was stuck on Base Housing for 3 days, enjoying all the noise with children sledding.


Blizzard of 1978 Wednesday, Jan. 25: Above-freezing temperatures bring rain and fog, making driving difficult and causing some schools to close for the day. Thursday, Jan. 26: Temperatures plummet as the worst blizzard in Ohio history hits in the early morning hours. Columbus is shut down, with power off in many areas. Friday, Jan. 27: Federal troops are called in as President Jimmy Carter declares a federal state of emergency for Ohio. Saturday, Jan. 28: The weather-related death toll rises to 18 in Ohio, with damage estimated at $48.2 million. Monday, Jan. 30: Ohio State University reopens and COTA buses begin running routes. Many state roads remain closed. Tuesday, Jan. 31: Columbus schools open. A trucker is rescued after spending six days eating only snow when his truck was buried in a snowdrift near Mansfield. May 5: The National Weather Service reports that the last snow from the blizzard has melted away in northwestern Ohio.



  • Login to edit this profile and add images.
  • Private Messages: Contact the Profile Managers privately: Mary Richardson and Martha Garrett. (Best when privacy is an issue.)
  • Public Comments: Login to post. (Best for messages specifically directed to those editing this profile. Limit 20 per day.)
Comments: 1

Leave a message for others who see this profile.
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.
I had help with Mary creating but I have added everything you see. Why is another manager being added?
posted by Martha Garrett