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Northern Ohio Obs/Discussion Part 2


Trent
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Late Monday afternoon through early Tuesday strikes me as the kind of setup where a mesoscale surprise happens somewhere from the central lakeshore counties and Cleveland area points east-southeast towards Trumbull and Mahoning Counties and into western PA. Really good lift and instability under an upper trough as a surface trough drops southeast across the lake could cause quite an enhanced band to come onshore and then "train" along the surface trough axis, leading to a localized swath where moderate to heavy snow lasts a few hours. Could see a swath of locally over 4" of snow. It will be quite convective and should easily accumulate as the sun sets. 

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On 3/10/2023 at 5:08 PM, OHweather said:

Areas where the bulk of the snow occurred during the daylight today mightily struggled...we used fairly low snow ratios to come up with the forecast but it was still way too much snow outside of the higher terrain. Had an inch or so here based on what's left in shaded areas. 

I don't know enough about the climate stuff discussed on the prior page off the top of my head to chime in, but will read through it and see if I can come up with anything.

I did a quick "sanity check" of the annual snow numbers - I call it the good, the bad and the ugly.

The good:

CLE's data looks solid. Again ignoring any changes in site location and measuring techniques over time. No missing data with the exception, of course, being this year, which is incomplete.

image.png.9de33487ad049790019724ec5b35a4c2.png

CAK's data looks solid, with the exception of 1947-1948. Snowfall records do not begin in the threaded record until 1/1/1948, so it's missing everything that fell on or before 12/31/1947. Looking at the recorded precipitation and temperatures, it's clear at least several inches fell in November and December 1947 if measured.

image.png.759f570e18ca149b76265b928bb5fb9a.png

TOL's data looks pretty good, with the exception of 1997-1998. Not sure what was going on there - it was a warm, snow-free winter. But there is a ton of missing data. I know there was a period at a lot of sites in the mid 90s where they did away with snowfall measurements for a few years, not sure if that's the problem here.

As for the other years with missing data, when the missing data is a multiple of 30/31 in the early years of the record, it's usually just warm weather months where nothing was reported being interpreted as missing data. But as in the case noted above, there are circumstances where that might not be the case. 

image.png.f2cc06be5da4e1b33d1498a32729fa3c.png

The bad:

Erie's data is mixed. Something weird happened in the 30s and 40s, where a lot of snowfall was observed but not transcribed and shows up as missing data. The years with missing data as a multiple of 30/31 are probably just warm weather months where nothing was reported and so it shows up as missing data, but obviously no snow fell. The years with unusual number of days missing are suffering from data quality issues.

In 1943-44, 48.5 inches were actually observed, but 25 snowfall days are blanked out as missing resulting in the 12.1 inch count. 1942-1943, only monthly numbers were available on the NCDC/NCEI IPS site for the LCDs [and December was missing altogether]. But there were 31" in the months available [less December]. December shows 6.6" of snow on Climod 2, but there are a bunch of missing days - including a stretch where 0.76" of precipitation was recorded with temperatures mostly at or below freezing. Ascribing a 10:1 estimate on those days would suggest 45.1" season total, but this would need to be verified with the actual daily observations or monthly total for December 1942. 1931-1932 shows only one missing day, but that one missing day was March 31, 1932, when 3.8" of snow fell. So the seasonal count should be 30.3 inches. I did not check 1928-1929, but it shows 7 missing days and is in the same general era, so it's probably an undercount as well.

image.png.70d2d535bb7184339dcea03a21e32db9.png

The bad, bordering on ugly:

YNG's data is pretty good from the late 40s on, but the 30s and 40s have tons of missing data. The first two years do not show up on your lists, as they were properly excluded due to the missing data, so I've shown 12 years here to encompass the 10 years that are on the list. As you can see, lots of missing data, which mostly is days where no snow fell. However, there are significant data quality issues in some of these years. I looked at 1941-1942 and 1943-1944, and only liquid equivalence of snowfall was reported. The algorithm, or whatever captured this data, interprets 0.04" as 0.4" thereby prescribing a 10:1 ratio to smaller snowfall amounts. However, bigger storms are substantially undercounted. A day with 0.52" showing a depth of 4" is interpreted as 0.5" of snow, so there is a huge undercount. A day with 0.29" of liquid, is reported in Climod 2 / XMacis as 0.3" of snow [when in reality is was probably 3" or more]. Like I said, I only looked at 2 years, so I don't know if this was going on in the other years.

image.png.77ef82b24933151d3affa4c122cebf23.png

The downright ugly:

MFD's data quality is really bad. 1919-1920 shows up as the least snowy with 3.3", but this was based only on December 1919 [and there were several days with snowfall that month that were not recorded by the observer, so it's not even a complete month of data]  - no records were observed in November 1919, or at all in the entire year of 1920. So obviously 1920-1921 is also incomplete. 1903-1904 also reports 335 missing days. This was a weird case. The coop site observed only precipitation and snowfall at that time. It was actually a rather snowy winter with over 50" of snow observed, but none of that data is transcribed. Like at Toledo, 1997-1998 also shows lots of missing data at MFD as well.

While 1918-1919 looks bad with 213 days missing, it actually appears to be a legitimate reading at least based on what was reported. Also lines up with the historically bad numbers reported elsewhere, but a lot of the other years look to be incomplete [1919-20, 1920-21, 1903-04, probably 1997-98]. I didn't look at every year on here, but given the missing data, likely other issues.

image.png.93a601be873038d2b843aa2508b70722.png

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On 3/16/2023 at 2:13 PM, michsnowfreak said:

I have a friend who lives in the city of Toledo. And it seems like they've had more snow than TOL reports. nevertheless, a huge difference between toledo (14.1") and Detroit (36.9"). 

I'll phrase my response to that as: Given the nature of the snows this year (it's immediately settling or melting once it's on the ground) it's been easy to "under-measure" snows in Northwest Ohio if you wait until the synoptic times (i.e. 0z, 6z, 12z, 18z) to measure. Being at an open air field never helps when there's wind either. It's possible there's been a bit more snow in Toledo than the 14.1", though I'd also say it's somewhere in the ballpark even if it's a conservative number. 

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Some subtle features evident on satellite helping our lake effect peak in intensity tonight...unfortunately winds on land are backed to the southwest so it's struggling to push south into more of  Cuyahoga and southern Geauga.

CODNEXLAB-GOES-East-subregional-MI-sandwich-05_21Z-20230319_counties-map-plot-glm_fed-glm_flash_noBar-25-1n-10-100.thumb.gif.74b27a22c6a03ff1f369ef8d7f6ad2bb.gif

1776151672_COD-GOES-East-subregional-MI.sandwich.20230319.052117-overcounties-map-plot-glm_fed-glm_flash-barsnone.thumb.gif.c3ad691df828b941c6b135db76410a35.gif

Basically, subtle sources for ascent and convergence are aligning near and just downwind of Lake Erie as we approach the diurnal maximum in lake-induced instability. This is allowing Lake Erie's lake effect event to peak. Activity may shift slightly farther south as surface troughs over Michigan move southeast across the lake.

It's snowing pretty good and I think the warnings will marginally verify in a few spots (probably southern Lake or northern Geauga, and southern Erie or northwestern Crawford), though it probably won't be a very widespread 6"+. This event isn't dropping quite as much as the instability and snow growth could support. 

CODNEXLAB-GOES-East-local-LakeErie-comp_radar-06_05Z-20230319_counties-map-plot-glm_fed-glm_flash_noBar-24-2n-10-100.thumb.gif.dba0a4eecece5939432dc288dbc2302a.gif

Looking at a radar loop and surface obs, some limiting factors are evident. It is a dry airmass and winds are strong with gale warnings over the lake. This is limiting residence time and pushing the snow fairly far inland. However, winds over land are backed pretty far southwest, about 240 degrees, while winds in the lake effect clouds average closer to 280 degrees. This leads to a fair amount of shear, which is limiting band organization somewhat. Winds over the lake are much better-aligned, so I think if the winds were lighter we'd see more focused bands closer to the lake that could drop higher totals. 

Because of the instability and very efficient snow growth this is a nice little event, just not huge because of the limiting factors (really, lighter winds would've made a big difference). 

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12 hours ago, OHweather said:

I'll phrase my response to that as: Given the nature of the snows this year (it's immediately settling or melting once it's on the ground) it's been easy to "under-measure" snows in Northwest Ohio if you wait until the synoptic times (i.e. 0z, 6z, 12z, 18z) to measure. Being at an open air field never helps when there's wind either. It's possible there's been a bit more snow in Toledo than the 14.1", though I'd also say it's somewhere in the ballpark even if it's a conservative number. 

Probably a good point. The two most notable snowfalls that seemed like we're under measured per pictures my friend sent was Dec 23 (obviously blowing/drifting problematic) And then the snow last week where TOL reported 0.8 it looked like my friend had a good 2-2.5". But make no mistake, it's been crazy how the state line has been the divider for many snow events this season. Plus TOL airport is south of the city. About a 1 hour 15 minute drive north DTW has had 22.9" more.

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19 hours ago, dta1984 said:

After a slow start and just a dusting overnight,  right at 4" fell this morning as the band came south and hung out for a while. 

Same total here. Went from heavy snow in the morning to sunshine in the afternoon which melted most of the fluff. 

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On 3/19/2023 at 2:23 AM, OHweather said:

I'll phrase my response to that as: Given the nature of the snows this year (it's immediately settling or melting once it's on the ground) it's been easy to "under-measure" snows in Northwest Ohio if you wait until the synoptic times (i.e. 0z, 6z, 12z, 18z) to measure. Being at an open air field never helps when there's wind either. It's possible there's been a bit more snow in Toledo than the 14.1", though I'd also say it's somewhere in the ballpark even if it's a conservative number. 

Can confirm that is a pretty accurate number (I live 10 miles away). Remember we really haven't seen significant snow all winter including almost a complete shutout in Feb. The January 25th one dropped around 6", but amounts were substantially lower off to the east side of the city. And the big snow in early March that lower MI received was basically a complete shutout in NW Ohio with nearly hurricane force winds. Most of the snows we've received to your point have been 32° dustings 

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After the 70s and 80s earlier this month the showery weather with snow flakes mixing in over the last couple of days has been unwelcome. But, nothing has stuck and I think I’m ready to call it a “winter” in Reminderville. My final tally is 33.7”, which is 40-45% of average. The driveway was plowed twice. Definitely feels even more underwhelming than my previous personal “low water mark” in NE Ohio of 2011-12. 

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17 hours ago, OHweather said:

After the 70s and 80s earlier this month the showery weather with snow flakes mixing in over the last couple of days has been unwelcome. But, nothing has stuck and I think I’m ready to call it a “winter” in Reminderville. My final tally is 33.7”, which is 40-45% of average. The driveway was plowed twice. Definitely feels even more underwhelming than my previous personal “low water mark” in NE Ohio of 2011-12. 

The past few days have been awful. We got spoiled by the earlier warmth. At least everything is green again... foliage is definitely ahead of schedule. It was 28 IMBY this morning so anything that was flowering took a hit. 

This past Winter was the low water mark out this way. Can't remember a worse winter for snowfall. 

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19 hours ago, OHweather said:

After the 70s and 80s earlier this month the showery weather with snow flakes mixing in over the last couple of days has been unwelcome. But, nothing has stuck and I think I’m ready to call it a “winter” in Reminderville. My final tally is 33.7”, which is 40-45% of average. The driveway was plowed twice. Definitely feels even more underwhelming than my previous personal “low water mark” in NE Ohio of 2011-12. 

Agreed, let's close out winter.  49.5" is my total, and low since I've been keeping track.  

What's your take on the long range?  Are we close to getting back to some spring temps?  I've got an outdoor wedding end of next month.... 

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47 minutes ago, dta1984 said:

Agreed, let's close out winter.  49.5" is my total, and low since I've been keeping track.  

What's your take on the long range?  Are we close to getting back to some spring temps?  I've got an outdoor wedding end of next month.... 

Are you getting married or just attending?

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On 4/25/2023 at 12:40 PM, dta1984 said:

Agreed, let's close out winter.  49.5" is my total, and low since I've been keeping track.  

What's your take on the long range?  Are we close to getting back to some spring temps?  I've got an outdoor wedding end of next month.... 

Congrats!

I have been wondering if we can get into consistently above normal temperatures again anytime soon...just has been an impressive tendency the last couple weeks for blocking/a -NAO pattern which keeps forcing a trough over eastern Canada and the NE US. I do think we'll gradually warm up through May (after the next 7-10 days it shouldn't be a s bad as it is right now) but it'll probably be tough to get prolonged warmer than average weather for a good portion of the month. 

1 hour ago, TheClimateChanger said:

The 115th anniversary is approaching for a little known snowstorm that occurred on April 30, 1908. Most of the state saw accumulating snow, with about 6" near Columbus and 9" near Youngstown. From the April 1908 Ohio Monthly Weather Review:

image.png.bde88a69aae8d4f906504dd732d266c7.png

image.thumb.png.4a67f1af38b5b01f7f42cd3562675093.png

6" in Columbus on April 30th is pretty hard to imagine!

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Woke up to snow cover this morning. Plows were out removing slush from the roads. If any more had accumulated there would have been tree damage. Temp is now up to 35 so everything is melting. Very little accumulation in areas below 1,000 ft. 

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33 minutes ago, NEOH said:

Woke up to snow cover this morning. Plows were out removing slush from the roads. If any more had accumulated there would have been tree damage. Temp is now up to 35 so everything is melting. Very little accumulation in areas below 1,000 ft. 

Was wondering how that band performed when it sank into your area. It snowed hard for a couple hours in Chardon very early this morning, and while accumulations weren't much into Cuyahoga County the heavy snow/graupel in the band made 271 slick during the commute and caused accidents. Luckily the band was moving because if it would've sat in one spot for its duration it may have dropped several very dense inches...we would've needed at least an advisory if not more due to what would've happened to the trees. Pretty impressive setup for May. No accums anywhere between the office and my house (Brooklyn Hts/Reminderville) but we had a nice graupel shower yesterday afternoon and wet flakes did mix in this morning. We've seen snow in the month of May in recent years much more than what I remember up through about 2015. I believe in 2016 we had some May snow that stuck a bit in parts of the snowbelt and then again in 2020, 2021 and 2023. With that said, it's snowing less in the months it is supposed to snow in recent years, probably a trade none of us want to make. 

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2 minutes ago, OHweather said:

Was wondering how that band performed when it sank into your area. It snowed hard for a couple hours in Chardon very early this morning, and while accumulations weren't much into Cuyahoga County the heavy snow/graupel in the band made 271 slick during the commute and caused accidents. Luckily the band was moving because if it would've sat in one spot for its duration it may have dropped several very dense inches...we would've needed at least an advisory if not more due to what would've happened to the trees. Pretty impressive setup for May. No accums anywhere between the office and my house (Brooklyn Hts/Reminderville) but we had a nice graupel shower yesterday afternoon and wet flakes did mix in this morning. We've seen snow in the month of May in recent years much more than what I remember up through about 2015. I believe in 2016 we had some May snow that stuck a bit in parts of the snowbelt and then again in 2020, 2021 and 2023. With that said, it's snowing less in the months it is supposed to snow in recent years, probably a trade none of us want to make. 

 Most of the accumulation happened between 4-6 am. Definitely an impressive set-up for May - where was this all winter?! We had around  an inch but enough to make the trees with flowers and leaves to sag significantly. 

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