National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


A high-impact, multi-hazard storm system impacted much of the United States in the days leading up to the Christmas Holiday which resulted in extreme cold, high winds, and hazardous conditions from blowing and drifting snow. Actual temperatures fell from as high as 40 degrees Thursday night ahead of the cold front to near 0 or even sub-zero by Friday morning, resulting in any rain remaining on the ground immediately freezing (i.e. "Flash Freeze"). Wind chills across the region bottomed out as low as -30°F to -35°F on Dec 23 (Friday and Friday night) while winds gusted as high as hurricane-force (74 mph) at one point along the Lake Erie shoreline. The extreme cold continued through the Christmas weekend, with persistent sub-zero wind chills and gusty winds. Although snow amounts were nothing out of the ordinary, ranging from generally 2 to 4 inches across the area, the gusty winds and the fluffy, dry nature of the snow allowed for efficient blowing and drifting, resulting in greatly-reduced visibility at times, especially on Dec 23 (Friday morning and afternoon). The blowing snow also resulted in blizzard conditions across parts of northern Ohio and northwestern PA, including in Cleveland and Erie. This was the first Blizzard Warning the WFO CLE office has issued in nearly 10 years. 

Low-level water vapor loop
Low-level water vapor loop from Thursday, Dec 22 7 AM through Sunday, Dec 25 7 AM.
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