Some winter weather rolled through here late yesterday and overnight. As winter storms go, this was a nothing burger. We got almost no snow though a tenth of an inch of ice did coat the area making roads a little slick. Fifty miles west of here the power was out over a wide area, but it was just a typical late January evening here.
Local news media outlets took the opportunity to point out that it was exactly 43 years ago when the snow began to fall on what would become known forever as the Blizzard of ’78.
Indiana’s worst blizzard on record began 43 years ago on this date. For three days from Jan. 25 to Jan. 27, snow fell and temperatures plummeted. While air temperatures hovered at zero, wind-chill temperatures dipped to minus 51. Indianapolis received 15.5 inches by storm’s end. According to the National Weather Service, the Blizzard of ‘78 set other records, including the most snow in one month in Indianapolis (30.6 inches) and the most snow on the ground in Indianapolis (20 inches, which included 5 inches already on the ground from a snowstorm the previous weekend).
I remember that well as I was a teenager with a ham license and a handheld radio. They put me on a snowmobile that delivered prescriptions door-to-door for those who couldn’t make it to the pharmacy. It was a sizable operation coordinated by the local amateur radio club.
Good times? Not exactly and I hope to never see anything like that again. But it does make for a good story to pass along to our children and grandchildren. Winter survival has a few benefits.