44 years later, I still remember the winter of 1978 in Missouri. From the beginning of winter in 1977 until spring of 1978, the Show Me State would break records that still remain to this day. Over 54 inches of snow and record cold were just the beginning of the story.

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I was 11 years old when the winter of 1977/1978 began. I don't remember the numbers, but I do remember the snow. Lots and lots of snow including a major blizzard that stopped life as we knew it. The Missouri Climate Center does have the numbers from that winter and the statistics remain incredible to imagine:

  • Coldest Winter on record: Avg. winter temperature: 24.3
  • Most snow in a season: 54.9 inches
  • The winter of 1977-78 tied with the winter of 1904-05 for being the coldest on record

The National Weather Service shared a graph showing the snow from that winter.

National Weather Service
National Weather Service
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Locally, the Hannibal snowfall eventually topped 50 inches that winter. The blue line shows the snow of 1978.

National Weather Service
National Weather Service
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I don't want to sound like the old man in the room, but back in those days Missouri schools didn't cancel much, but they did in the winter of 1978. I can't remember the biggest snow that winter, but I do recall that it seemed like there was one storm after another.

There are lots of major weather events chronicled by the Missouri Climate Center, but you won't find any winter quite like the one that many of us lived through 48 years ago. I hope that 54.9 inches of snow in one winter record is never topped.

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