Friday, November 23, 2012

First Lake Effect Event Tonight & Saturday

Our first lake event of the 2012-13 winter season will commence tonight and Saturday. As much as we want lake effect forecast to be more cut and dry, each event is far from it due to the many factors that influence where and how much falls:

* Wind Direction
* Wind Speed (10-20 mph is preferrable)
* Temperature difference between the lake and the air about 5000 feet above the lake* Moisture content from the surface to 10,000 feet
* Elevation Changes
* Depth of the cold air

Most of these components will be present tonight and Saturday. The higher wind speeds (gusts to 35 mph) will reduce the amount of evaporation over the lake and probably the accumulations somewhat. Even with these gusty winds, we will still see some shovelable snow.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012


A few Facebook comments today asked what the latest first snowfall was in Cleveland?

1948-49  DEC 10TH
1985-86  DEC 2ND
1990-91  DEC 3RD
1994-95  DEC 10TH
2010-11  DEC 1ST

You can include these winters too:


The daily snowfall records are a little hard to come by prior to the mid 1940s. Digging a little deeper, I found that the 1923-24 winter HAD NO SNOW UNTIL JANUARY!

The high temperature on January 1, 1924 was 28. We had 0.07" of precipitation. A strong cold front came through early January 1st. Here are the surface maps for Dec 31st and Jan 1st:

The temperatures behind the front were DEFINITELY cold enough for lake effect snow given the strong NW wind.

So the latest we EVER had measurable snowfall in Cleveland was more than likely JANUARY 1ST during the WINTER OF 1923-24!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

COLDER Pattern shift ahead. Clipper Snow!

The pattern is starting to evolve into a colder one next week.

November has been running almost 5 degrees below average (3rd month in a row) even after this past weekend where the image of neighbors hanging Christmas decorations on their roof will forever be embedded in my mind. Full disclosure, I was on the roof staple gunning icicle lights too.

Remember The Greenland Block that drove Hurricane Sandy inland? That was providing us with some foreshadowing on the pattern that seems to be evolving late next week. That same Greenland Block is once again, establishing itself which will more than likely lead to below normal temperatures for Ohio.

For more evidence showing that last year's "not so cold and snowy" winter probably won't occur early this year, look at the pattern in early December from last year. Notice how the colder air wasn't even close to the US. The ridge of high pressure kept Alberta Clipper snows from developing. November was one of the warmest on record! Compare the map on the left to the one to its right. That is the forecast for late next week. Weak ridge in the middle of the country, stronger trough should equate to COLDER AIR for northern Ohio and MAYBE our first ALBERTA CLIPPER SNOW of the season!