The 1950 OSU-Michigan ‘snow bowl’ highlighted one of Ohio’s most famous storms

Thanksgiving week is upon us, and hopefully we all have plenty to be thankful for this year.

Weather-wise, we will also have plenty to be thankful for, as it appears there will be no major storms impacting us or any major travel hubs. However, there could be some minor impact this weekend as a cold front crosses through the Great Lakes, bringing with it a chance for showers Saturday.

Looking back, since 1893 when records started in Dayton, there have been 69 Thanksgivings with measurable precipitation and 54 Thanksgivings without.

Amazingly, we’ve only had 25 Thanksgivings with measurable snowfall in that span.

Of course, if you ask people what Thanksgiving weather they remember, anyone who has been around a long time will tell you about the year of the “snow bowl.”

» READ MORE: Waiting out the storm: A look at the blizzard of 1950

That was the Ohio State vs. Michigan football game played at Ohio Stadium on Nov. 25, 1950. On that Saturday, five inches of snow had already fallen before the game kicked off, and it kept falling during the game. Winds gusted to almost 30 mph, creating near white-out conditions at times. It was the worst blizzard to strike Columbus in 37 years.

Although Ohio State, Michigan and the Big Ten Conference considered canceling the game due to the extreme conditions, they decided to play. If the game had been cancelled, Ohio State would have won the Big Ten title. Instead, Michigan won 9-3 with 27 total yards and without even one first down.

Workers had to repeatedly sweep the lines on the field so that the game could continue. Vic Janowicz kicked a field goal for the only Ohio State points, while Michigan players forced a safety and recovered a blocked punt for a touchdown.

» MORE WEATHER: Don’t count on an easy winter

It was an amazing storm, showing the sheer power of the “gales of November” across the Great Lakes. The storm continued through that weekend with accumulation reaching nearly three feet in parts of eastern Ohio.

Bulldozers were used to clear roads so that ambulances could reach those in need. The Ohio National Guard had to transport people to hospitals and deliver food to rural areas. Wires and trees were blown down by winds as high as 60 mph. Many buildings collapsed under the weight of two to three feet of snow, with even deeper drifts.

It was 28 years before Ohio saw another similar, historic blizzard — and that one occurred in late January of 1978, which became an even more famous Ohio storm.

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