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35th Anniversary of the Blizzard of 1978: How Will it Compare to This Week’s Storm?

Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

As we get ready for a major winter storm, with predictions of some areas getting up to two feet of snow and wind gusts over 50 mph, let’s look back and compare what happened 35 years ago this week. It became known as the ‘Blizzard of ’78.’The ‘Blizzard of ’78′ formed on February 5, 1978 off the coast of South Carolina and contained hurricane force winds of 86 mph and wind gusts to 111 mph. The storm tracked up the east coast, with Boston receiving 27.1 inches of snow. About 100 people died in the northeast and nearly 4,500 people were injured. The storm caused $520 million in damages, several roofs collapsed, coastal homes were swept away and a state of emergency was declared with the United States National Guard brought in to assist with the recovery after the storm. It took six days in parts of New England to clear the roads.

How does the ‘Blizzard of ’78′ compare to the forecast for this Friday and Saturday? Let’s take a look at the official forecast. As I am writing this story, the National Weather Service, has posted a blizzard watch for parts of New England and Augusta is currently under a winter storm watch from 12 p.m. Friday through Saturday at 12 p.m. The Weather Channel has named this winter storm ‘Nemo’ and are forecasting parts of Maine for the potential of two feet of snow and very gusty winds.

The National Weather Service states that there has only been six snow storms of 20 inches or more in Boston since 1892. The largest snowfall in Boston came in February 2003 with 27.5 inches, followed by the Blizzard of ’78 with a snowfall total of 27.1 inches.

Get ready for the storm today, fill up the gas tank, make sure your have at least a weeks worth of heating oil, stock up on non-perishable food and water and be prepared for power outages. Get up-to-date weather information with us at b985.fm.

The silver lining with this storm is that the heaviest snow will fall during the weekend when most people don’t have to be on the roads.

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