Saturday, March 1, 2014

Meteorological Winter to Remember in Toledo

By the early part of January it had become clear that this was going to be an historic winter in Toledo with the cold and snow already piling up. Now that meteorological winter is over (December-February) lets take a look back at just how historically cold and snowy it was. (P.S. meteorological winter is different than the astronomical winter on many of your calendars because meteorological winter is based on the coldest 3 months of the year, not the sun angle.)

In December we recorded a healthy 11.2" of snow in Toledo which is nearly 4" above average but nothing to threaten any records. It also was colder than normal (no surprise) but only by a slight margin of 2 degrees below an average December.

The big guns came out this winter during January and February. Let's start in chronological order: January was the 6th coldest and most snowy January on record. Over 40" of snow smashed the previous record of 32" and in the process not only broke the January record but also the all-time monthly snow record in Toledo. In perspective, Toledo averages in the upper 30's for inches of snowfall in a YEAR. Also, this January was one of the coldest on record with an average daily temperature of only 16 degrees. Toledo dropped below zero 11 times! (That's the 2nd most on record)

February apparently didn't have much interest in playing second fiddle to the opening month of the year. With plenty of snow and cold of her own, February pushed many records as well. It was the 7th coldest February recorded in Toledo with an average temperature of 17.7 degrees. It also was the 7th snowiest with 21.6" of snow. Only 6 days of the 28 on the calendar this month were above average. That's less than the 8 nights that slipped below zero through the month.

While January and February were harsh enough on their own combined it was a record shattered start to a year. No first 2 months of a year recorded more than the 61.8" of snow. It was also the 4th coldest start to a year through the 140 years on record in Toledo. Below is a ranking for snowfall and cold for meteorological winters in Toledo.

The weather history books still have 10 months of be written in for 2014 but few will forget how bitterly cold and snowy the year started off in Toledo.