In late January of 1978, Indiana and the Great Lakes region experienced a blizzard so historic that it became the standard by which all other winter storms are measured. An entire generation learned to say “You think THIS is bad? You should have seen the storm in ’78…”

On January 24th, two powerful jet streams converged over the Midwest and set the third lowest atmospheric pressure ever recorded over the United States, 956.0 millibars. In one 24-hour period, the pressure plummeted 40 millibars.




Initially the storm began as rain, but escalated quickly, receiving a categorization of “severe blizzard”, the most dangerous classification for a winter storm. In a single day, parts of Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan saw almost four feet (!!) of snow, gusts of 100 mph and wind chill almost sixty degrees BELOW zero.