Throwback Thursday – Thinking About Named Storms

Blizzard of 781

So I complained about the incessent need to name storms and weather events, and it got me thinking about storms in general through the years. This week in addition to the historic cold, in New York we’ve had portions of the NY Thruway west of Buffalo and route 81 from Watertown to Syracuse closed for extended periods due to the extreme cold and wind from the storm.

For me, when I think of a major named storm I always go back to the Blizzard of ’78. Anyone who was around back then in the northeast marks that as the storm to measure all other storms. When we lived in Townsend MA later, we would get at least one snow dump of 3 feet or more every winter, eclipsing the snow total of the 1978 blizzard – but not the impact. In that snow-belt area, the heavy snow would just be an incnvenience, and I would still head to work after working my way through the snow.

In contrast, in 1978 the entire region was shut down for about a week – the image shows my dad, older brother and myself a couple of days later just shoveling out. There was no school for a while, and without cell phones people who were stranded on the highway had trouble connecting with their families – I remember waiting for my dad to make it home down 128 – it was a tense day!

I typically pull out this picture in February (when the storm happened), but it seemed appropriate right now. Here is a remembrance marking 30 years from NOAA, and one from the Taunton National Weather Service. Boston.com had a great slideshow as well.

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