Today is October 24th, seven days before Halloween. Driving in this morning listening to the radio, they were announcing SCHOOL CLOSINGS due to the weather. I know I live in northeast Ohio. I know we get lake effect snow (thank you Lake Erie) but school closings? In October? As I was driving home last night, I noticed the sky was very dark in the east. It didn't look like rain clouds, but snow clouds. I tried to capture it with my phone but it was hard driving and taking a picture (shhhh, don't tell anyone) but this is what I was able to get. Doesn't that sky look angry?
So this got me to thinking about snow and wondering what the earliest recording of snow falling in Ohio ever was, or at least since they have been keeping records. It actually surprised me because it wasn't all that early. The earliest measurable amount of snowfall occurred on October 3 in both 1974 and 2003. The latest date for the first snowfall was December 12. Typically it ranges around November 9th.
Which led me to wonder when was the latest measurable snowfall and I found out it was in 1907. It was May 10, 1907 and about a half an inch fell in Cleveland. However, the latest snowfall that did not accumulate was May 20, 2002. That's really late!
Anyway, when I was a little kid, it seems like it started snowing around Thanksgiving and didn't let up until March or early April. I always remember the ground being covered and building snowmen and forts. We always seemed to have several snow days and life was good. Nowadays, the kids are lucky if they get a snow day and usually when they do get a day off due to the weather, it's because of cold temperatures, wind chill factors, a pipe freezing and breaking or electrical problems. Although I feel bad for the kids because they don't get to experience winter the way we did, I am very thankful that our weather has been better for the last several years. I'm not sure if the weather is actually better or if the cities and road crews are just on high alert and seem to get a jump start to help prevent horrible driving conditions. Either way, having to drive 18 miles to and from work every day, I am grateful for clean, ice free, roads.
Stay warm, my friends, stay warm. It has only just begun.
R. K. Avery