CLEVELAND - This year's late April snow storm across New York and Pennsylvania has a lot of folks talking right now. Many are marveling at the ferocity of this storm fully one month into spring.
Is this type of event that unusual? The answer is no, and, Ohioans are no stranger to these late season wintry blasts.
It was just seven years ago on Monday when Mother Nature unleashed her snowy wrath on northern Ohio. April 23 to 25, 2005 saw one of the biggest snowstorms of the year and helped April 2005 and the winter of 2004-05 become the snowiest on record for greater Cleveland.
April 2005 started with a weekend snow storm across the area. It was Easter weekend and that snowfall prevented many travelers from enjoying the holiday.
The weather then quieted down and warmed up across the region. Many folks were ready for spring after the long snowy winter. But, winter threw one more strike at us the last weekend of the month.
A low pressure system over southeastern Ohio moved northeast across western Pennsylvania and into western New York State on April 23. Precipitation associated with this low began as rain in northern Ohio early on the 23rd. The rain quickly transitioned to wet, heavy snow by early afternoon. As the low moved through western New York State, it turned northwest and eventually became centered to the north of Lake Erie by late on the 23.
Wintry precipitation continued into the 24 across north-central Ohio as bands of snow rotated around the low pressure center. Lake Erie helped enhance these bands and snowfall rates at times were well in excess of an inch per hour. The snow began to taper off during the early morning hours of the 25.
During this event, heavy wet snow accumulated on trees and power lines causing several hundred thousand homes to lose power. Tree damage, especially across the eastern suburbs of Cleveland, was substantial. Hundreds of accidents were also reported during this event as the wet, heavy nature of the snow made it hard to treat roadways.
Officially, 12.4 inches of snow fell at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. Other snowfall reports included; 25.3 inches in North Royalton/Broadview Heights (Cuyahoga County), 19.8 inches at Pepper Pike (Cuyahoga County) and 21.8 inches at Thompson (Geauga County). The heavy snow fell as far south as Ashland and Richland Counties with 10.1 inches measured officially at Mansfield Lahm Airport.
This snowstorm is believed to have produced the latest one inch snowfall ever in northern Ohio. Damage from the storm was estimated at $2.4 million. (See snow total map above)