Thursday, April 23, 2015

10 Year Anniversary of BIGGEST Late Season Snow Ever

I remember it well.

After the 10pm news on the evening of the 24th, I started my trek home along I-90 in Cleveland then south on I-71. The snow depth was approaching a foot.  It was a heavy, wet snow.  I hit something buried in the snow on the interstate which flattened my right front tire. I literally drove on the rim the entire way home because I didn't want to risk stopping on the side of the road assuming I could find it. Countless cars and trucks trying to find the easiest path to take without losing control. Our top speed was 25 mph for 40 miles.  After about 20 miles on the interstate, I decided to take a state route home.  If I needed to stop, I'd rather do it on a road that had strip malls and small businesses.  If I needed to call a family member to pick me up, better to do it from a parking lot than on the side of a major interstate with Tractor Trailers bearing down on you.

The temperatures at 850 mB (5000 feet) were very cold across the Great Lakes.  Notice how the core of the cold evolved and tracked west to east from early on the 23rd shortly before the snow began.

The 850 mB temperatures today are similar to the late April 24th reading:  -7 to -9. 

The difference is we don't have a major synoptic storm system today to produce widespread heavy snow this time around.

Radar image from 7:45am on April 23, 2015 for northern Ohio

The 2005 event developed as a east coast low which retrograded west continued to expand both at the surface and in the upper levels. By the 26th, it was absorbed into the mid-latitude trough in the middle of the US. 

The last 12 days of April ranged from lower 80s on the 19th to snow by the 23rd. By the 26th, daytime temperatures rose into the 60s with the majority of the snowfall melted away.

I wish we had photos of the May 10th snow back in 1907..the latest snow on record in Cleveland.

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