A 6-day lake effect snow event produced a reported 68.9 in. (175.0 cm) of snowfall in Hambden Township, Geauga County, Ohio, during 9–14 November 1996. This exceeded the previous Ohio single-storm snowfall record of 42 in. The purpose of this research is to describe the meteorological situation that caused the record snowfall, document the site of the record snow and the methods of the measurement, describe the societal impacts of the storm, and assess the validity of the record. A persistent deep trough in the midtroposphere provided cold advection across Lake Erie into northeast Ohio. This combined with a very unstable lower atmosphere to allow deep, moist convection and a prolonged period of heavy snowfall. The observer and site were selected in 1994 for a federal study of lake effect snowfalls and the observer was a “snow spotter” for the National Weather Service office in Cleveland in November 1996. A review of snowfall data from the event indicates the reported snowfall is consistent with respect to snow depths, nearby reported snowfall, the synoptic situation, and societal impacts of the snow. The authors suggest the 68.9 in. of snowfall should be accepted as a new state record single-storm snowfall. In addition, the 76.7 in. (195 cm) of snowfall recorded at this site in November 1996 is a new monthly snowfall record for Ohio.

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Footnotes

*Department of Geography, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio.

+NOAA/National Weather Service, Cleveland Hopkins Airport, Cleveland, Ohio.