An early spring brought an about-face to what had become a snowy winter 2009-2010. The snow came in spurts. The fall was warm. There was little snow until mid December, and most of the December snow occurred in the snow belt. Chrsitmas was green in most areas.
Most of us saw snow in early January and then again late in January. February brought big snows to most of the area. In fact, February was the snowiest on record for most observing sites. The Mansfield Airport reported 52.5 inches of snow for February 2010. That is more snow than normally expected in an entire winter!
The largest of the February snows came on February 5th and 6th. The corridor from Mansfield to Canton to Youngstown received over a foot of snow. From near Youngstown and points south, 18 inches or more was reported! More snow came on the 9th and 10th with yet another storm on the 15 and 16th. In little more than a week, most of the area had received 2 to 3 feet of snow. It took the rest of the month to dig out!
Temperatures during the winter were not far from normal. Some locations saw a few below zero readings as the deep snow cover prompted some cold nights.
Why all the snow in what was supposed to be a warm and dry El Nino winter? El Nino can be a fickle pattern for the lower Great Lakes which are just far enough southeast to sometimes share in the southern and east coast storms of El Nino. We are also just far enough north to have enough cold air for snow. We had some help this winter from a persistent blocking pattern over eastern Canada that fed cold air southward across the eastern Great Lakes.