Winter storms seem to grow more and more unpredictable every year, but one thing we can say for sure is that there have been some truly remarkable storms in years past. Ohio, Indiana, and even Georgia have all seen some surprisingly harsh winters over the years.
Ohio’s Worst Winter Storms
In January of 1967, the Midwest saw a series of disastrous weather situations. First, a rare winter tornado came barreling through the region, followed shortly thereafter by an enormous snowstorm, from January 26-27. Ohio saw 50 mph winds and up to and over two feet of snow in a 24-hour period. Known as the “Great Midwest Blizzard,” this storm shook the region, killing 76 people, primarily in the Chicago area.
From January 25-27, 1978, Ohio, along with several of its neighboring states, was hit with a storm sometimes named the “Cleveland Superbomb.” During the course of the storm, winds reached a staggering 100 mph in Ohio, creating massive snowdrifts 25 feet high. While perhaps only a foot of snow fell during this massive storm, nearly 70 deaths occurred across the affected states (which included Michigan, Kentucky, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin).
Indiana’s Worst Winter Storms
Indiana also shared in the “Great Midwest Blizzard” of 1967 that affected Ohio, but otherwise didn’t see much in the way of severe weather again until the 2000s. First there was the Ohio River Snowstorm of 2004, a December event that brought multiple storms through the region, coming up from Texas and crossing the Ohio River Valley. Just a month later in January of 2005, there was the Blizzard of 2005. This storm reached out into the New England region, but near Indiana it dropped between 5 and 13 inches of snow.
Perhaps one of the most terrible, if initially less impressive, winter storms to hit Indiana was the Easter Freeze of 2007. This storm dropped the temperature in Indiana and Kentucky below freezing for 47 hours, with lows all the way down to 22 degrees. What made this storm particularly shocking was the unusual warmth that preceded it. The growing season had already begun when the Easter Freeze hit, causing losses of $16 million for the fruit industry and $63 million for the wheat industry, among other hard hit crops.
Georgia’s Worst Winter Storms
Georgia is not exactly known for its snowstorms, what with being located quite far south along the eastern seaboard. To many states, the worst Georgia has ever seen is hardly worth waving a hand at, but even the smallest amount of snow can send this warm region into lockdown. Thus, when Georgia was hit with 7.9”of snow in March of 1983, the city essentially stopped. Less well remembered is the 1940 storm that dropped 11.2” of snow onto the city of Atlanta, setting the record for the most snow in Georgia history.
Although not historically the biggest snow storm in Georgia history, “Snow Jam 82” perhaps was the most disruptive winter storm Atlanta ever experienced. The storm dropped 5.8” of snow on the city in the middle of a January day. The arrival of this storm was several hours earlier than expected. Thousands of people, unable to drive through the snow, found themselves trapped in the city. Many abandoned their cars, booked hotel rooms, and settled down until they could return home.