Sunday, February 28, 2010

March Almanac

Normal High & Low:

March 1:      40° / 23°

March 31:   53° / 33°

Normal Precip:  2.62"  (rain/melted snow & ice)       Normal snow:  5.6"

Sunrise & Sunset:

March 1:     7:10 am / 6:26 pm

March 31:  7:20 am / 8:00 pm

We spring ahead to Daylight Saving Time at 2 am on Sunday, March 14.   Spring (the vernal equinox) occurs at 1:32 pm on March 20.

February Snow Totals (A Near Record)

Blasted by a snow storm in the first half of the month and steady periods of light snow to end the month put this February of 2010 nearly on top of the all time snow record for the month.  All totaled this February had 23.9" of snow at Toledo Express Airport.

Here is where this February ranks compared to other years and it shows just how close we came to the all time record.

I am still hoping for an early is March now after all!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Blowing & Drifting Snow

Unlike the slushy snow from Sunday night's storm, this snow event will feature the drier, fluffier snow.  Winds today will be 15-25 mph with some gusts exceeding 30 mph.  These northwesterly winds will blow and drift the snow a lot.

Winds will relax a bit tonight to the 8-18 mph range, and then 5-15 mph Saturday.

In addition to reduced visibility (and getting pelted with snow while you are outside), the winds will cause cleared areas to get covered again by the drifted snow.  Plus, it will not be fun if you are trying to use a snow blower while walking in a northerly direction.

We always welcome snowfall reports.  Please check out our previous post on how to take an accurate snow measurement.  With all of the blowing and drifting, it will be quite difficult to get a perfect measurement.

Earthquake in Ohio

An earthquake was recorded at 5:13 p.m. Thursday in Seneca county between Fostoria and Bettsville. It measured a magnitude of 2.5 .  Quakes of this magnitude are recorded by seismographs, but are not always felt by people.

Fostoria police and the Seneca County Sheriff's Office say they received calls from residents who reported hearing a boom and rumbling sound in Fostoria and as far south as Tiffin around 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

(info above courtesy of Mike Hansen--Ohio Seismic Network, and the Findlay Courier)

While not a very common occurrence,  earthquakes are not extremely rare here.  In fact, about 12 have happened in the past 2 years in Ohio.   A lot of earthquakes have been centered in NE Ohio and offshore.

Here is a link for more info:  Ohio Seismic Network

Monday, February 22, 2010

6th Snowiest February

1)  25.1"  1900

2)  23.6"  2008

3)  23.1"  1912

4)  22.2"  1908

5)  21.4"  1896

6)  18.8"  2010  (also 2003)

7)  16.6"  1994

8)  14.4"  1967

9)  14.3"  1988  (also 1982)

Snow stats

While this last storm produced over 8" of snow in some of our Michigan cities, we had about 2 to 3" of accumulation in Toledo.

When we have temps near 30°, we normally get 1" of water from 10" inches of snow.  Recent snowfalls occurred when temps were in the low/mid 20s, which yielded 15 to 20" of snow from 1" of water.  So, if a storm brought about .40" of water with it, the snow fluffed up to 6 to 8" of accumulation.

The snow from Sunday night and Monday happened with temps in the low and mid 30s.  The snow was very wet, and it worked out to only 5" of snow from 1" of water.

Toledo Express Airport recorded 1" of snow late Sunday and 1.5" of snow Monday.  The storm snow total worked out to 2.5", and the liquid in the snow was almost 1/2".

The monthly snow total for Toledo is 18.8", which is 12.1" above normal.  The winter total is 33.8", which is 5.2" above normal.

Storm Update

Midday post:

Precip will continue to turn more scattered and spotty this afternoon.  Areas of fog and drizzle/flurries will be around.  Some areas in southern Michigan have already reported snow totals of over 6".

5 a.m. post:

An area of low pressure will track through the area just to our south.  Precipitation will be steady at times this morning, and then taper off early this afternoon.  As the storm exits, some colder air will change leftover precip back to some snow showers.

Precipitation across southeast Michigan will be snow with some wintry mix at times.  Finalized storm totals by the end of today will be 5 to 8" in most spots with some areas of 9 to 10".

Northwest Ohio will see a mix of snow, sleet and rain as temps hover just above freezing.

Areas well east of I-75 and points south of Toledo will see primarily rain.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Winter Weather Update- 11pm Sunday

The wintry mess is spreading across the area tonight.  Here is the latest thinking on where the snow, rain, freezing rain and sleet will fall and how much. 


Snow accumulations across southern Michigan will be in the 3-6" range

Snow accumulations across far northern Ohio will be in the 1-3" range with some ice accumulations

No snow accumulations to the south with mainly rain expected, but a wintry mix for a period can be expected.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Winter Mess Monday

A winter storm will impact the area on Monday bringing a variety of weather.  A mix of snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain are all likely on Monday.  However, actual weather conditions will vary significantly with this storm system depending on how far north or south you are within the viewing area.   Here is the latest map of what the predominant precipitation type on Monday:


Lower Michigan:  Mainly a wet heavy snow.  Several inches of accumulation possible.  Sleet or freezing rain may briefly mix in.

Northern Ohio Counties:  A few hours of snow early overnight Sunday, then mixing with sleet and freezing rain for a good portion of the day.  Precipitation may briefly change to rain in the afternoon before changing back over to all snow Monday night.  Snow accumulations will be limited due to the sleet and freezing rain.

Southern Ohio Counties:  Some brief snow, but mainly freezing rain early Monday morning.  Changing over to all rain showers by the afternoon.  No snow accumulations expected.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Switching clocks and season soon

We spring ahead one hour to Eastern Daylight Time on March 14th this year.  We switch the clocks back to standard time on November 7th.

Sunrise & sunset:

6:51 am / 6:40 pm  -- March 13

7:49 am / 7:41 pm  -- March 14


Spring (the vernal equinox) occurs on March 20 at 1:32 pm.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Updated Snow Stats

Freshly updated snow stats from this morning at Toledo Express Airport:

Tuesday         1.1"       Current snow depth:  7"                    

Month           16.4"   ---   11.5"  above normal

Winter          31.4"   ---    4.6"  above normal


Snow totals across eastern and southern counties are much higher.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Unusual Snow Totals

Local snow totals for the season are a little above normal.  The recent snow events have allowed us to make up the deficit we had built up the past couple of months.

However, some of the winter totals in other parts of the USA are just staggering.  Some places are running 60 to 70 inches ABOVE normal.

45"     Columbus OH  (24 inches above normal)

35"     Cincinnati (+19")

64"     Pittsburgh (+37")

72"     Philadelphia (+60")

67"     Wilmington, DE (+53")

50"     Atlantic City, NJ (+41")

104"   Beckley, WV

80"     Baltimore (+67")

56"     Washington DC  (+45")

28"     Richmond, VA  (+18")

20"     Oklahoma City  (+13")

16"     Dallas/Fort Worth  (+13")

1.7"    Birmingham, AL

0.1"   New Orleans

Trace - Tallahassee, FL  * The second time since 2001 that a trace of snow was reported.  The last measurable snow (more than a trace) was 1989.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Snow Covers All 50 States

A rare winter storm brought significant snow to the southern USA, from Texas through the Carolinas.  This recent snowfall has led to a staggering statistic from February 12:  Snow covers at least a part of all 50 States!  (There are patches of snow on the mountains of Hawaii)

Check out the latest snow cover analysis from Saturday, February 13th.  About 67% of the land area of the USA has snow cover.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snowfall in Toledo City Limits

Just how much snow fell within the city limits of Toledo?  No, not just in your back yard, your neighbors, or even downtown.  I am talking how much snow total, if it could all be put into one big pile!  After one incorrect crack at it, I gave it a try again and I think my calculations are right now.  See the graphic below and my math to support it. 


Okay, the Toledo city limits is 84 square miles, which I calculate to be 206,988,400 square yards.  The recent snowfall was just above 12" which is 0.33 yards.

Multiply an area by a depth and Poof!  You have a 206,988,400 square yards multiplied by 0.33 yards equals 85,865,472 cubic yards!

WOW, that means this past storm dropped 85,865,472 cubic yards of snow just within the Toledo city limits.  Unbelievable!  Let me know your thoughts or comments.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snow Stats - Updated

Storm total at Toledo Express:

10"  Tuesday Feb 9

 2.1"  Wednesday  Feb 10

12.1"  Total


February So Far:    15.3"          12.2" above normal

Winter So Far:         30.3"          5.3" above normal

How To Measure Snowfall

We have received a lot of questions about how to properly measure snowfall.  Here are some guidelines:

The best thing to do is find an area that isn't blocked by fences or buildings, etc.  You also don't want to pick the windiest spot in your area.

Over a large area, measure the snow in many different spots.  Hit spots all throughout the area.  Then, combine all the measurements and take the average.  The more readings you can take the better.

With strong winds, getting a very accurate measurement is quite difficult.  However, if you get many readings and take the average, that should give you a basic idea of the overall snowfall.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Storm Update - Wednesday 6:30 AM

It has been snowing for over 24 hours across the area and significant accumulations are piling up.  Reports are pouring into the station and many of you are reporting 6, 8 and even 10 inches or more!  Officially, Toledo Express Airport recorded 10.0" of snow on Tuesday alone.  Light accumulations in the 1-3" range through the first half of the day today will put over all storm totals near 12" for Toledo.  Scattered light snow showers with a few pockets of moderate snow are possible early today, but the snow will become more scattered as this system exits to the east this afternoon. 

Gusty winds will pick up today from the northwest in the 20 to 30 mph range with gusts beyond that.  This will lead to the final punch of this storm...significant blowing and drifting snow.  By this afternoon snow drifts will be in the 1-3 foot range.   Travel, especially in open and outlying areas will be discouraged.  A winter storm warning continues for the blowing and drifting snow.

10pm Storm Update

Snow is beginning to ease a little.  I just measured 7" as of 9pm here in downtown Toledo.  Many other areas are coming in around the 7-9" range.  Winds are calm now and will be throughout the early part of the overnight.   I expect winds to pick up around 5/6am to 15-20mph.  This means lots of blowing & drifting snow.  Snow will continue on your Wednesday - still thinking about storm totals in the 8-11" range...although it's going to be hard to measure due to the blowing and drifting tomorrow. 

Find out more & post your snowfall totals on our Facebook page - WTOL, Meteorologist Tara Hastings or Meteorologist Chris Vickers

Storm Update

We're still on track for seeing 8-11" total snowfall across most of the area.  Some of you may see a lull as there are small breaks in the radar but it will fill back in.  Snow overnight, tomorrow morning & tomorrow afternoon.  Winds not too bad right now but I do expect them to pick up later tonight & tomorrow.  This will blow & drift snow around & create low visibilities.  The snow has a low water ratio which means it's very fine & powdery. 

We would love to hear how much snow has fallen in your area.  Try to find an open spot to avoid blowing & drifting...this will give you the best measurement.  Head over to our WTOL facebook page or post your amounts along with city & time you took your measurements on our FACEBOOK FAN PAGES - Meteorologist Tara Hastings or Meteorologist Chris Vickers. 


Monday, February 8, 2010

Winter Storm Warning


A strong storm system will track through the area today into Wednesday.   Some 3-5" accumulations were reported as of noon near and west of I-75 in NW Ohio. 

We may see a lull later this evening to around midnight, but the snow will fill back in by Wednesday morning.

Snow will begin to taper to scattered snow showers by midday Wednesday.

Most of the area should see at least 6" of snow.  Parts of NW Ohio and SE Michigan could see 8-12"+ in spots.

Winds will increase today and strengthen a bit more Wednesday with some 30 mph gusts.  This will create blowing and drifting snow.

Stay tuned for updated forecasts here at

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Previous Big Snows

In the past few years, January 2009 was the most productive in terms of snow.

January 27:  1.9"

January 28:  8.9"          Storm total:  10.8"


January 9:     4.3"

January 10:  7.6"      Storm total 11.9"

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Blowing and Drifting Snow

With the snow storm exiting the area, strong northeastly winds will blow at 15-25 mph with gusts around 30 mph today.

The snow that fell, especially after midnight, was powdery...and this will cause a lot of blowing and drifting snow.  Even in areas that received only a few inches of snow, drifts of over a foot are possible.

The blowing snow will create problems for driving.  Roads that were plowed and cleared will get snow blown back onto them.

Click here for the latest county snow emergency levels.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Lake Erie Ice Cover

Here is the latest satellite pictures from above Lake Erie showing the extent of the ice cover that has developed this winter so far.  It is clear that the western basin of the lake, which also happens to be the shallowest part of Lake Erie has the most extensive ice cover. 

Date Taken: January 31st 2010:



Date Taken: January 21st 2010:


At this point last year, the extent of the ice cover was much greater due to a frigid January.  Here is the month to month comparison for the average monthly temperature for the past two January's:

January 2009:  The average temperature was -7.4 degrees below normal

January 2010: The average temperature was +0.4 degrees above normal

Late-Week Storm

Yet another big storm will sweep across the southern part of the US.  This storm will not be as strong as the last one, and its track and affected areas will be different.  The storm is currently developing in the southern Plains, and will track across the southeast US and then up the mid-Atlantic coast.

Another round of heavy snow will hit parts of North Carolina and Virginia up into the northeast.  This storm will not have the widespread freezing rain that the last one did, and with slightly warmer temperatures, the rain/snow line will be a bit farther north (and more inland to the east).

At this point, it looks like the brunt of the storm will go well to our south and east.  The northern edge of it will swipe the area Friday night into Saturday.  A secondary piece of energy will come from the northern Plains through our area, to help trigger a bit more snow shower activity.  As of now, it looks like the storm may provide a bit of snowfall for our area, especially areas well to the south and east of Toledo.

During the past few days, computer model runs have wavered a bit on the exact track and impact on our area.  So, we will continue to refine and update the forecast as the storm gets closer.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Phil? Phil? Ned Ryerson! Bing!



Under cloudy skies, and intense television lights, Phil saw his shadow.  According to the tradition, this means six more weeks of winter.

I am leaving this post uncategorized, since we don't have a category for musings from fuzzy animals.