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The Blizzard of February 6 - 7, 1978

The blizzard of 1978 was one of the greatest winter storms to strike Long Island in terms of total snowfall, wind, and coastal flooding.

The snow started falling lightly before dawn on Long Island on Monday February 6, 1978. Most schools cancelled classes and some businesses closed that day based on the forecast of 1 to 2 feet of snow. Announcing cancellations before the start of the storm was an unusual step taken because of the high level of confidence expressed by forecasters that there would be a major storm. This confidence was in stark contrast to the difficulties experienced in forecasting the previous storms that winter, including a near blizzard two weeks earlier that dropped up to 18" of snow on the island overnight...when mostly rain had been forecasted.

By the time the storm eased late on the 7th, over 20 inches of snow covered most of Long Island with many areas receiving over two feet of new snow. There was significant damage to homes on the barrier beaches from coastal flooding. Significant coastal flooding also occurred along parts of the north shore and the Peconic bay region.

Winds gusting well over 60 miles per hour also created massive drifting, which compounded snow removal efforts over the next several days. Most schools remained closed for the entire week with travel conditions not restored to near normal until the following week.

The following photographs were taken on Tuesday February 7 in a residential neighborhood in Syosset, NY prior to the end of the storm, following the storm in a Syosset industrial park, and a week later on February 14 after a new 4-inch snowfall. If you have photos or comments from that week on Long Island that might complement this collection and would like to share them on this page, please send e-mail to:

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Syosset, NY, Tuesday afternoon - February 7, 1978
Syosset, NY, February 7, 1978

Syosset, NY, Tuesday afternoon - February 7, 1978
Syosset, NY, February 7, 1978

Syosset, NY, Tuesday afternoon - February 7, 1978
Syosset, NY, February 7, 1978

Aerial Way in Syosset, New York following the Blizzard of February 1978.
Photo courtesy of Al Bauer.

Syosset, NY, February 7, 1978

Aerial Way in Syosset, New York following the Blizzard of February 1978.
Photo courtesy of Al Bauer.

Syosset, NY, February 7, 1978

One week later. 2/14/78
One week later.  Syosset, NY, February 14, 1978


One week later. 2/14/78
One week later.  Syosset, NY, February 14, 1978


Visible Satellite Image February 7, 1978
Visible Satellite image showing 'eye-like' structure near the 40/70 benchmark 2/7/78.


Handwritten log of New York City weather observations, February 1978.
Handwritten log showing partial observations from New York City (Central Park) during early February, 1978