November 25, 2014

Medina
Cloudy
30°F

Mother Nature, the jokester: Wednesday’s lake-effect snow unexpected

Photographer Matthew Platz used his camera to send a message to Mother Nature: “Please stop. Enough with the snow already!” Platz took the photo Friday — the first full day of spring — from the front porch of his home on Briarwood Boulevard in Chippewa Lake. His plea went unanswered: Residents woke Wednesday to another blanket of white. (MATTHEW PLATZ / PLATZ IMAGES)

Photographer Matthew Platz used his camera to send a message to Mother Nature: “Please stop. Enough with the snow already!” Platz took the photo Friday — the first full day of spring — from the front porch of his home on Briarwood Boulevard in Chippewa Lake. His plea went unanswered: Residents woke Wednesday to another blanket of white. (MATTHEW PLATZ / PLATZ IMAGES)

Surprised to see several inches of snow on the ground Wednesday morning? So were the people responsible for keeping the white stuff off the roads.

“It was unexpected,” Medina Service Director Nino Piccoli said. “It started snowing about 5:30 p.m., but it wasn’t sticking. About 9:30, it started sticking.

“Our guys went out about 10 p.m. and were out until morning.”

Piccoli said the city roads mostly were cleared by 11 a.m.

Wadsworth Service Director Chris Easton said his city’s plows were out at 1 a.m.

“We called a snow parking ban at about 2:30 in the morning,” he said. “I think we got close to three inches.”

Some areas — especially in the northern portion of the county — saw a lot more.

“Some areas got 4 to 5 inches,” said Gary Garnet, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service station at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. “It was a little bit shocking.”

Tuesday evening’s forecast called for only a chance of snow showers with little accumulation.

Garnet said the heavy snowfall was unexpected because it wasn’t the result of a weather front that could be tracked.

The culprit was Lake Erie.

“It was lake effect — the ice shifted and there was an open area just north of Cleveland,” he explained. “The cold area moved over it and pick up some moisture.”

Garnet said Wednesday’s snowfall brought the total for the area so far to 78.6 inches.

That’s 16.5 inches above average and 28.5 inches more than last year.

The total makes this season the 10th snowiest, Garnet said. But it’s far short of the record 117.9 inches that fell in 2004-05.

“We just barely cracked the top 10,” he said.

Garnet did offer a “glimmer of hope.”

“It looks like next week we’re going to warm into the 50s,” he said.

Gazette reporter Nick Glunt contributed to this story.

Contact David Knox at (330) 721-4065 or dknox@medina-gazette.com.