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February 2010

Storm Tracks & Record Snow

Storms Affect the Ohio Valley & Lower Great Lakes

surface analysis 2/6/2010 surface analysis 2/10/2010
surface analysis 2/15/2010 surface analysis 2/22/10
February 22
February 26-28

Five significant weather systems affected the local area during the month of February 2010 leading to many snowfall headlines and records. Each had their own characteristic and twist, but all had an impact on the local weather!

The first storm of the month came the first weekend of the month (February 5-6) and it was "the big one" for much of the area. Snow totals of over a foot were common across much of our area, with totals as high as 20 " in Mahoning county. This storm had an abundant supply of moisture being drawn our way from the Atlantic. The slow movement of the low across Kentucky placed central and northern Ohio in the "sweet spot" for heavy snowfall. Almost all of the snow fell in a 12 to 15 hour period.

Toledo and Erie, PA was spared by that first storm, but they wouldn't be able to miss the second which came the following week (February 9-10). The track of this system came right into north central Ohio and placed the heavy snowfall across the Toledo area and northwest Pennsylvania, where up to 10" occurred.

The following week (February 15-16th) had yet another storm that tracked into the Ohio valley. This storm did not have quite the moisture feed that the February 5-6 storm had, but was enough to give snowfall amounts over 6 inches across hard-hit areas from earlier in the month.

The system a week later (February 22) finally gave the area a bit of a break. The threat for a wintry mix of precipitation depended on the track of the low and how much warm air would be drawn into the area. The end result was a low that tracked just west of Cleveland. It brought Toledo around 4 inches of new snow with the wintry mix of precipitation for the rest of northern Ohio and northwest Pennsylvania. Fortunately the ice accumulation from the period of freezing rain that night and early morning was only enough to yield Winter Weather Advisories. The precipitation changed completely over to rain for most of the area during the day on the 22nd.

Then to end the month, the area was affected not by a Nor'easter that was broad enough to wrap moisture back across the eastern Great Lakes. For the last few days of the month persistent snows added snow each day onto the mounting snow pack.

A lot of systems to come our way during the shortest month of the year!

February snow records - text


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