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Toledo Historical Snowstorms




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1870-1900


December 23-27, 1870 - "a 5.9 inch snow with forty-mile-an-hour winds dropped the termometer below zero for five consecutive days from December 23-27, 1870, with the low of minus 9 on Christmas Day." -Fletcher


Jan. 7-8, 1874 - 11.7" at Detroit


Feb. 28-March 1, 1875 - 14" at Detroit.


Jan. 31-Feb 1, 1878 -- 15.7" at Detroit


January 31 - February 1, 1881- 12.5" at Detroit.


Feb. 12-13, 1884 - 12.8" at Detroit.


April 6, 1886 - greatest snowfall ever in Detroit history with 24.5 " at Detroit and 20.2 " at Sandusky, OH, and 9.8 " at Toledo.


February 12, 1894 - 7" of snow at Toledo, wind gusts to 60mph source: "Thunder in the Heartland"


March 3-4, 1895 - 12.3" at Detroit.


December 4-5, 1898 - 10.6" at Detroit.


March 4-5, 1899 - 11.4" at Detroit


1900-1910


February 3-4, 1900 - 10" to 11.2" at Detroit.


Feb. 13, 1900 - 12.6" at Detroit.


February 28 - March 1, 1900 - 22" at Toledo; this was the greatest storm total snowfall ever in Toledo history. 14" fell at Detroit. This storm also brought heavy snowfall (10" or more) at Chicago, Cleveland, Erie, Buffalo, and Rochester. (Source: Toledo Blade).


March 4-5, 1900 - 16.1" at Detroit
Story of the winter of 1899-1900 at Detroit (Detroit NWS Office)
Charts of monthly snowfall from MWR show that in February 1900 a large area from Topeka to Buffalo, including Toledo and Detroit, had over 20" of snow. An area of more than 10" reached from Albany NY to Springfield IL to St. Louis to central Kansas, most of Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Colorado, and Michigan. In March 1900, Detroit had 20-30" and Toledo had 10". 20-30" was noted for most of New York State, and 10" was across a large part of the Appalachians, Chicago, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.


Feb. 3-4, 1901 - 11.2" at Detroit.


Feb. 12-16, 1905 - "The worst Wood County February blizzard occurred from February 12-16, 1905, with the snow totaling only eight inches but with very high drifts and morning lows from minus 8 to 15 degrees below zero." - Fletcher


1910s


January 13, 1910 - 12" of wet snow fell in Toledo. 11.4" fell at Detroit. Toledo Blade quotes: 12" of snow plays havoc in city and environs. [Mid]west is tied up by storm's grasp. Not in 10 years has Toledo been so completely buried. Passengers stalled in drifts and business in chaos as tempest subsides. Chicago in serious need of milk, coal, other supplies.
"A three-day storm left fifteen inches of snow [in Bowling Green] from January 12-14 in 1910, but temperatures stayed near freezing." -Fletcher


Feb. 9, 1911 - 12.3" at Detroit.


February 21, 1912 -"11" by early afternoon"- Wind gusts to 48mph. source: "Thunder in the Heartland." This became a bomb cyclone tracking from Texas to Kentucky to northern New England. 12.4" of snow fell at Fort Wayne.


November 9-11, 1913 - "Great Storm" or "White Hurricane," or "Great Lakes Hurricane."
6" of snow fell in Toledo, there may have been true blizzard conditions, but I am not sure. This was one of the storms of the century in Great Lakes and Ohio Valley history. It all started on November 7 in the northern Great Lakes as some type of clipper. This had a development similar to the 1950 storm track - bomb cyclone from Virginia to Lake Huron, but basically involved a northwesterly gale and falling temperatures in this region for much of the time. This was noted by a meteorologist at the Weather Bureau as the most impressive wind and snow storm in Toledo in many years. quotes from the Toledo Blade:

November 10:
Unseasonable Snow Storm Cramps Wire and Car Lines
Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania Storm Swept. Extraordinary snowfall recorded in all points available in Ohio, West Virginia, and Western Pennsylvania. Beginning with a light rain early Saturday morning the temperature dropped slightly. Before daylight Sunday morning it began to grow colder and rain turned to sleet and then to snow. The velocity of the wind rose rapidly and by noon yesterday assumed the proportions of a gale.
Food Runs Short as Cleveland lies Helpless after Gale
Trains stalled in drifts
transportation and wire service hit hard by storm
Records which have been held for 24 years have been broken. The temperature dropped from 45 to 22 degrees in less than 15 hours
30 to 45mph wind accompanies storm making large drifts, at other points leaving the ground clear

4.5" of snow and 0.66" of total precipitation (liquid)
The first big snowstorm-heaviest so early in the season in the history of the Weather Bureau [Toledo W.B. Office]
Overwhelming ruin wrought by storm on land and lakes. Tremendous surf destroys hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of property along Chicago water front
Big steamers in distress and smaller craft are broken up.
Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia hit hard by gales and deep snow, traffic blocked and wires are down
Gale Smashes into Shipping
Vessel Accidents Reported Today
Latest on Lake Disasters


November 12:
Diver tries to learn name of lost vessel, believe it is Regina
Storm is called worst in history of Lake trade



Books about this storm:
Freshwater Fury - Yarns and Reminiscences of the Greatest Storm in Inland Navigation - Frank Barcus The White Hurricane: A Great Lakes November Gale and America's Deadliest Maritime Disaster


January 12, 1918 - Blizzard of 1918 - A true cold wave, one of the storms of the century for the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley, wind 30mph with wind gusts to 50 mph, temperatures fell from 28 to -15 degrees in 8 hours in western Ohio. 6.5 " total snowfall with true severe blizzard conditions. Temperatures were -10 to -20 by the afternoon and most of Ohio was -20 or below on the morning of January 13. This storm also affected Chicago with a lot of snow and severe blizzard conditions. It was a south to north track bomb cyclone similar to blizzard of 1978. Maximum wind speed of 63mph from the southwest at Toledo on January 12th was reported in Monthly Weather Review, January 1918. Monthly Weather Review also reported that the minimum temperature of the month at Toledo was -15 degrees on the 12th and at Fort Wayne, -24 degrees on the 12th. Toledo Blade headlines from January 12, 1918: "Worst Blizzard of years sweeps the Middle West. The severest cold wave and blizzard of many years gripped the country Saturday. Twenty degrees below zero was the rule in Ohio and surrounding territory" "Chicago shut off from world."
"Back in the extremely cold winter of 1918, a severe blizzard commenced on January 10th and dumped five inches of snow in drifts ten feet high and dropped the temperature to 18 degrees below zero. In addition, the thrmometer fell from 24 degrees above zero to 18 degrees below zero from darkness to daylight on January 12. Bowling Green had no trains" -Fletcher
"Friday, January 12, Bowling Green had no trains on either railroad ... no newspapers and, with poles down, most phones were dead." -Fletcher
1918: Statewide Blizzard from Ohiohistory.org


1920s


December 13-14, 1922 - 10" at Detroit.


May 9, 1923 - 4", with some people reporting 5" or 6". "Spring and Winter Collabrate on Fleeting Masterpiece of Rare Beauty" - headline in Toledo Blade. This was the latest 4" snowfall ever at Toledo. This storm affected all of Southeast Michigan with 6 " or more, up to a foot at Saginaw. Article on this storm from Detroit NWS Office


January 13-14, 1927 - 12.1" at Detroit.


December 18-19, 1929 - 13.8" at Detroit


1930s


March 7-8, 1931 - 11.1" at Detroit.


March 21-22, 1932 - 9.5" at Detroit.


November 16, 1932 - largest November snowstorm (snowfall-wise) for northwestern Ohio - 10" to 15" fell in northwestern Ohio. 11.5" fell at Toledo. A low on the front from Georgia tracked to western Pennsylvania. Quotes from Toledo Blade: Mercury drops to 19 after heavy snow blankets district; Traffic lines reopened. 28 degrees at noon Thursday.


March 26-27, 1934 - 9.2" at Detroit.


December 25, 1935 - Christmas blizzard and cold wave. 3" to 5" fell across Ohio, temperatures dropped from 21 to 2 degrees in two hours, then down to -1 degrees at 6pm on Christmas, then up to 15 degrees by midnight, wind gusts more than 30mph. Quotes from Toledo Blade: Mercury Reels Dizzily in Freak Zero Blast. Havoc was spread by freakish sub-zero cold wave and blizzard Christmas Day which passed as rapidly as it arrived. Although Toledo escaped the worst effects of the sudden blizzard, the countryside was piled up by drifted snow. 13 lives lost in frigid cold wave [across the U.S.]


January 19, 1936 - 14" at Marietta, OH, on the border with West Virginia.


January 29-30, 1939 - 8.9" at Detroit.


1940s


February 13-14, 1940 - Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Snowstorm. This low pressure system was a 1009mb low near Nashville on Feb. 13, a 984mb low near Washington DC on Feb. 14, and a 965mb low in the Atlantic Ocean south of New England on Feb. 15. (drop of 44 mb in 48 hours). Southeast Ohio got over 6" of snow. 7" of snow at Cincinnati and 5" at Columbus. For the month of February 1940, MWR reports 10.1" at Cincinnati , 10.4" at Columbus, 6.5" at Dayton, and 13.7" at Parkersburg WV.


March 10, 1949 - 6" at Toledo

March 9 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
March 10 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
March 9, 1949 12z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
March 9, 1949 12z 500mb vorticity
March 9, 1949 12z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)


1950s


January 6, 1950 - 6" at Toledo


January 6 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 6, 1950 12z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
January 6, 1950 12z 500mb vorticity
January 6, 1950 12z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)


November 23-27, 1950 - Blizzard of 1950. This was one of the storms of the century for the Great Lakes, Ohio Valley and Northeast and Mid-Atlantic - 3 to 6.5" at Toledo, true blizzard conditions, a very cold 3 degrees F on the Friday November 24, the day after Thanksgiving. Wind gusts to 55mph. super upper level closed low with clipper-type, true cold wave, and with wave on cold front in North Carolina and bomb cyclone with a retrogression from Virginia to Pennsylvania to Ohio. (also known as the Thanksgiving Weekend Storm, the Great Appalachian Storm, and the OSU-Michigan Snow Bowl)
quotes from Toledo Blade:

November 25:
Snow Paralyzes Eastern U.S. Three large cities tied up.
Heavy wind drives cold and snow into Toledo
Drifts up to 2 feet east of city cause bus schedule cancellation
5-10 degree low predicted tonight
3-5" fell
Tugboat rescued by Coast Guard in storm


November 26:
Toledo - all plane flights cancelled and train service sharply curtailed
Northwest Ohio - several major highways closed
People stranded
Worst blizzard since '13 ties up Northeast Ohio. 12 - 28" reported


November 27:
6" storm total
Snow still isolates rural areas in Northwest Ohio


November 22 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
November 23 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
November 24 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
November 25 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
November 26 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
November 27 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
November 28 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)

November 24 low (minimum) temperature (courtesy NCDC)
November 25 high (maximum) temperature (courtesy NCDC)
November 23 peak wind gust (courtesy NCDC)
November 24 peak wind gust (courtesy NCDC)
November 25 peak wind gust (courtesy NCDC)
November 26 peak wind gust (courtesy NCDC)

November 24, 1950 12z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
November 24, 1950 12z 500mb vorticity
November 24, 1950 12z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)
November 25 12z 850mb temperature and Sea Level Pressure
Article about this storm in Monthly Weather Review - November 1950
MWR paper on the Thanksgiving Weekend Storm of 1950


January 31 - February 1, 1951 5.5" at Toledo.

January 31 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
February 1 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 31, 1951 12z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
January 31, 1951 12z 500mb vorticity
January 31, 1951 12z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)


November 6-7, 1951 - 4.5" at Toledo

November 6 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
November 7 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
November 6, 1951 12z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
November 6, 1951 12z 500mb vorticity
November 6, 1951 12z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)


December 14, 1951 - 4.6" at Toledo

Decmeber 14 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
December 14, 1951 12z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
December 14, 1951 12z 500mb vorticity
December 14, 1951 12z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)


December 24-25, 1951 - 9.9" on Christmas, the greatest Christmas snowfall ever at Toledo ended the calendar year with around 60" of snow for the year. Toledo Blade quotes: 9.7 inch Snow Shatters Records. Traffic Slowed. The latest in a relentless series of Midwest snowstorms. The storm hurried eastward to blast New England after dumping an additional 8 " in most of the Midwest. [additional meaning on top of December 23 snow depth]

December 24 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
December 25 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
December 25, 1951 12z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
December 25, 1951 12z 500mb vorticity
December 25, 1951 12z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)


February 6, 1952 - 5.1 "

February 6 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
February 6, 1952 12z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
February 6, 1952 12z 500mb vorticity
February 6, 1952 12z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)


December 14, 1953- 6 " at Toledo. Look at that upper low in Kentucky and Missouri! (see maps)

December 14 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
December 14, 1953 12z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
December 14, 1953 12z 500mb vorticity
December 14, 1953 12z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)


February 24 - March 4, 1954 - measureable snowfall on every day but March 2nd. Easterly gales (two storms) - 5.9 " in Toledo on February 28 and March 1st (10.9 " at Cleveland on March 1) 4.7" in Toledo on March 3rd and 4th. The 9-day total snowfall was 13.8" from February 24th to March 4th. Toledo Blade quotes: March 3: Near Blizzard hits area; Storm worst in years at Chicago; Travel Hazardous. 18-inch drifts pile up on roads; cold sweeps in. Most rural schools closed; adrian has fall of 6", State Patrol warns motorists. 3" at 8:00AM. 12-inch snowfall at Chicago. Snowfall heaviest in a single storm since 14.9" fell in Chicago on January 30, 1939. A wind-driven snowstorm, the second in 35 hours whipped across the south central portion of Michigan today closing schools, snarling traffic. 9 " at Hillsdale, 3-5 at Grand Rapids, 6 to 7" at Monroe, 4 to 5" at Detroit, 8" at Flint. March 5: Cleveland reeling from 5 straight days of storms. 20.8 " fall [at Cleveland.] Busses 'lost.' Toledo gets more snow, drifts pile up. An additional inch of snow fell on Toledo yesterday while winds up to 43 miles an hour continued to pile up drifts.

February 25 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
February 28 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
March 1 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
March 2 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
March 3 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
March 4 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
March 1, 1954 12z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
March 1, 1954 12z 500mb vorticity
March 1, 1954 12z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)


March 29, 1954- 6 " in Toledo, 6 " in Detroit, and 8" in Jackson. A slow moving front was south of Toledo in southern Ohio and Indiana, lined up WSW to ENE. Toledo was at freezing during this storm.

March 29 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
March 30, 1954 00z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
March 30, 1954 00z 500mb vorticity
March 30, 1954 00z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)


Janurary 8-10, 1957 - 7 to 8" at Toledo, 9" at Detroit.

January 9 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 10 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 9, 1957 12z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
January 9, 1957 12z 500mb vorticity
January 9, 1957 12z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)


April 7-8, 1957 - There were easterly and northeasterly gales, and 10 " of snow. This was greatest April snow event ever in Toledo. Quotes from the Toledo Blade: Record April Snowfall Downs Electric Lines, Forces School Closings.

April 7 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
April 8 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
April 8, 1957 12z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
April 8, 1957 12z 500mb vorticity
April 8, 1957 12z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)


February 15, 1958 - 6" of snow in Toledo. Strong low in the Southeast with a strong upper level trough that became a coastal low. Apparently Detroit, Fort Wayne and Findlay did not get more than 2" from this storm, but it was significant for the East Coast. Ranked #10 in terms of the NESIS
BAMS Article on Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale (NESIS) (Kocin and Uccellini)

February 14 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
February 15 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
February 16 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
February 15, 1958 12z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
February 15, 1958 12z 500mb vorticity
February 15, 1958 12z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)


1960s


February 25, 1960 - 6" at Toledo. A low tracked from lower Mississippi Valley to Ohio.

Maps

February 24 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
February 25 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
February 25, 1960 12z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
February 25, 1960 12z 500mb vorticity
February 25, 1960 12z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)


March 3, 1960 - 6" at Toledo, 11.5" at Cleveland. Mid-Atlantic and Northeast major bomb cyclone snowstorm. Ranked #6 in terms of the NESIS

Maps

March 2 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
March 3 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
March 4 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
March 3, 1960 00z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
March 3, 1960 00z 500mb vorticity
March 3, 1960 00z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)


February 21, 1962 - 6 "

Maps

February 20 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
February 21 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
February 22 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
February 21, 1962 12z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
February 21, 1962 12z 500mb vorticity
February 21, 1962 12z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)


March 5, 1962 - "Ash Wednesday Storm" - 8" at Toledo, 3" at Cleveland, 8 " at Akron/Canton - "Ash Wednesday Storm" with high winds/waves coastal flooding on March 6 on the East Coast and a major snowstorm for the Appalachians. Cutoff upper low.

Maps

March 4 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
March 5 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
March 6 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
March 5, 1962 12z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
March 5, 1962 12z 500mb vorticity
March 5, 1962 12z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)


December 6-7, 1962 - 5 to 6". Strong deepening low pressure in Virginia and a strong closed upper level low in Kentucky.Quotes from Toledo Blade: 5 -inch snowfall snarls traffic, closes schools, cuts power area-wide. Heavy wind causes drifting. 7-inch snowfall jams traffic, cuts off Bowling Green and Findlay, blamed for 3 deaths. Hardest hit late yesterday was the suburban area south of Toledo on a line from Perrysburg to Waterville. U.S. 24 between Maumee and Napoleon was closed.

Maps

December 5 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
December 6 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
December 7 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)

December 6, 1962 12z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
December 6, 1962 12z 500mb vorticity
December 6, 1962 12z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)


January 1, 1964 - 7.4 and 7.6" at Cincinnati, with 4.3" at Toledo.


Maps

December 31,1963 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 1, 1964 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 1, 1964 12z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
January 1, 1964 12z 500mb vorticity
January 1, 1964 12z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)


January 12-13 1964 - honorable mention, 9.5" at Findlay, 8.5" at Cleveland, 9 " at Akron/Canton, it hit central and eastern Ohio harder and became a blockbuster noreaster snowstorm. Ranked #12 in terms of the NESIS.

Maps

January 11 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 12 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 13 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 12, 1964 12z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
January 12, 1964 12z 500mb vorticity


March 10-12, 1964 - 6.5", 13.6" at Fort Wayne. The low tracked from Arkansas to southeast Ohio and southern Pennsylvania and strongly intensified. This was a very borderline situation with the temperature at Toledo and Fort Wayne, with the rain/snow being probably 20-60 miles away. A second weak low on March 12 hit Fort Wayne with extra snowfall.

Maps

March 10 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
March 11 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
March 12 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
March 10, 1964 00z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
March 10, 1964 00z 500mb vorticity


December 2-3 1964 - 7" at Findlay, 4.5" at Toledo

Maps

December 2 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
December 3 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
December 2, 1964 12z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
December 2, 1964 12z 500mb vorticity


February 24-26, 1965 - This could be called the "Midwest/Ohio Valley Snowstorm of 1965" 7.8" at Toledo, 11" at Detroit, 12.9" at Flint, 9" at Jackson MI, 10.3 " at Lansing, 17.9" at Saginaw, 7.5" at Grand Rapids, 12.7" at South Bend, 7.5" at Fort Wayne, 12.5" at Indianapolis, 10" at Chicago, 7.6" at Peru IN, 9.8" at Lafayette, 8.4" at Evansville, 6" Bowling Green KY, 3" Cincinnati, 7" Paducah. The surface low tracked from Louisiana to Cincinnati to north of Pittsburgh to north of Montreal. The rain-snow line was near a Toledo to Indianapolis line. It was a strongly deepening low from around 1002mb to 983mb in 24 hours, to 976mb in 30 hours. It was 12 degrees and windy at Toledo after the storm ended. It is interesting to note this situation was along with a strong Greenland block but the upper level flow off the East Coast did not allow a coastal low to develop. This was a definite problem for transportation in Toledo, according to the Toledo Blade. It was also the largest single-storm total snowstorm at Toledo in the previous 14 years, according to the Toledo Blade.

Maps

February 24 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
February 25 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
February 24, 1965 12z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
February 24, 1965 12z 500mb vorticity
February 24, 1965 18z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)
February 25, 1965 00z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)
February 25, 1965 06z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)


January 22-23, 1966 - 11 " at Akron/Canton. This was a major interior Northeast snowstorm and ranks #19 in terms of the NESIS.

Maps

January 22 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 23 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 22, 1966 12z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
January 22, 1966 12z 500mb vorticity


November 2-3, 1966- This could be called the "Midwest/Ohio Valley Blizzard of 1966". 9.6" Toledo, 9.5" at Detroit Willow Run, 6 " at Detroit, 8.8 " at Findlay, 9 to 12" in western Ohio, 12.1" Alpena 11.3" Saginaw, 10.5" Ann Arbor, 10.1" Traverse City, 9.0" Lansing, 8.6" Flint, 7.7" Grand Rapids, 6.0" Detroit, 13.1" Louisville, 7.6" Lexington KY, 8.3" Indianapolis, 6.8" Fort Wayne, 5.8" South Bend, 2.4" Evansville, 14.0" Lima, 8.0" Cincinnati, 5.7" Columbus. Wind gusts 40 to 50mph. I am not sure if it was true blizzard conditions. This was a highly amplified upper level flow that involved powerful phasing and a really good comma head, with multi-contour 500mb low. The low pressure center tracked and strongly intensified from the Florida panhandle to West Virginia to southern Ontario and western Quebec (not a true bomb cyclone).

Maps

November 2 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
November 3 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
November 2, 1966 12z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
November 2, 1966 12z 500mb vorticity
November 2, 1966 12z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)
November 2, 1966 18z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)
November 3, 1966 00z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)



November 29, 1966 - 6.5" at Toledo.
Sinking of the Daniel J. Morrell on Lake Huron

Maps

November 28 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
November 29 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
November 30 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
November 29, 1966 12z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
November 29, 1966 12z 500mb vorticity


December 10, 1966 - 5.5" at Toledo. Quotes from the Toledo Record: Third Pre-Winter Storm Blamed in Two Deaths. Much traffic re-routed. 5 1/2" of snow on top on an earlier deluge of rain. Considerble flooding continued in low-lying areas, particularly in Grand Rapids, OH. November 2-3 left 9 1/2". Followed by 6 1/2" on November 30.

Maps

December 10 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
December 10, 1966 12z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
December 10, 1966 12z 500mb vorticity


January 26-28, 1967 - the Midwest Blizzard of 1967. This was a Texas Panhandle type Colorado low that tracked through Arkansas, south of St. Louis, and through Ohio, and occluded in Michigan, and most importantly it seemed to take longer in its occluding stage than other storms like this. There were warm temperatures in the eastern half of the country on January 24-25 when a low tracked through the northern Lakes and brought a cold front and also strong high pressure to the Midwest that formed a blocking high and the Texas Panhandle low formed to the south of it. That slowed the storm and provided arctic air just enough to make this a huge snowstorm - the best ever for Chicago, South Bend, Flint, Lansing, Ann Arbor, and Saginaw. Plenty of low level moisture in the Southeast was drawn into the storm.

Maps

January 25 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 26 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 27 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 28 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 28 snow depth contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 26, 1967 18z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
January 26, 1967 12z 500mb vorticity

Milwaukee NWS Office - Big snow in the U.S.


February 5, 1967 - 7" at Toledo

Maps

February 5 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
February 5, 1967 12z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
February 5, 1967 12z 500mb vorticity


January 13-15, 1968 - 7 ". The Toledo Blade reported 10.3". Snow, ice, and rain affected a large area of the country. There was about 18 " that fell on Mansfield, and 4-8 " were reported in the surrounding area, according to the Blade, with at least 8" in Hardin and Mercer counties in Ohio. It was a multi-contour upper-level low that brought an ice storm to parts of Ohio at the beginning of this 3-day event. Quotes from the Toledo Blade: 10 " of snow blankets area; snow schools shut, traffic slowed. Kelley's Island had 10" in 4 hours Saturday night. Ohio snowfall ranges up to 20 ".

Maps

January 12 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 13 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 14 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 15 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 14, 1968 12z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
January 14, 1968 12z 500mb vorticity


March 22-23, 1968 - 6 to 7" at Toledo

Maps

March 21 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
March 22 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
March 23 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
March 22, 1968 12z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
March 22, 1968 12z 500mb vorticity


December 23, 1969 - 8" at Toledo

Maps

December 23 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
December 23, 1969 12z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
December 23, 1969 12z 500mb vorticity


December 31, 1969 - January 1, 1970 - 8.9" at Toledo

Maps

December 31, 1969 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 1, 1970 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
December 31, 1969 12z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
December 31, 1969 12z 500mb vorticity


1970s


February 7-9, 1971 - honorable mention, 9"-12" snowstorm for Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland. Otherwise in Ohio there was 6-9", although less than 1 inch at Toledo. A low in Louisiana then Georgia and front along Appalachians, low intensified strongly and tracked along East coastal plain. Pretty amplified trough with strong straight south-southwest flow at jet level on east side of trough along the front. Band of snow south-southwest to north-northeast.


Maps

February 7, 1971 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
February 8, 1971 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
February 9, 1971 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
February 8, 1971 12z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
February 8, 1971 12z 500mb vorticity


March 17, 1973 - heavy snow in northern Indiana and southern Michigan that gave 12.3 " to Fort Wayne and 13 " to Ann Arbor(), 9.9" at Detroit, 4" at Toledo.


Maps

March 16, 1973 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
March 17, 1973 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
March 18, 1973 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
March 17, 1973 12z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
March 17, 1973 12z 500mb vorticity


December 18-20, 1973 - 8.5 " at Toledo, 14 " at Defiance, 11.1 " at Fort Wayne, 11.2 " at Detroit, 11 " at Jackson, 9.3 " at Lansing, 9.3 " at Flint, 5.5 " at Saginaw, 13.0 " at Indianapolis, 12.5 " at South Bend, 17.2 " at West Lafayette, 4.5 " at Evansville, 4.2 " at Chicago O'Hare, 9.8 " at Chicago Midway. Phasing northern upper low with southern upper low in an sharp amplified trough, long straight flow south-southwest to north-northeast at jet level near the front and strongly deepening low - tracked from Arkansas to Tennessee to South Carolina/west Pennsylvania (two lows) and the East coastal plain and Maine/Canada.

Maps

December 18, 1973 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
December 19, 1973 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
December 20, 1973 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
December 20, 1973 00z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
December 20, 1973 00z 500mb vorticity


February 6, 1974 - 5.1 " at Toledo

Maps

February 5 Snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
February 6 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
February 6, 1974 12z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
February 6, 1974 12z 500mb vorticity


December 1, 1974 - the "Blizzard of '74." 14" of snow fell at Toledo, 18.5" at Detroit made this storm the largest storm-total snowfall in Detroit and Toledo since 1900. (Note: it is debatable how much snow fell on January 26, 1978--it was too hard to measure!) Some of the snow was wet and melting with high temperatures slightly above freezing that day. Detroit even reported thunder at 7:00PM on December 1st! Also, at Detroit the weather briefly switched to rain at the end of the storm on December 2nd. There were easterly gales and storm warnings on Lake Erie. This was a cutoff upper low. A multi-contour 500mb low came in from the middle of the plains to Missouri to the Tennessee Valley. The surface low formed in the mid-south, and moved north from Alabama to Kentucky, and slowly moved across West Virginia and Pennsylvania . It eventually became a coastal low near New York City, with horrendous rain and wind at New York City. It even was snowing in Atlanta Georgia on the morning of December 2nd. This was on Thanksgiving weekend. Certainly for this region it was the most significant snowfall in a long time before 1974. Quotes from the Toledo Blade: Foruteen Inch snowfall cripples Toledo area, thouseands are stranded, power lines downed. Virtually all area schools cancelled, including BGSU. Toledo's 3rd heaviest since 1900.

Maps

See loops of this storm on the "Phasing Storms" page

November 30, 1974 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
December 1, 1974 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
December 2, 1974 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
December 2, 1974 snow depth contour (courtesy NCDC)
December 2, 1974 00z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
December 2, 1974 00z 500mb vorticity


Article on this storm from the Detroit NWS Office


December 25-26, 1975 - 6 "


Maps

December 25, 1975 Snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
December 26, 1975 Snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
December 26, 1975 12z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
December 26, 1975 12z 500mb vorticity


January 9-10 1977 - 9.1 " at Toledo and 5 " at Cleveland from a powerfully phasing - inland tracking Louisiana to Ohio to Vermont low. 10 to 20 degrees during the storm. Schools shut down. Quotes from the Toledo Blade: Heavy Drifting Snow Hits Area; Most Schools Close; Driving Perlious. The season's first heavy snowfall moved into the area overnight, bolstered by windswept drifts that shut down virtually every school in Northwestern Ohio and Southeastern Michigan and made traveling generally treacherous. Snow depths in the outling areas gnereally varied from 4 to 6 " by 5AM. Hardin and Mercer counties had at least 8 " on the ground.


Maps

January 9, 1977 Snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 10, 1977 Snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 10, 1977 12z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
January 10, 1977 12z 500mb vorticity


January 28, 1977- Blizzard of 1977 - True blizzard conditions prevailed for a couple of hours and a cold wave, fast moving cold front with some wind gusts to 60 mph with 2 to 4 " of snow, (3 " at Toledo Express Airport) blowing and drifting snow for many hours or really an entire day or two was the main concern. 4 " at Cleveland. Temperatures fell from 20 to -2 degrees in a half hour at Toledo. This was Buffalo, New York's blizzard of the century. Quotes from the Toledo Blade: By Friday night, I-75 was closed virtually from Cincinnati to the Lucas County line. The Ohio Turnpike was closed from Fremont to Elyria/Lorain because of drifting and also between the Bryan and Stony Ridge Exits in the eastbound direction only. Drifting conditions were less severe in southeast Michigan. Blizzard, subzero temperatures slow Midwest, East to a crawl.


Maps

January 28 Snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 28, 1977 low temperature (courtesy NCDC)
January 28, 1977 peak wind gust (courtesy NCDC)
January 28, 1977 12z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
January 29, 1977 00z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
January 28, 1977 12z 500mb vorticity
January 29, 1977 00z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)

Other Web Pages

NWS Buffalo Blizzard of 77 web page
Blizzard of 1977 from Usatoday
Blizzard of 1977 from acsu.buffalo.edu
People share their memories of the Blizzard of 1977
White Death-Blizzard of 77
Blizzard of January 1977


March 17-18, 1977 - 7.8 " at Toledo


Maps

March 17 Snowfall contour (Courtesy NCDC)
March 18 Snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
March 18, 1977 00z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
March 18, 1977 00z 500mb vorticity
March 18, 1977 00z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)


November 25-26, 1977 - 20 " at South Bend.


Maps

November 25 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
November 26 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
November 26, 1977 00z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
November 26, 1977 00z 500mb vorticity
November 26, 1977 00z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)


December 5-6, 1977 - 10 " at Toledo, 8 " at Findlay. Quote from Toledo Blade: Wind Driven Snow Closes Schools, Airport, Makes Driving Treacherous. Area's 10 " of snow takes toll in accidents, lost business. Gusts 22 to 42 mph. Visibility to 1200 feet at Airport.

Maps

December 4 Snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
December 5 Snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
December 6 Snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
December 5, 1977 12z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
December 5, 1977 12z 500mb vorticity
December 5, 1977 12z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)


December 8-9, 1977 - 9 " at Toledo. The 6-day snowfall total was 20.3 " from December 5th to 10th.

Maps

December 8 Snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
December 9 Snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
December 9, 1977 00z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
December 9, 1977 00z 500mb vorticity
December 9, 1977 00z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)


January 17-18, 1978 - 9.9 " at Columbus, and 9.6 " at Akron, this was a major interior Northeast/Appalachian snowstorm.

Maps

January 16 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 17 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 18 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 18, 1978 00z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
January 18, 1978 00z 500mb vorticity
January 18, 1978 00z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)


January 19-21, 1978 - 11.5 " at Cleveland and 7.9 " at Columbus, this was a major interior Northeast snowstorm. Ranked #11 in terms of the NESIS.

Maps

January 19 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 20 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 21 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 20, 1978 12z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
January 20, 1978 12z 500mb vorticity
January 20, 1978 12z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)


January 26-27, 1978 - The Blizzard of 1978. This was one of the greatest storms of the century for the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley. There were severe wind conditions with heavy snow for many hours. There was 12" of snow at Toledo Express Airport. There was 22" of snow at Saginaw Michigan. The Toledo and NW Ohio area had constant winds 45mph, wind gusts to 50 to 75mph. There were very large snow drifts, up to the tops of houses. My best estimate is that the area in western Ohio and eastern Indiana saw 12 to 18" of snow, but hardly anybody could accurately measure it. There were some greater snow amounts in eastern Indiana and also western Michigan. Temperatures dropped quickly from near freezing at 6 AM to 8 degrees late in the day on the 26th. On the 27th, the temperature only rose to 17 degrees. This system was one of the most remarkable dynamic storms ever to form over the continent. Two powerful upper level lows phased together in the Ohio Valley. One system might be called a "Manitoba Mauler," and the other was from the southern plains. The surface low from the "Mauler" weakened in intensity. The surface low from the southern system moved from Mississippi to central Ohio, then into southern Ontario, near London and Sarnia, and finally to Ontario/Quebec. The surface low pressure intensified 40mb in 24 hours. Cleveland recorded its lowest barometer reading ever. There was a very substantial "comma head" cloud band a truly cold multi-contour 500mb low. Quotes from Toledo Blade:

Area Paralyzed by Blizzard, some drifts 10 feet high; winds gust up to 50mph. Blizzard all but shuts down Toledo Area. President declares snow emergency for Ohio. Winds gusting to 85mph, damage all over East and Midwest. 28.26" barometric pressure at SS J. Burton Ayers off Pelee Island and wind gusts to 97 knots. Fifth Army troops flying in to help dig out city, area. 30,000 residences without power.

Toledo Blade, January 26, front page (550KB)
Toledo Blade, January 27, front page (1.1MB)

Technical Articles on this storm

Hakim, Keyser, and Bosart 1995 and 1996
Salmon and Smith 1980

Links to Other Web Pages

Detroit NWS Office
Indianapolis NWS Office
Cleveland NWS Office
Anniversary of the Blizzard of 78 from Kent State
BCEO - Blizzard of '78
Dayton Daily News

Maps

January 24 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 25 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 26 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 27 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 28 snow depth contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 28 snow depth contour - smaller view(courtesy NCDC)
January 26 Low (minimum) temperature (courtesy NCDC)
January 26 peak wind gust (courtesy NCDC)

January 23 12z 500mb vorticity and height
January 24 00z 500mb vorticity and height
January 24 12z 500mb vorticity and height
January 25 00z 500mb vorticity and height
January 25 12z 500mb vorticity and height
January 26 00z 500mb vorticity and height
January 26 12z 500mb vorticity and height
January 27 00z 500mb vorticity and height

January 20 to 23 averaged 850mb temperature anomaly
January 24 averaged 850mb temperature anomaly
January 25 averaged 850mb temperature anomaly

January 25 00z surface temperature and SLP
January 25 12z surface temperature and SLP
January 25 18z surface temperature and SLP
January 26 00z surface temperature and SLP
January 26 06z surface temperature and SLP
January 26 12z surface temperature and SLP
January 27 00z surface temperature and SLP

January 25 12z Northern Hemisphere SLP

January 25 00z 850mb temperature
January 25 12z 850mb temperature
January 26 00z 850mb temperature
January 26 12z 850mb temperature
January 27 00z 850mb temperature
January 27 00z 700mb temperature

January 26, 1978 00z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)
January 26, 1978 12z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)


January 12-14, 1979 - Midwest Blizzard of 1979. 17.2 " at South Bend and a 15.9 " at Chicago


Maps

January 12 Snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 13 Snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 14 Snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 14 Snow depth contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 14, 1979 00z Surface temperature and Sea Level Pressure
January 14, 1979 00z 500mb vorticity
January 14, 1979 00z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)


1980s


February 10, 1981 - 8 " at Toledo and 8.5 " at Detroit. This was likely a snow to rain transition at Toledo and Detroit through the storm, although I am not sure. This was a strong upper level system and a strongly deepening surface low, I might go so far as to call the system a trough merger or phasing.

Maps

February 9 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
February 10 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
February 11 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
February 10 12z Surface Temperature and Sea Level Pressure
February 10 12z 500mb vorticity
February 10 12z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)


January 31, 1982 - 8.5 " at Toledo, 11 " at Findlay, and 11 to 11.8 " at Detroit, 11 " at Fort Wayne (Toledo's biggest snowstorm of 1982) highest wind gust 45mph at Toledo. Toledo Express airport was closed for 20 hours for snow removal. "Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan today were digging out after the area's worst snowstorm since the Blizzard of 78" - Toledo Blade. The temperature only fell from 20 at 1pm Sunday to 8 at 8am Monday.

Maps

January 30 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 31 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 31 12z Surface Temperature and Sea Level Pressure
January 31 12z 500mb vorticity
January 31 12z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)


February 2-3, 1982 - 6.5 " at Toledo, 6.7 " at Fort Wayne.

Maps

February 2 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
February 3 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
February 4 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
February 3 00z Surface Temperature and Sea Level Pressure
February 3 00z 500mb vorticity
February 3 00z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)


April 5-6, 1982 - Blizzard of '82 (I'm not sure if it was true blizzard conditions at Toledo, but the winds were in the range of 35mph). Northeasterly gales, 7.6 ". Highest wind gust 39mph. Some places had drifts 3 to 5 feet. It became a bomb cyclone offshore from New York. 300 people living near the shore of Lake Erie were evacuated because of high water and waves. "Northeasterly winds gusting to 42 mph boosted the level of Maumee Bay to 88 " (is this correct) above the average by 9:30 PM" - Toledo Blade. Port Clinton had waves as high as 8 feet. Thunder and lightning were reported. The temperature only dropped from 32 at 1pm Monday to 19 at 3am Tuesday. Quote from Toledo Blade: I-75 Was Blizzard Survival Test. In April, it's no joke to be stranded by snow. Toledo, Area Pummeled by Storm Packing High Wind, 7 " of Snow. Roads, Schools Closed, 300 Near Lake Evacuated.

Maps

April 4 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
April 5 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
April 6 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
April 6 00z Surface Temperature and Sea Level Pressure
April 6 00z 500mb vorticity
April 6 00z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)


February 27-29, 1984 "Leap day snowstorm" honorable mention 4 " Toledo, 6 " at Detroit. good 6-12 " of snow for most of Ohio, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland. The low came from Mississippi and Alabama to eastern Kentucky to Pennsylvania. A really good comma head and multi-contour 500mb low. Quotes from Toledo Blade: Celeste Declares Statewide Emergency to Battle Snow. Snow emergencies decleared in a number of area counties.

Maps

February 26 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
February 27 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
February 28 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
February 29 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
February 28 12z Surface Temperature and Sea Level Pressure
February 28 12z 500mb vorticity
February 28 12z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)


March 4, 1985 - 5.5" at Detroit.

Maps

March 4 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)


November 27-28, 1985 - 2.4 " on Thanksgiving Day.

Maps

November 27 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
November 28 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
November 28 00z Surface Temperature and Sea Level Pressure
November 28 00z 500mb vorticity
November 28 00z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)


January 18-19, 1987 - 8 " at Toledo

Maps

January 18 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 19 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 19 00z Surface Temperature and Sea Level Pressure
January 19 00z 500mb vorticity
January 19 00z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)


March 30-31, 1987 - a 24-hour snowfall record 16.2 " in Cleveland. According to the Indianapolis NWS Office, up to 9 " fell along the Ohio River in southern Indiana.

Maps

March 30 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
March 31 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
March 31 00z Surface Temperature and Sea Level Pressure
March 31 00z 500mb vorticity
March 31 00z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)

Louisville NWS training documents - see the PDF version of "Synoptic Patterns Associated with Heavy Snowfall Events in Kentucky and Southern Indiana" on this page


April 4, 1987 cutoff upper low gets a lot of snow in Akron and Columbus. 12.3 " fell at Columbus and 20.6 at Akron

Maps

April 3 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
April 4 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
April 5 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
April 4 12z Surface Temperature and Sea Level Pressure
April 4 12z 500mb vorticity
April 4 12z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)


January 24-26, 1988 - 7 " at Toledo.

Maps

January 24 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 25 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 26 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 26 00z Surface Temperature and Sea Level Pressure
January 26 00z 500mb vorticity
January 26 00z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)


February 3-4, 1988 - 6.2" at Toledo.

Maps

February 3 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
February 4 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
February 4 00z Surface Temperature and Sea Level Pressure
February 4 00z 500mb vorticity
February 4 00z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)


February 10-12, 1988 - 6.5 " at Toledo.

Maps

February 10 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
February 11 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
February 12 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
February 11 00z Surface Temperature and Sea Level Pressure
February 11 00z 500mb vorticity
February 11 00z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)


October 19, 1989 - record October snowfall at several cities.

Maps

October 19 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
October 19 12z Surface Temperature and Sea Level Pressure
October 19 12z 500mb vorticity
October 19 12z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)


1990s


January 14, 1992 7" at Toledo and - 11.1 to 12.7" at Detroit. Thundersnow at a rain-snow changeover at Toledo. Toledo Express Airport reported a high of 43 (this is probably before midnight on the 13th), low of 19, rain, snow, thunder, and fog on this day, a maximum wind gust to 36mph, average wind 22mph 0.87 " of precip total, and 6.7 " of snow. The temperature dropped to the 20's by morning with the snow falling in the night an morning hours, and 20-25mph winds in the afternoon made for some drifting. Track near Mississippi to eastern Ohio to northern New England - a bomb cyclone that went from 1004mb to 976mb in one day and involved a type of phasing of two upper level lows.

Maps

January 13 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 14 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 15 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)

January 14 00z 500mb vorticity
January 14 00z SLP and Surface Temperature
January 14 00z 300mb speed
January 14 00z 850mb speed
January 14 00z 850mb speed and 300mb speed
January 14 00z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)

January 14 12z 500mb vorticity
January 14 12z SLP and Surface Temperature
January 14 12z 300mb speed
January 14 12z 850mb speed
January 14 12z 850mb speed and 300mb speed
January 14 12z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)


March 21-22, 1992 - 6" at Toledo.

Maps

March 21 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
March 22 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)

March 22 00z 500mb vorticity
March 22 00z SLP and Surface Temperature
March 22 00z 300mb speed
March 22 00z 850mb speed
March 22 14 00z 850mb speed and 300mb speed
March 22 00z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)

March 22 12z 500mb vorticity
March 22 12z SLP and Surface Temperature
March 22 12z 300mb speed
March 22 12z 850mb speed
March 22 14 12z 850mb speed and 300mb speed
March 22 12z (approx. mid level cloud amount and wind)


March 4, 1993 - "Surprise Snowstorm" 6 to 9" (9.4" at Toledo Express Airport) of wet snow with temperatures near and above freezing. I got out of school early at 1:00 due to the snow falling heavily by noon or 1:00, maybe up to 3 " per hour by 3:00. There were some similarities to the November 25, 1950 storm track in the sense that it was a surface low at Virginia with an upper low over the Tennessee area, although it was certainly not as severe and not as cold - it was a rainstorm for many cities. (cutoff upper low)

Maps

March 4 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
March 5 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
March 4 12z Surface Temperature and Sea Level Pressure
March 4 12z 500mb vorticity


March 10-11, 1993 - 5.1" at Toledo. Set-up for the Superstorm. Even though Toledo got pretty much missed by the Superstorm, (see next entry) March 1993 rocked!

Maps

March 10 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
March 11 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
March 10 12z Surface Temperature and Sea Level Pressure
March 10 12z 500mb vorticity


March 13, 1993 - 8.5" of snow at Cleveland for the Superstorm of 1993. This was a blizzard of record snow amounts and very strong winds for the Appalachians and East Coast, and even in extreme eastern Ohio, there was 2-3 feet of snow. Ranked #1 in terms of the NESIS

Maps

March 12 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
March 13 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
March 14 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)

March 13 12z 500mb vorticity
March 13 12z SLP and Surface Temperature
March 13 12z 300mb speed
March 13 12z 850mb speed
March 13 12z 850mb speed and 300mb speed


Other Web Pages

Blizzard of 93
March 1993 superstorm
Surface Images of March 1993 storm of the century
Schultz and Steenburgh (1999) paper on Superstorm 93
Louisville NWS Office web page on this storm


January 3-5, 1994 - 6" at Zaneville OH, southeast Ohio snowstorm, interior Northeast snowstorm
Maps

January 4 12z Surface Temperature and Sea Level Pressure
January 4 12z 500mb vorticity


January 5-6, 1994 - 5.9" at Toledo, 10.1" at Detroit, 4.8" at Flint, 4.5" at Cleveland, but Findlay got only 1 inch of snow with freezing rain/rain This low moved from Oklahoma to Kentucky/Ohio and weakened with a somewhat zonal flow with arctic surface high to the north, but reintensified offshore from New York.

Maps

January 5 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 6 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 6 12z Surface Temperature and Sea Level Pressure
January 6 12z 500mb vorticity


January 16-17, 1994 - honorable mention - 3.5" at Toledo. Extreme cold hit the region (-17F) immediately after this storm. This was a serious snowstorm in the southern half of Ohio and Ohio River valley area. This was not really a standard type of storm development either. Historically cold and snowy month for southeast Ohio--by January 20th, Zanesville OH had been at -25 degrees and had 11 inches of snow on the ground.

Maps

January 16 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 17 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 17 00z Surface Temperature and Sea Level Pressure
January 17 00z 500mb vorticity

Louisville NWS Office web page on this storm
Louisville NWS research paper on this storm


February 25, 1994 - 6" at Toledo, after a couple of previous days, the 22nd and 23rd, with a 5" snowfall total. The low tracked from Oklahoma to Iowa/Missouri/Illinois, then north central Indiana, then Columbus, then the Pennsylvania/Maryland border.

Maps

February 25 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
February 25 12z Surface Temperature and Sea Level Pressure
February 25 12z 500mb vorticity


April 6, 1994 5.5" of wet snow - this storm may have spread snow from Oklahoma through Indiana too.

Maps

April 5 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
April 6 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
April 6 12z Surface Temperature and Sea Level Pressure
April 6 12z 500mb vorticity


January 20-22, 1995 - 7.9" of snow fell in Toledo over 3 days. This was a southern stream closed upper low that featured some strong dynamics on January 19 as it really hit the northeast Missouri to southern Wisconsin area with a lot snow on the 19th. A few inches of snow at several Ohio cities over a two or three day time frame. There was over 2.0" of total precipitation (snow, rain, freezing rain, sleet) fell at Toledo over 3 days; some of this storm must have been rain or freezing rain.

Maps

January 19 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 20 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 21 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 22 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 20 12z Surface Temperature and Sea Level Pressure
January 20 12z 500mb vorticity


December 19-20, 1995 - 13 " of snow at Cleveland and 11" at Mansfield 4" fell at Findlay, 12" at Youngstown, 5" at Dayton. This system developed with a strong Greenland block in place. Moderate Northeast snowstorm

Maps

December 19 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
December 20 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
December 18 23Z US Radar (courtesy NCDC)
December 19 23Z US Radar (courtesy NCDC)
December 19 12z Surface Temperature and Sea Level Pressure
December 19 12z 500mb vorticity


January 7, 1996 - Blizzard of 1996. This storm gets honorable mention for significant snowfall at Cincinnati (14") and Columbus (9") and Dayton (8") and Zanesville (7.1") as well as southeast Ohio. The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic really got a big snowstorm. Although it didn't snow at Toledo from this storm, some amounts of 3-10" or more may have fallen in the Upper Sandusky, Kenton, and Bellefontaine areas. I'm not sure. It produced a large area of snow, ice, and rain around the US. (Note: This was in the middle of a several snowfalls in Ohio in general within the first two weeks of January 1996.) Synoptic picture: This was just plain a really strong upper low in the middle of the country coming into a strongly confluent flow in the eastern US and Canada. As you can see in the SLP/temperature chart, the low was in Alabama or the Florida Panhandle with a weak low in eastern Tennessee, and there was a strong high to the north, northwest, and northeast of the low, with very cold surface temperatures up north. Later on - January 7 to January 8, this storm developed into a bomb cyclone offshore from New York City. Ranked #2 in terms of the NESIS.

Maps

Ohio Valley, Pennsylvania, Washington Radar composite (8 time frames)
January 6 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 7 snowfall contour (courtesy NCDC)
January 5 23Z US Radar (courtesy NCDC)
January 6 23Z US Radar (courtesy NCDC)
January 7 23Z US Radar (courtesy NCDC)
January 7, 0315Z Satellite image (NCDC/NWS)
January 6, 1745z Satellite image (NCDC Historical GOES Browser)
January 7 00z Surface Temperature and Sea Level Pressure
January 7 00z 500mb vorticity


November 9-14, 1996

Veterans Day Lake Effect Snowstorm: November 9-14, 1996 in the Great Lakes


January 2-3 1999 - Midwest Blizzard of 1999. This is a storm with one of the largest coverage areas (most square miles) of the Midwest where 12 or more inches of snow fell during the storm, approximately from Detroit to Chicago, Milwaukee, and Chicago to the Quad Cities. Areas farther south and east in Ohio had 4" and then it changed to rain. Larger amounts of snow were north and west of Toledo . An area from Detroit to Chicago got around 15". Snowfall at Milwaukee was even higher than 15". The low pressure track was from around Louisiana to Indiana, Michigan, and Ontario.

This was my own personal favorite, even though it was a bit of a mess around Toledo. It sleeted and there was a small amount of freezing rain and rain after getting over 8", possibly 9" at my house. Possibly up to 12" of snow fell near the Michigan border. Winds of 20 mph made for some drifting. 8" of snow was reported at Toledo Express Airport. Even Detroit had a short changeover to rain. The temperature rose from 14 to 32 degrees during the middle of the snowstorm and then fell to 10 degrees on the January 3rd. There was a wind gust of 37 knots from the WSW after the cold front. Interestingly, this did not cause further drifting because the snow was glazed over by the time the cold front came through. On January 10, 1999, one week later, Toledo had a low of -6 degrees, the coldest temperature of that very changeable winter. In early December 1998, the 50-60 degree temperature range was relatively normal in Ohio!

I drove southwards on I-75 after the roads were cleared, and Findlay Ohio was covered with thick ice.

The pre-storm synoptic setup was: 1. an area of strong confluence at 500mb and an arctic high pressure to the north, northwest, and northeast of the low. 2. A strong low/ polar vortex at 500mb moved at a moderate speed through southern Quebec. This is like the pre-storm environments of some East Coast storms (notably January 7, 1996). Although the 500mb confluence was farther west than it is for East Coast storms. Of course the entire area of interest was west of the East Coast. The strong upper low near Newfoundland (50/50 low) was present while the storm was taking place in the Midwest. You can see phasing and deepening of the two distinct upper low systems near Iowa on the 500mb loop. A strong southerly low-level wind helped to transport moisture into the storm. This is one of a few storms in history that went west of Toledo/Detroit and delivered 8-12+" in the area.


Maps

Radar Composite (MI/IN/OH) 14 frames
Loop of January 1 18Z to January 3 0915z US Radar (courtesy NCDC)
January 2 1545Z satellite Image (NCDC/NWS)
January 2, 12z Satellite image (NCDC Historical GOES Browser)
January 3, 00z Satellite image (NCDC Historical GOES Browser)

January 2 12z 500mb vorticity
January 2 12z SLP and Surface Temperature
January 2 12z 300mb speed
January 2 12z 850mb speed
January 2 12z 850mb speed and 300mb speed


470KB Loop of January 2 12z to January 3, 15z Midwest Surface Plot

230KB Loop of January 2 12z to January 3, 06z Northeast Surface Plot

1.9MB Loop of January 1 15z to January 3, 11z Midwest Weather Depiction
500mb loop of this storm


Snowfall Totals January 2 to 4, 1999



March 9-10, 1999- 7", a Colorado low tracked to the Midwest and Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic. This system developed with a very confluent flow aloft from New England to 35N 60W in the ocean, and a blocking high was near Newfoundland.
March 8-10 Snowfall totals from NWS offices' preliminary climate reports Toledo 7.3", Cleveland 3.1", Mansfield 5.3", Akron 5.2", Youngstown 3.5", Erie 0.5", Detroit 3.5", Flint 1.2", Columbus 7.5", Cincinnati 5.2", Dayton 7.8", Indianapolis 5.2", South Bend 5.9", Fort Wayne 7.1", Grand Rapids 5.1", Lansing 4.5", Muskegon 2.9", Davenport 9.4", Chicago O'Hare 10.0", Rockford 6.8", Milwaukee 7.7", Madison 5.8", Pittsburgh 6.5", St. Louis 0.5".

Maps

March 9 09Z US Radar (courtesy NCDC)
March 9 12Z US Radar (courtesy NCDC)

800KB Loop of March 9 00z to March 9 17z Midwest Weather Depiction
Loop of March 9 18z to March 10 03z Northeast Weather Depiction
Loop of March 10 04z to 06z Mid-Atlantic Weather Depiction
March 9 12z Surface Temperature and Sea Level Pressure
March 9 12z 500mb vorticity


2000-present day


December 11-12, 2000 - 6-14" in Southeast Michigan, with gusty winds near the end, especially heavy snow conditions at Flint. Toledo and Fort Wayne got a little snow, rain, and freezing rain. Flint got an amazing total of 18.4 " in four days. Saginaw got 9 ". Detroit Metro Airport got 6.1" due to mixing with freezing rain. Ann Arbor got 13". December 11-12 (including December 10 for IL, IA, and WI) Snowfall from NWS forecast offices' preliminary climate data: Toledo 1.7", Cleveland 0.4", Mansfield 0.3", Detroit 6.1", Flint 14.0", ,Saginaw 9.8", South Bend 12.0", Fort Wayne 0.2" , Grand Rapids 15.2", Lansing 15.0", Muskegon 13.0", Davenport 8.7", Dubuque 9.0", Chicago O'Hare 9.6", Rockford 9.3", Milwaukee 14.1", Madison 5.8", Des Moines 8.5".

NWS Public Information Statements on December 12 regarding snowfall



Maps

December 11 12z 500mb vorticity
December 11 12z SLP and Surface Temperature
December 11 12z 300mb speed
December 11 12z 850mb speed
December 11 12z 850mb speed and 300mb speed
December 11 18z SLP and Surface Temperature


Loop of December 11 03z to December 12 09z US radar (courtesy NCDC)
December 11 23z DTX nexrad image
December 11 00z IR Satellite (NCDC Historical GOES Browser)
December 11 12z IR Satellite (NCDC Historical GOES Browser)
December 12 00z IR Satellite (NCDC Historical GOES Browser)

770KB Loop of December 11 12z to December 12 05z Midwest Weather Depiction

Detroit Metro Observations during this storm
Flint Observations during this storm
Toledo Observations during this storm
Lansing Observations during this storm
Ann Arbor Observations during this storm
Ypsilanti-Detroit Willow Run Observations during this storm
Adrian Observations during this storm
Monroe Observations during this storm
Pontiac Observations during this storm
Jackson Observations during this storm
Howell Observations during this storm


December 13-14, 2000. Snowstorm for several cities and some amount of ice in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, and Missouri. Snowfall totals from NWS forecast offices' preliminary Monthly climate data: Toledo 6.3", Mansfield 4.5", Akron 1.8", Cleveland 4.6", Columbus 1.2" snow, may have had freezing rain, Cincinnati 1.8" snow, may have had freezing rain, Dayton 1.5" snow, may have had freezing rain, Detroit 4.9", Lansing 3.6", Grand Rapids 5.5", Muskegon 4.0", Fort Wayne 4.5", South bend 4.2", Indianapolis 5.7" of snow, may have had freezing rain, Chicago O'Hare 6.0", Rockford 3.9", Davenport 1.4", Milwaukee 3.8", Madison 1.4", Springfield MO 13.7", St. Louis 7.7", Louisville 1.5", may have had freezing rain, Paducah 3.6", had freezing rain, Evansville 3.6", may have had freezing rain.

Commentary on December 2000

This was only two days after southern Michigan got 6 to 14". After these 4 days, snow depths in southeast Michigan were pretty much 15 " or better. Detroit Metro Airport had a depth of 11 " on December 14th. On December 30th, Toledo Express Airport had a depth of 14". I think the snow depth at Toledo was about 13-16" by December 21st, which is the best I have ever seen in Toledo. This may have been the highest snow depth in Toledo since 1982 or 1978. This was a very cold month and the snowpack built up, in contrast to the winter of 1999-2000 and also in contrast to almost all of the winter 1998-1999 except for January 1st to 20th.

Maps

December 13 12z Surface Temperature and Sea Level Pressure
December 13 12z 500mb vorticity
December 13 12z 300mb wind speed
December 14 00z Surface Temperature and Sea Level Pressure
December 14 00z 500mb vorticity
December 14 00z 300mb wind speed
December 13 00z 850mb wind speed
December 13 06z 850mb wind speed
December 13 12z 850mb wind speed
December 13 18z 850mb wind speed
December 14 00z 850mb wind speed
Loop of December 13 12z to December 14 03z US radar (courtesy NCDC)
December 13 00z IR satellite (courtesy NCDC Historical GOES Browser)
December 13 12z IR satellite (courtesy NCDC Historical GOES Browser)
December 14 00z IR satellite (courtesy NCDC Historical GOES Browser)
Toledo Observations during this storm

270KB Loop of December 13 17z to 22z Midwest Weather Depiction

Other web page
December 2000 record snow


January 30, - February 1, 2002 - Honorable mention for 7.6" at Detroit and 9.6" at Flint, up to 9.5" near and in Detroit, and more than 4" across much of the southern section of Michigan in general. (See Ice Storm Section)

Maps

January 31 12z 500mb vorticity
January 31 12z SLP and Surface Temperature
January 31 12z 300mb speed
January 31 12z 850mb speed
January 31 12z 850mb speed and 300mb speed


March 24-26, 2002 - "Toledo Special" snowstorm, 9" in two batches of snow, 12" in nearby Monroe County, Michigan. This ended off a relatively snowless winter.

Maps

March 25 12z 500mb vorticity
March 25 12z SLP and Surface Temperature
March 25 12z 300mb speed
March 25 12z 850mb speed
March 25 12z 850mb speed and 300mb speed


December 24-25, 2002 - Christmas snowstorm of 6 to 7" (7.1 " at Toledo). This affected a large area of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and the Northeast. This southern stream low came from Texas and Louisiana to Kentucky and Ohio This became a bomb cyclone as it formed a coastal low offshore from New York. A split jet and the southern jet disturbance from Arizona came toward jet confluence in the Midwest. Interior Northeast snowstorm caused over 2 feet of snow at Albany NY.


Maps

December 25 00z 500mb vorticity
December 25 00z SLP and Surface Temperature
December 25 00z 300mb speed
December 25 00z 850mb speed
December 25 00z 850mb speed and 300mb speed

December 24 snowfall (Courtesy NOHRSC)
December 25 snowfall (Courtesy NOHRSC)


January 2, 2003 - 5" at Toledo, interior Northeast snowstorm


Maps

January 2 12z 500mb vorticity
January 2 12z SLP and Surface Temperature
January 2 12z 300mb speed
January 2 12z 850mb speed
January 2 12z 850mb speed and 300mb speed

January 2 snowfall (Courtesy NOHRSC)


February 17, 2003- "President's Day Storm 2" - Affected a huge area of the country with precipitation. About 3 to 5" of snow at Toledo. Northeasterly winds through the whole thing. 15.5" fell at Columbus making it the largest storm in Columbus history, and 10-16" in southeast Ohio over the 14th-17th. Remarkably, the surface low looked generally pretty weak as it sank southeastward from Missouri to Alabama at 1005mb, but it had a huge pressure gradient from high to low. The precipitation was over almost all states farther north than Alabama at that time! It was a super frontal zone and super confluence zone with an southwesterly low-level jet and then easterly low-level jet that would not give up! This became a coastal low on the night of 16th/17th but the upper low and comma head actually formed right over Ohio. The storm system came onshore at the San Diego/Baja area and gave heavy rain to Los Angeles on either the 10th or 12th. Ranked #3 in terms of the NESIS.

Maps

February 17 00z 500mb vorticity
February 17 00z SLP and Surface Temperature
February 17 00z 300mb speed
February 17 00z 850mb speed
February 17 00z 850mb speed and 300mb speed

February 14 snowfall (Courtesy NOHRSC)
February 15 snowfall (Courtesy NOHRSC)
February 16 snowfall (Courtesy NOHRSC)
February 17 snowfall (Courtesy NOHRSC)


The Presidents Day Weekend Snowstorm of 2003


February 22-23, 2003 - "Windsor Canada Special" 5 to 8" (8.9" at airport), 6 to 12 " north of Toledo in Monroe County, Michigan, and 12" in far southern Ontario. Low track Texas to West Virginia to Montreal. Partial phasing. Good frontogenesis and comma head cloud here. A mere 5-6 days after "President's Day Storm 2", this caused heavy downpours on the thick snow on the ground in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, causing a roof to collapse near Washington.

Maps

February 23 00z 500mb vorticity
February 23 00z SLP and Surface Temperature
February 23 00z 300mb speed
February 23 00z 850mb speed
February 23 00z 850mb speed and 300mb speed

February 22 snowfall (Courtesy NOHRSC)
February 23 snowfall (Courtesy NOHRSC)
February 24 snowfall (Courtesy NOHRSC)


December 22-23, 2004 - 7.8" of snow at Toledo on the night of the 22nd and the morning of the 23rd, this was a very significant snowstorm for areas south of Toledo from Findlay to Cincinnati (12-16 " fell), east to Sandusky, 15.5" of snow and some freezing rain fell at Cleveland, also significant at Indianapolis and much of the Ohio River Valley west of Cincinnati, this storm also was a major ice storm with some snow in Cincinnati and Columbus.

Maps

December 22 12z 500mb vorticity
December 22 12z 00z SLP and Surface Temperature
December 22 12z 00z 300mb speed
December 22 12z 00z 850mb speed
December 22 12z 00z 850mb speed and 300mb speed

December 23 12z 500mb vorticity
December 23 12z 00z SLP and Surface Temperature
December 23 12z 00z 300mb speed
December 23 12z 00z 850mb speed
December 23 12z 00z 850mb speed and 300mb speed


December 23 12z 500mb vorticity
Loop of December 22 12z to December 23 15z US Radar (courtesy NCDC)

December 21 to 23 snowfall (Courtesy NOHRSC)
December 24 snow depth (Courtesy NOHRSC)


January 8, 2005 - Surprise snowstorm 5.5" at Toledo Express Airport with local reports of 7.5 to 8.5".

January 7 to 8 snowfall (Courtesy NOHRSC)
January 7 snow depth (Courtesy NOHRSC)
January 9 snow depth (Courtesy NOHRSC)



January 22-23, 2005 - Major snowstorm for the Midwest and Northeast - 12 " reported at Toledo Express Airport with local reports of 7 to 10", this was about a 10 to 12" snowfall for most of southern Michigan's cities. The northern third of Ohio is where the snow accumulations over 3" were.

Maps

January 22 06z US Radar (courtesy NCDC)
January 22 09z US Radar (courtesy NCDC)
January 22 12z US Radar (courtesy NCDC)
January 22 15z US Radar (courtesy NCDC)
January 22 18z US Radar (courtesy NCDC)
January 22 21z US Radar (courtesy NCDC)

January 21 to 23 snowfall (Courtesy NOHRSC)
January 24 snow depth (Courtesy NOHRSC)


March 31-April 3, 2005 - 5 to 20" of wet snow between Cleveland, Youngstown, Akron, Erie, and Buffalo. The hilly areas above 1000 feet are generally the ones that got over a foot of snow. This was not a lake-effect snowstorm, amazingly!

April 3 snowfall (Courtesy NOHRSC)
April 3 snow depth (Courtesy NOHRSC)


April 23-24, 2005 - Late April Snowstorm in Michigan and Northern Ohio. About 4 to 5" of actual snow accumulated on the ground in Toledo on April 24. What a storm! This was a pretty darn good phasing/trough merger event, and the low pressure area hung around in southern Ontario for over a day (north and west of Toronto) - the sweet spot for eastern Michigan and Lake Huron.

April 22 to 25 snowfall (Courtesy NOHRSC)


December 8-9, 2005 - 9.2 " of snow at Toledo Express, 5.2 " in my backyard

Dec 8, 7:00PM US Surface Analysis
Dec 8, 8:15PM IR Satellite Image
Dec 8, 6:00PM National Radar
Dec 8, 9:57PM National Radar
48 hour snowfall to December 10, courtesy NOHRSC
Dec 8, 7:00PM 500mb Vorticity
Dec 8, 7:00PM 850mb wind speed


February 12-15, 2007 - Major snowstorm for the Midwest and Northeast - 9.4" of snow reported at Toledo Express Airport with local reports of 8 to 12" over 3 days. 10.4" of snow at Detroit Metro Airport over 3 days

February 12 to 15 snowfall (Courtesy NOHRSC)


December 15-18, 2007 - Major snowstorm for the Midwest and Northeast - 6.3" of snow reported at Toledo Express Airport over 2 days. 9.0" of snow at Detroit Metro Airport over 2 days.

December 14 to 17 snowfall (Courtesy NOHRSC)


December 31, 2007 to January 1, 2008 - Major snowstorm for Port Huron, Flint, Ann Arbor, and South Bend. Flint: 11.2" Detroit Metro: 5.5" South Bend: 12.1" Lansing: 6.9"

December 31 to January 1 snowfall (Courtesy NOHRSC)
Radar at 5:00AM EST January 1


February 25-26,2008 - Toledo 8.8" of snow


March 7-8,2008 - See Blizzards 2005 to Present for snow totals from Ohio


Ice Storms


Ice storms are somewhat harder to research, due to the fact that there is no "icefall" record in the daily weather information.
Information for Toledo unless otherwise stated

January 2-3 1947- ice storm Source: "Thunder in the Heartland"
January 29-30, 1947 -ice storm Source: "Thunder in the Heartland"
January 1, 1948 - freezing rain with thunder, hail, fog, and gale force winds. Source: "Thunder in the Heartland"
January 26-27, 1967 - Toledo Blade quotes: "Rain-Snow-Sleet Storm Cripples Area; 2 Plants Closed by Power Loss." Nine Midwestern States lashed by snow, sleet. Detroit itself escaped the brunt of the storm, but its suburbs were hard it. While giving over 12 " to a large portion of the Great Lakes, Detroit got only 4" and Toledo only 2", due to rain, freezing rain and sleet.
March 4, 1982 - high 40, low 9, with 0.9" of precipitation and 1.9" of snow
January 24, 1982 - high 35, low 30, with 0.2" of precipitation and 0.2 inch of snow.
January 29, 1987 - high 32, low 16 with 0.35" of precipitation atnd 2.5 " of snow.
December 27, 1988, high 42, low 29, with 0.4" of precipitation and no snow.
January 6, 1989 - high 35, low 31, and 0.2" of precipitation on each of these days: January 5th, 6th, and 7th.
March 18, 1989 - high 34, low 25, 0.6" of precipitation, thunder, freezing rain, and snow.
January 20, 1990 - high 33, low 30, 0.4" of precipitation with no snow recorded.
February 2, 1990 - high 44, low 26, 0.58" of precipitation with no snow.
February 15, 1990 high 32, low 28, with 0.98" of precipitation (mostly freezing rain) and 2.2" of snow. Toledo Blade: "Ice Storm Cuts Power, Shuts Schools" in Second News section.
December 22-23, 1990 on December 23 high 30, low 17, with 0.6 inch of precipitation (mostly freezing rain) and with 3.9" of snow.
January 5, 1991 - high 33, low 11, with 0.15" of precipitation and 0.8 inch of snow.
January 11, 1991 - high 35, low 29, with 0.5" of precipitation and 0.7 inch of snow.
February 13, 1991 - high 35, low 23, 0.6" of precipitation (mostly freezing rain) with 0.1" of snow. Freezing rain reported at Fort Wayne, Detroit, and Cleveland.
March 4, 1993- Ice might have occurred with this snow storm
January 27, 1994 - some freezing rain and some rain, 0.6" of precipitation on this day, high 42, low 15.
March 27, 1995 - Ice storm at Bowling Green
April 10, 1995 - Ice storm. (?) High 43, low 32, 0.98" of precipitation, no snow, but 0.1 inch on the 9th
December 12-13, 1995 - Ice storm, high 18 and 32, low 11 and 17 , 0.42" of precipitation and 1.3" of snow, rain occurred.
March 13, 1997 - High 35 - low 30, 0.47" of precipitation and no snow.
January 12-13, 1998 - Ice storm. High 40 and 33 , low 25 and 14, rain and snow occurred, 0.11" of precipitation and 0.2" of snow.
January 2, 1999- The snowstorm/blizzard of '99 caused signficant freezing rain to fall at Findlay. There was sleet for at least a couple of hours at Perrysburg, and also some light freezing rain and rain for a short while.
December 11, 2000 - Ice storm with significant snow storm to the north
January 30-February 1, 2002 - Significant freezing rain on the north side of Toledo and just north of Toledo in Michigan. Strong wind gusts after the storm caused more damage to trees and power lines that were covered in ice. This was a long 2-3 day "overrunning" situation that had two waves of precipitation move along a stationary front and caused rain, snow, and ice from Kansas to New York. The front was to the south of Toledo so the wind was northeasterly the entire time. It eventually became a more classic low pressure center and gusty westerly winds followed.
March 13, 2003 - thunder, 1" of sleet and 0.25" of freezing rain (my estimation)
January 4, 2004 - some freezing rain with this snow storm
January 5-6, 2005 - Ice and Snow Storm - major ice accumulations at Findlay and Lima and areas south of Toledo, some freezing rain, sleet, and 4" of snow at Toledo. The snow and rain began around midnight on January 5.
December 9, 2007 - Ice Storm. 0.46" of freezing rain fell at Toledo, the high was 30 degrees.


References
"Thunder in the Heartland," by Thomas Schmidlin
Severe Weather in Ohio
Weather Stories by Bill Deedler/DTX NWS Office
Toledo Blade archive at the Toledo Public Library
NCDC Archive
NCDC National Radar archive
NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis
North American Regional Reanalysis
North American Regional Reanalysis (Penn State)
NCDC Historical GOES Browser
Detroit's Worst Snowstorms
Plymouth State Historical Surface/Upper/Satellite Maps
Climate Diagnostics Center/NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis

Weather Stories from the Detroit NWS Office
"A Century Or So of Wood County Weather" by Lyle Rexford Fletcher


Top Snowstorms at Toledo and other cities




Lists of Top Snow Events

Greatest snowstorms in Toledo's history

1. February 28 - March 1, 1900. 22".
2. December 1-2, 1974. 14"
3. January 13, 1910 , January 26-27, 1978, and January 22-23, 2005 tied at 12"
6. November 16, 1932. 11.5"
7. February 21, 1912. 11"
8. January 13-15, 1968. 10.3"
9. April 7-8, 1957 and December 5-6, 1977 tied at 10"
11. November 2-3, 1966. 9.5"
12. February 12-15, 2007. 9.4"
13. December 8-9, 2005. 9.2"
14. January 9-10, 1977. 9.1"
15. December 8-9, 1977, and March 4, 1993 tied at 9"


Snowstorms at Toledo Express Airport of 8 " or more since 1990

March 4, 1993, January 1-3, 1999, March 24-26, 2002, February 22-23, 2003, December 22-23, 2004, January 22-23, 2005, December 8-9, 2005, February 12-15, 2007, and February 25-26, 2008.


Detroit's Greatest Snowstorms

Toledo's top snow months were:
32.6" in January 1978
27.6" in January 2005
note: 27" at Bowling Green in January 1910
26.2" in January 1918
26.0" in December 2000
25.5" in December 1951
25.1" in February 1900
23.5" in December 1895
24.2" in December 1977
23.9" in December 1974
23.6" in February 2008
23.1" in January 1912
22.3" in January 1895
21.5" in December 2005
21.4" in February 1896
20.8" in February 1960
20.5" in January 1987
20.2" in January 1994
19.2" in January 1982



Toledo's snowiest winter - 1977-1978 with 74.9 "

Toledo's Top Winter Snowfall Amounts

1. 1977-1978 - 74.9"
2. 1981-1982 - 69.0"
3. 1895-1896 - 63.7"
4. 1966-1967 - 60.6"
5. 1969-1970 - 59.6"
6. 2007-2008 - 58.1"
7. 1993-1994 - 56.8"
8. 2002-2003 - 56.4"
9. 2004-2005 - 56.0"
10. 1976-1977 - 53.9"
11. 1911-1912 - 51.9"
12. 1951-1952 - 51.8"
13. 1959-1960 - 47.9"
14. 1975-1976 - 46.1"
15. 1950-1951 - 46.0"


note: Data on this table is since 1949, except for the 1895-1896 and 1911-1912 values.

The 6 Best/Worst Snowstorms at Toledo, in no particular order

January 1918
January 1978
November 1913
November 1950
December 1974
February-March 1900

List of greatest snowstorms in different cities in the Midwest


Toledo: February 28 - March 1, 1900. 22".
Findlay: January 30-31, 1982 12.4"
Cleveland: November 9-11, 1913. 22". November 23-27, 1950. 20.9".
Columbus: President's Day 2003 (February 14-17). 15.5".
Columbus: March 7-8, 2008. 20.5"
Cincinnati: January 14, 1863. 20".
Akron: December 1-2, 1974. 24.".
Mansfield: January 13-15, 1968: 18.0".
Dayton: December 22-23, 2004. 16.4". previous record: January 26-27, 1978. 12.2 ".
Youngstown: November 23-27, 1950. 28.8".
Zanesville: January 13-15, 1968. 16.8".
Detroit: April 6, 1886. 24.5". More modern record: December 1-2, 1974. 19"
Ann Arbor - December 1-2 1974. 19.8"
Saginaw- January 26-27, 1967. 23.8". (Possibly January 16, 1871 30 ")
Flint- January 26-28, 1967. 22.7".
Lansing - January 26-27, 1967. 24".
Muskegon - January 25-27, 1978. 30.7".
Grand Rapids - January 25-27, 1978. 19"
Fort Wayne - March 10-11, 1964. 15.2".
Indianapolis - January 25-27, 1978. 15.2"
South Bend - November 25-27, 1977. 24.2". January 25-27, 1978 23.6"
Chicago - January 26-27 1967. 23".
Battle Creek - January 26-27, 1967. 28.6"

More Toledo Express Airport Snow Climatology pages from the National Climatic Data Center

Mean snowfall 1955-2006

Snowiest Years 1955-2006

Snowiest 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 day periods 1955-2006

Greatest snowfall event for 1, 2, and 3 day snowfall events 1955-2006

Some data used on this page is thanks to The Utah Climate Data Server. Some is from the Cleveland NWS Web Page on Toledo Climate.




Purpose of this web site

The purpose is to provide high quality information on historical storms and provide links to weather information.