Winter Midwest Wrap-Up

Posted: April 7, 2015, 10:06 am by spatrick

 

The winter has come to an end and although the official Winter Summaries (distributed to Alert Clients) will be coming out later this month, let's dive into some facts from the past season. Frequent snow and ice events pummeled the region, with no rest for the weary for those who faced the 2013 - 2014's well above average snowfall. The colder than average temperatures didn't help matters, either. From the Chicago February blizzard, to the Indianapolis Ice Storm, and all the way to Southwestern Ohio's frequent snow and ice events this season, let us take a look back at just how intense this past winter really was.

Chicago O'Hare International Airport

  • 64 consecutive days with low temperatures falling below 32, beating last year's 50 consecutive days (however, if you include the month of March, make that 73 days from December 27th, 2014 thru March 9th, 2015!)
  • 16.2" of snow on February 1st is now the second highest on record for one day, and set the record daily snowfall for that date (highest was 18.6" on Jan 2nd, 1999, and previous highest value for Feburary 1st was set in 2011 with 13.6")
  • February 2015 was the coldest February on record at an average temperature of 14.6, beating 1979's record of 16.2

Visibilities reduced from the blizzard of February 1st, 2015, outside of the National Weather Service Chicago.

 

Rockford, Illinois

  • Mean Average Temperature: 21.4 (Normal 24.3)
  • Total Precipitation: 2.85" (Normal 4.76")
  • Total Snowfall: 24.3" (Normal 29.2")
  • Lowest Max Temperature: 4
  • Lowest Min Temperature: -16
  • 64 days of low temperature falling below 32 (76 if you include through March 12th, 2015)
  • Average February temperature of 12.1 set a new record, beating 1978's record of 12.3.
     

Indianapolis International Airport

  • Fourth coldest February on record at 20.2 (Coldest February on record set in 1978 at 17.8)
  • Seventh coldest December-February winter on record (Coldest Winter Season on record 20.7 set in 1977)
  • Tenth coldest minimum mean temperature for December-February at 18.8 (coldest minimum mean temperature was set in 1977 at a whopping 11.4!)
  • A brutal ice storm swept across the Indianapolis area February 11th-12th, causing numerous accidents and power outages, with up to a quarter inch of ice; nine mixed precipitation/freezing rain events were observed this year.

On March 1st, 47 of the 48 states across the country had snow on the ground; notice that all of Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio was covered in snow!

 

Southwestern Ohio

  • Columbus saw it's coldest February on record (18.5 at Columbus Ohio State University Airport), while Cincinnati and Dayton only saw their 4th coldest February on record (23.0 and 20.4, respectively).
  • Columbus ranked second in minimum mean temperature for December-February at 18.5 (coldest minimum mean temperature was set last year at 17.4)
  • 35 separate wintry threats impacted southwestern Ohio, resulting in a large amount of school delays and closings. Of these, eleven events involved ice.

Dayton and Columbus saw nearly as much snow as they received in December through the first half of February, while Cincinnati saw over five times the amount!

Director of Forensic and Data Services / Lead Meteorologist
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