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42 years since Indiana’s most notorious snowstorm

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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The blizzard of 1978 is often spoken as the most significant weather event of a generation in central Indiana.

The snowstorm, often referred to as the Great Blizzard of ’78 set many records that still stand today.

The storm started on Jan. 25. The three-day storm dumped 15.5 inches of snow. With snow that was already on the ground prior to the blizzard, Indianapolis was buried under 20 inches of snow when the storm system finally left the Midwest.

The first ever “blizzard warning” for Indiana was issued for this storm just prior to it moving into the state. A heavy snow warning had been issued the night before the blizzard started.

In addition to the snow, winds would gust up to 50 mph through the three days and create snowdrifts up to 25 feet, extremely low visibility for days, and wind chills hovering around -50 F.

The storm assisted in setting a record for the most snow in the month of January, with 30.6 inches for the entire month. It also set a record for most snow on the ground, with 20 inches.

Indiana State Police closed roads across the state. Seventy people died in the storm.

It’s a stark contrast to the January we’ve experienced in 2020. Currently, it’s the 12th warmest January on record. To date, it is also the ninth-least amount of snow we’ve received in an Indianapolis winter on record, and the least amount of snow for the month (3 tenths of an inch) since 2006.

An average January leads to around 8.6 inches of snow, which is the snowiest month of the entire year for central Indiana. Since 2010, the month of January has only produced three years with above-average snowfall for the month: 2019 (11.7 inches), 2011 (11.8 inches) and the miserable 2014 (26.9 inches, second snowiest January on record).

With a relatively quiet forecast for the rest of the week, it looks quite likely that central Indiana will finish on the other end of the record book for January compared to where the region was 42 years ago today.


Florida woman accused of zipping her boyfriend in suitcase for hours until he died

(CNN) — Sarah Boone called 911 and said her boyfriend got trapped in a suitcase and died during a game of hide-and-seek, according to court records.

The Florida couple had been drinking Chardonnay and doing puzzles Sunday night in their Winter Park apartment, Boone told authorities, when they thought “it would be funny” to hop in a suitcase as a part of the game, according to an arrest affidavit from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

Boone, 42, zipped up Jorge Torres Jr. in the blue suitcase containing a few items for donating. Two of his fingers stuck out, so she assumed he could open it, according to the affidavit.

She went upstairs to bed and thought he’d get himself out of the suitcase and join her, only to wake up Monday and find him still in it and not breathing, the affidavit says.

Boone was arrested Tuesday and faces a second-degree murder charge after investigators determined videos on her phone contradicted her story.

The phone footage shows her mocking her boyfriend as she filmed his cries for help, and telling him it was his punishment for cheating, according to the arrest affidavit.

“I can’t f**king breathe, seriously,” her boyfriend said in the phone video. “That’s on you. Oh, that’s what I feel like when you cheat on me,” she responds.

The video shows the victim pushing on the suitcase and trying to get out, the affidavit says. When police showed the video to Boone, she pushed it away halfway through and said she didn’t want to watch it, the affidavit says.

Police searched her iPhone after she signed a waiver and gave verbal and written consent. CNN has reached out to her public defender.

Boone denied intentionally leaving Torres in the suitcase, according to the affidavit.

Boone called police Monday afternoon and said she woke up hours earlier but assumed her boyfriend was on his computer in another room. When she could not find him, she suddenly realized he was still in the suitcase.

“Sarah unzipped the suitcase and found Jorge unresponsive and not breathing,” the affidavit says. “Sarah zipped Jorge in the suitcase to where he could not get out. Jorge begged Sarah repeatedly telling her he could not breathe and Sarah left him in the suitcase … and demonstrated a depraved mind without regard for Jorge’s life.”

When police arrived at the scene, they found the victim near the front door with a laceration on his lip and bruising around his eye.

Boone is being held without bail. No cause of death is listed on the arrest affidavit.