Winter Storm - December 8, 2005

A quick, but intense snowstorm affects the Ohio Valley


Brief Summary of Event

    A developing area of low pressure moved out of the southern Plains on the morning of December 8.  The low intensified as it tracked north and east into the Ohio Valley, spreading precipitation into the region during the afternoon.  A cold air mass remained in place across much of the region, and this enabled most of the precipitation to fall as snow.  There was enough warm air in the lowest levels of the atmosphere to cause a wintry mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain across northern Kentucky and parts of southern Indiana and Ohio for several hours during the afternoon and evening before precipitation changed to all snow. 

    Light snow began falling across the Tri-State area during the mid afternoon, rapidly intensifying to heavy snow as dry air near the surface was eroded away.  The heavy snow continued for about a three to five hour period at any one location as it lifted north across the region during the evening.  The bulk of the heaviest snow fell during the evening rush hour and impacted thousands of motorists.  Snow began tapering off from the southwest during the late evening as the low moved into the Great Lakes.  Snowfall amounts ranged from around an inch across northeast Kentucky and south central Ohio, to five to eight inches in an arc extending from east central Indiana north and east through the Miami Valley and west central Ohio.  There was a light ice accumulation as well across much of northern Kentucky due to the wintry mix.  Strong westerly winds developed as the snow ended, with gusts from 30 to 45 mph across the region.  The highest gust recorded in the region occurred at Dayton International Airport, where a gust of 51 mph was registered shortly before midnight, December 9.  These winds also contributed to some blowing and drifting of snow, particularly across eastern Indiana and western Ohio.

Storm Damage Photographs and Graphics

Pertinent Text Products

Many thanks to our snow spotters!  We received more than 100 reports via phone calls and 60 reports via eSpotter!  These real-time reports helped our staff to stay on top of the snow and ice reports across Ohio, southeast Indiana, and northern Kentucky.  Thanks again!!!!!