As wintery as it's been, other places have been hit harder than Norwalk

Retired science teacher recalls legendary Blizzard of '78.
Scott Seitz2
Jan 28, 2014

Though winter continues to pound the Maple City, Norwalk has escaped a bit of Mother Nature's wrath compared to other Ohio cities.

Last week, the city of Toledo had already set a record for snowfall in January, breaking the former mark of 30.8 inches set in January 1978.

 

As of Sunday, Norwalk had received nearly 25 inches of snow in January. However, the city still has a ways to go pass January 1978, when 34 inches of snow were recorded.

Lynn Szabo, a retired science teacher, talked about what's causing the local snow and deep freeze.

"Obviously, something has jerked around the jet stream," Szabo said. "That is disrupting that normal weather pattern for this area."

There's been much talk lately about the polar vortex, which recently had a piece break off and head south, causing record-low temperatures and brutal wind chills.

"The polar vortex is really just swirling wind," Szabo said.

Szabo said the jet stream is affecting more areas than just Ohio.

"Things are balmy in Alaska while they are brutal here," he said. "Temperatures have been in the 30s in Alaska."

Szabo said the part of the jet stream has moved up north, taking warmth up with it, while another part has brought cold air down from the north to the U.S.

Szabo said, though, none of this compares to the legendary Blizzard of '78.

There is a faint pencil mark on the back of Szabo's home barometer that reads "Jan. 26, 1978 and 28.32."

That 28.32 figure is the lowest barometric pressure reading Szabo believes he's ever seen.

Many compared the Blizzard of '78 to a "hurricane on land."

"I have heard that description," Szabo said.

He lived off Ohio 13 near Huron in 1978.

"I remember the electricity was out and I don't recall how long," Szabo said. "It was cold -- really cold -- and we couldn't get out.

"I remember they had to open the road up with front-end loaders."