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Spring Snow in the Northeastern United States
This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated. At the time of publication, it represented the best available science. However, more recent observations and studies may have rendered some content obsolete.
An early spring snow storm blasted Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ontario on April 2 and April 3, 2005. As much as 22 inches of snow fell in parts of Ohio, and though totals were significantly smaller in Cleveland, the storm still dumped enough snow on the city to make the winter of 2004-2005 the snowiest on record. Cleveland receives on average 63 inches of snow in the winter. In the winter 2004-2005, the snowfall total hit 105.5 inches. The storm knocked out power through much of northeastern Ohio and threw parts of the region into a state of emergency. The snow is expected to melt quickly, which could add to flooding problems along rivers in Pennsylvania.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image of the snow-bound region on April 4, 2005. The photo-like image shows lake-effect snow on the south and east side of the Great Lakes. Snow falls in these regions when cold air passes over the lakes, picking up moisture that freezes into snow. When the air moves from the smooth lake surface to the rough land, the snow falls out, often very quickly. The result is an isolated band of snow on the south and east side of the lakes matching the pattern seen in this image.