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Published: 12/15/2012 - Updated: 1 year ago

Measurable snow skirts Toledo area 284 days, believed to be a record

BY DAVID PATCH
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Late-afternoon sunlight streams through the bus plaza at Erie Street and Madison Avenue downtown. Temperatures Friday rose into the 40s. Late-afternoon sunlight streams through the bus plaza at Erie Street and Madison Avenue downtown. Temperatures Friday rose into the 40s.
THE BLADE/JEREMY WADSWORTH Enlarge | Buy This Photo

Feel like we’re missing something?

In Toledo, it’s the white stuff — make that 284 straight days as of Friday without measurable snow, believed to be a record.

The last measurable snowfall at Toledo Express Airport, half an inch, was on March 5 — days before a warmup that set that month on a course to become the warmest March in Toledo’s recorded history, according to the National Weather Service.

Although the area has had a few stray flakes so far this fall, no more than a trace has been measured at the airport since then, and that surpasses a snowless streak in 2001, when no accumulating snow fell between March 16 and Christmas.

Forecasts on Friday gave no indication of this snowless weather ending anytime soon, either.

Although rain and snow showers were predicted for Monday night, and snow showers for Tuesday, above-freezing temperatures made accumulation appear unlikely.

After that, the best prospect was for Thursday night, when the National Weather Service predicted “a chance of snow” and a low of 27 — but how much snow that might be was not explained.

“Nothing stands out at the moment,” said Marty Thomas, a meteorologist at the weather service’s Cleveland office, who could not immediately confirm that 284 days without measurable snow in Toledo was an official record.

The 2001 information is from The Blade’s coverage of a late start to winter that year.

Mr. Thomas said 2001 information was missing from data available to him — data that showed a 281-day snowless run two years ago that ended on Dec. 5, 2010. Before that, the longest such streak in the National Weather Service’s records was 278 days in 1946, he said.

Scott Carpenter, a spokesman for the Metroparks of the Toledo Area, said Friday that the snowless weather remains a mixed blessing for park visitors.

Donald Jackson, fore-ground, and his brother Richard, of Toledo, take advantage of the warmth to do some painting. Donald Jackson, fore-ground, and his brother Richard, of Toledo, take advantage of the warmth to do some painting.
THE BLADE/ZACK CONKLE Enlarge | Buy This Photo

“We’ve had people out on bicycles, we’ve had people out jogging in shorts on the nice days like today. But we've got kids probably sitting at home with sleds saying, ‘When?’ ”

Mr. Carpenter remarked that in decades past, the Metroparks district maintained track-setting and grooming equipment for cross-country ski trails, but that gear has long since been disposed of because of infrequent use.

“It just has not been snowy consistently enough for cross-country skiing,” he said.

Since that last snowfall, Toledo experienced the record-shattering warmth in March, followed by a summer with five 100-degree days and the fifth-warmest July on record.

But since August, Toledo’s weather has been cooler than normal — cool enough that right now, the area is on track only for the fourth-warmest year since local record-keeping began in the 1870s, according to the weather service.

Once Toledo does get enough snow for sledding, Mr. Carpenter said, the parks will have extended evening hours at their two sledding hills to support that activity.

“I’ll go out on a limb and say it absolutely will snow again,” he said. “I just don’t know when.”

 



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