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Notable Weather Events of 2007

Starting off 2007...
   At midnight, January 1st, Cleveland was a mild 53 degrees, Ashtabula and Youngstown were reporting 54 degrees, Erie had 51 degrees, and Toledo was at 50 degrees. Was it really January? More typical values would have been in the 20s as average highs this time of year run around 30-35 degrees and lows hover around 20 degrees.
   January ended up being a Tale of Two Seasons. The first half of January 2007 was a continuation of the warmth we were experiencing through much of December 2006. In fact, January 17th ended a 38 day stretch of above normal temperatures that had begun December 10, 2006. While we were getting use to the above freezing temperatures the first half of the month had for us, twenties, teens,and even a few single digit readings were common by February. Despite the turn around in temperatures in January, the month still came about between 4.5 and 6.0 degrees above normal area wide. February, on the other hand, was in the grasp of a cold spell and the average temperature for the month was only 19 degrees. This made February 2007 the coldest February in Cleveland since 1978.

February 13-14 Snowstorm...
   The snow began on the morning of the 13th and finally let up during the morning of the 14th. Wind gusts of 30-35 mph were also common, blowing the newly fallen snow around. Low pressure, often labeled as a panhandle hook from its origin near the panhandles of Oklahoma and Texas, developed moving into the Mississippi River valley and into the central Appalachians. This placed Ohio in a favorable position for widespread synoptic snows.
click to view larger image of surface chart from the 12th-14th
   Event totals ranged from a foot near Toledo to a swath of 17 inch and greater amounts from Mansfield up through Medina to Richfield. Temperatures were in the 20s while the snow was falling, but in the nights following the snow, temperatures dipped into the single digits. On the 15th, Cleveland Hopkins Airport dipped to -4 degrees F.

Opening Day Lake Effect Snow...
   The first official day of Spring had come and gone, Major League Baseball Spring training had wrapped up, and it was now time for the baseball season to begin...not in Cleveland! Sure it felt like spring, temperatures had warmed into the 70s at the end of March and on April 3rd the high was 80 degrees! That was a distant memory two days later when the high was only 29 degrees.
   A strong cold front had swept across the area tumbling the temperatures. The lake effect snow machine started up. A reinforcing trough of low pressure moved over the area during the 7th and 8th. This trough, combined with a steady northerly flow over Lake Erie, allowed for lake effect snow to continue over the area. One band in particular set up right across downtown Cleveland dumping two feet of snow in the heart of the city. Amounts to the east in the snowbelt topped 30 inches from April 5 through April 8th.

Akron's Hail...
   Reports of tennis ball size hail was common on June 8th with an impressive supercell thunderstorm that tracked east across Ohio, beginning near Hancock and Wyandot counties, tracking through Medina county, and into Summit county. By far the storm was at its best (or worst!) as it moved through Akron.

hail from Akron
The above image shows hail that is larger than golf ball, but smaller than tennis ball. This is an excellent way to photograph your hail in order to show its relative size. The largest hail report received was that of softball size (4.5 inches).
   Extensive damage was done to homes and vehicles in Akron and surrounding areas. As many as 29,000 insurance claims were filed for damage in the county. The south side of Akron was hardest hit. The property damage was estimated at $110 million in Summit county alone.

Record Rainfall and Flooding in August...
   Drought conditions began in early May when a strong ridge aloft closed the door to precipitating systems into mid-summer. Portions of northern Ohio were placed in the moderate drought category on the U.S. Drought Monitor in July. Those drought conditions were quickly resolved when a frontal boundary stalled across the area for several days in mid-August.
   Two rounds of heavy rainfall, one Sunday night (August 19-20th) and the other Monday night (August 20-21st), brought three to nine inches of rain from Lucas and Wood counties to Huron county and from Hancock county to Richland county. Fortunately the second swath of rainfall fell slightly to the south of the one the previous night. Major flash flooding and river flooding still resulted. One of the hardest hit counties was Hancock county including the city of Findlay. Rainfall rates with the strongest storms exceeded three inches per hour and runoff left homes, businesses, and infrastructure damaged or destroyed with property damage estimates of $100 million. Early on the 21st, the Blanchard River in Findlay started at only 1.82 feet. As the heavy rain fell the river climbed at the rate of nearly two feet per hour and exceeded flood stage just hours later. Rainfall across the basin continued into the morning hours of the 22nd, finally cresting at 18.46 feet. According to records, this is the second highest crest in history at Findlay, with 18.50 feet on March 13th, 1913 holding onto the highest crest. To top the event off, an EF1 tornado touched down in extreme eastern Morrow county and western Richland county.

Monthly Records...
   Precipitation was abundant in January. In general, the region was about 2 inches above normal. Rain characterized the first half and snow the second. Cleveland ended up at 3.36 inches above normal in January which placed it as the 4th wettest January on record. Twenty-four days out of the 31 in the month recorded at least 0.01 inches of precipitation. If you included the days were only a trace of precipitation was recorded, only Jan 3rd had absolutely no precipitation.
   Erie, Pennsylvania ended up with the 2nd wettest January on record with 6.23 inches just shy of the record holder of 6.25 inches in 1950. February followed similar suite, but in terms of snowfall. Erie had the 2nd snowiest February on record with 35.4 inches of snow that month, only 1.5 inches from the record in 1947. Mansfield had their snowiest February on record with 25.8 inches and their 3rd coldest February with an average temperature of only 17.5 degrees. The cold and snowy February made "top tens" at many other locations across northern Ohio and northwest Pennsylvania too.
   After the snow wrapped up in April, the weather really dried out from May until mid-August. It was the 2nd driest May on record for Cleveland with 0.66 inches (the driest May on record for Cleveland is 0.58 inches in 1934). Then came the flooding rains of August. Cleveland Hopkins Airport and Mansfield had their wettest August on record with 9.03 inches and 10.32 inches respectively. Again, many other locations also made the "top tem" in regards to rainfall in August.
   The last notable monthly record falls with the month of October which ended up as one of the warmest. Erie, PA and Youngstown had their 2nd warmest Octobers with an average temperature of 58.4 degrees and 61.1 degrees respectively.
   All of these monthly statistics for our climate stations can be found year around by going to the following link and selecting your station. Data each month are updated within a week if data for the previous month made the "top ten."
    NWS Cleveland Unique Local Climate Data
Annual/Yearly Records...
The area was between a half degree and 1.7 degrees above normal for the year. Toledo has the warmest day, reaching 95 degrees on both June 18th and July 8th. Finally, Mansfield recorded its 8th wettest year on record with 48.89 inches. The wettest year on record for Mansfield is 67.22 inches from 1990.
     Records that encompass yearly totals such as the wettest/driest/snowiest years on record are again located on our Unique Local Climate Data page (follow the link above).
Memorable Weather Events...
Summaries of major events are found year-round on our: Local Weather Events and Local Interest Features Page. The publication, StormData, can be found on the National Climatic Data Center.
Worldwide Climate Anomalies and Events...
   Significant Climate Events and Anomalies 2007
   NCDC 2007 Preliminary Climate Report
   NCDC 2007 Preliminary Annual Climate Review - U.S. Summary
Preliminary data will be updated in mid-January to reflect end of the year weather. The full analysis will be out in spring.
NOAA Celebrated 200th Anniversary in 2007...
   NOAA - Celebrating 200 Years of Science, Service, and Stewardship
Additional Notes...
All data are considered preliminary. The National Climatic Data Center finalizes and stores the official record of all of our weather data. Period of record are as follows:
Records date back to 1847 for Erie
                                  1943 for Youngstown
                                  1871 for Canton-Akron, Cleveland, and Toledo
                                  1960 for Mansfield

Local Climate Water & Weather Topics:
Current Hazards, Ohio Conditions, Pennsylvania Conditions, Radar, Satellite, Climate, Safety
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