February 5th is known as National Weatherperson's Day. The day celebrates the life of one of our earliest American weather pioneers--John Jeffries. In 1774, John started taking daily weather observations in Boston. This is a day to recognize the men and women who collectively provide Americans with the best weather, water, and climate forecasts and warning services of any nation. This includes the meteorologists and all of the dedicated volunteer storm and snow observers.
And it took a whole team dedicated to the weather to provide critical and timely reports of snowfall for this latest storm! We had nearly 80 of our snow spotters report their snowfall totals along with nearly 30 CoCoRaHS volunteers. We also appreciated the various county officials and the Ohio Department of Transportation that relayed critical weather information to the NWS Cleveland office.
While much of the national focus was on the impact of the "east coast" portion of this storm, a secondary area of low pressure deepened as it moved across Kentucky. An upper level disturbance from the Midwest helped to amplify the storm.
Snow began falling in the afternoon on the 5th spreading from south to north. Most were able to commute home with little trouble, but south of U.S. 30, a couple of inches of snow had already accumulated. By evening the snow was falling at a rate of 1 to 2 inches per hour. Bands of intense snowfall yielded visibilities of just 1/2 mile for several hours. Northeasterly winds began to pick up and gusted upwards of 45 mph across the I-75 corridor, blowing snow across roadways. Fortunately, the expectation was for the snow to taper off quickly come Saturday morning; and that it did. For example, during the 10 o'clock hour, the snow was pulling out of Canton and by 11 AM the snow had stopped. There were even some breaks of sunshine across northern Ohio during the afternoon.