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Governor's Winter Safety Week Resolution
2012-2013 Ohio Winter Summary
Preparedness for Schools
Ice & Snow, Take It Slow
Winter Safety Tips For The Home
Winter Safety Tips For For The Vehicle
Winter Safety Tips For Fire Safety
Winter Health & Safety Tips
Snow Emergency Classifications
Wind Chill Index
Flood Information and Safety Tips
Flood Insurance Information
Carbon Monoxide Information & Safety
Portable Generator Info
Severe Winter Storm Resource List
The winter of 2013-2014 will be remembered for being the coldest in 30 years. It was also snowy with all of the major climate sites finishing the season with top ten snowfall totals. The winter was characterized by periods of bitterly cold weather and frequent rounds of snow.
Toledo’s seasonal snowfall total of 86.3 inches established a new record. Toledo, Mansfield and Youngstown ended the season with average temperatures placing them in the top ten coldest ever! Many daily record lows were also set over the course of the winter. Both Toledo and Mansfield set seven new record lows, with six new records in Cleveland. Toledo saw an astonishing 25 days with temperatures of zero or colder. Schools throughout northern Ohio were closed many days because of the cold.
The season got off to an early start with lake effect snow in northeast Ohio on October 24 and 25. Up to 8 inches of snow fell to the east of Cleveland. The wet, heavy snow took down trees and power lines, resulting in widespread power outages. Several planes on final approach to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport were struck by lightning from the snow bands. Fortunately, no injuries occurred. An area of low pressure moved up the Appalachians and spread heavy snow into the Canton and Youngstown areas on November 26 and 27. Up to a foot of snow was reported in the southeastern corner of Mahoning County.
December was the only month of the entire winter that saw near normal temperatures. There were several episodes of light snow during the month. The only notable winter storm dumped more than 7 inches of snow on the Toledo area on December 14.
Winter really got going in January. Heavy snow fell on much of northeast Ohio on January 1 and 2. More than a foot of snow fell to the east of Cleveland. An arctic air mass then settled over the region on Jan. 6 and 7. The cold air was accompanied by strong westerly winds and led to wind chills as low as 40 degrees below zero.
Low temperatures were the coldest since January 1994 and new record lows were established at all of the major climate sites on January 6-7. There were at least two cold-related deaths in northern Ohio. The cold and snowy weather continued the remainder of the month. Toledo had its snowiest month ever with 40.2 inches of snow and its sixth coldest January with subzero lows 11 times.
The bitterly cold weather continued in February with all of the climate sites having one of their 10 coldest Februarys ever. Low temperatures again plummeted below zero several times. A significant storm system affected the region on February 4-5. A mixture of snow, freezing rain and sleet fell across northern Ohio. More than 10 inches of snow fell across the northern tier of countries with significant ice accumulation further south. Schools were again closed for several days. Another episode of heavy snow occurred on February 17-18. This time, northeast Ohio saw the greatest accumulations. More record cold occurred at the end of the month.
The frigid weather continued in March with average temperatures for the month at least six degrees below normal at all of the climate sites. Another major winter storms hit the region on March 12, with a mixture of heavy snow and freezing rain reported. Schools were again closed across most of the area.
Because of the prolonged extreme cold in winter 2013-2014, Ohio witnessed a phenomenon which only occurs with a more extreme winter: Ice jams on northern Ohio Rivers. The Maumee, Blanchard upper Scioto and the Grand rivers all experienced some flooding due to ice as much as 6-8 inches thick partially melted, broke apart and jammed up rivers. Fortunately, major flooding was avoided during a relatively dry period from late February through March with a slow thaw.
Winter temperatures in the mid-Ohio Valley recorded only 2-3 degrees colder than normal. So, in the southeastern portion of Ohio, they didn’t make the so-called “Top 10 list” for coldest winters.
Winter got off to an early start across eastern Ohio with a widespread snowfall of 1-3 inches, November 12. Another strong storm system brought heavy snow to Columbiana County Thanksgiving week with 6-10 inches of snow, and lesser amounts across Tuscarawas County.
No major winter storms occurred in December, but winter returned with a vengeance from January into March with numerous arctic cold fronts and widespread snowfalls. Extreme cold led to low temperatures of -10 to -15 with winds chills near 35-below, the morning of January 7. Wind chills ranged from -10 to -15 on the morning of January 22, and record low temperatures from -15 to 22 below zero occurred the mornings of January 28 and 29. The largest and most widespread storm of the season occurred overnight February 4 into the morning of the 5th with 4 to 10 inches of snow from Zanesville to Steubenville and north , with freezing rain falling south of I-70.
Southwest and Central Ohio
Central and southwest Ohio saw one of the snowiest years on record for the 2013-2014 season. Cincinnati accumulated 47.5” for the season (including all snow from October through April), second behind just 1977-1978. Normal snowfall for Cincinnati is 22.1 inches. Columbus accumulated 56.4 inches, placing it second behind 1909-1910. Normal snowfall for Columbus in a year is 26.7 inches. Dayton had the third snowiest 2013-2014 season on record with 53.6 inches total, well above the normal snowfall of 23.3 inches.
The number of sub-zero days during winter for Cincinnati, Dayton and Columbus is three, four and two days, respectively. During winter of 2013-2014, there were seven days in Cincinnati where the low dropped below zero, while Columbus had eight sub-zero days and Dayton had 12.
In addition to the bitter cold of January, there were several warm periods which brought severe weather in February to Ohio. On February 21, a line of severe thunderstorms with embedded weak tornadoes produced two EF0 tornadoes in Ohio, one near Englewood in Montgomery County and one near Delaware in Delaware County. Both produced tree, barn and roof damage.