1950 Great Thanksgiving Snowstorm
The Thanksgiving snowstorm of 1950 was the biggest in Ohio’s history. Nearly the entire state had over 10 inches and most communities in the eastern half of Ohio measured 20 to 30 inches of snow during this storm. As the storm strengthened, winds increased to over 40 mph and a severe cold wave swept the state early on Friday, November 24th dropping temperatures to near zero. The worst storm conditions occurred on Saturday November 25th as near-blizzard conditions prevailed throughout Ohio. By late in the day, snow reached 20 inches in eastern Ohio and drifts were 25 feet deep.
The classic Ohio State-Michigan football game was scheduled for Saturday afternoon in Columbus, the Big Ten championship and a trip to the Rose Bowl on the line. So with a Saturday morning temperature of 5 degrees and winds of 40 mph, the “Blizzard Bowl” was played in Columbus. Michigan won 9-3 on 27 total yards gained and without achieving even one first down.
The storm continued through Sunday and by Monday morning, snow reached 33 inches at Steubenville, 30 inches in Geneva, and 29 inches at Youngstown. Bulldozers were used to clear roads so that ambulances could reach those in need. The Ohio National Guard used Jeeps to transport people to hospitals and to deliver food to rural homes. Wires and trees were blown down by winds as high as 60 mph. Many buildings collapsed under the weight of 2 to 3 feet of snow and much deeper drifts.
- Schmidlin, Thomas W. and Schmidlin, Jeanne A. Thunder in the Heartland: A Chronicle of Outstanding Weather Events in Ohio. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1996.