Heat and steam from industries near Cleveland helped cause today’s snow

Heat and steam from industries near Cleveland helped cause today’s snow
(Harnocz, Amanda)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Meteorologists at the U.S. National Weather Service in Cleveland are nerding out right now because they discovered that the snow around Cleveland and Summit County today is being partly caused by heat and steam coming off of industrial plants. It’s called refinery snow.

Often snow is blamed on Lake Erie this time of year before it freezes over.

It also happened in Omaha Nebraska this morning, Meteorologist Jeff Tanchak said.

“The pollutants can enhance the snow,” said Tanchak. “This just added fuel to the fire as they say.”

“Weather Nerd Moment! The downtown Cleveland snow machine is turned on right now. ;-) We are seeing a very localized enhancement of a band of light snow from the industries near downtown Cleveland. The heat and steam from near downtown CLE is causing localized snow southeastward towards Summit County. Seen from satellite and radar. #OHwx #PAwx #NWS #CLEwx,” the NWS wrote on the below Facebook post.

Weather Nerd Moment! The downtown Cleveland snow machine is turned on right now. ;-) We are seeing a very localized enhancement of a band of light snow from the industries near downtown Cleveland. The heat and steam from near downtown CLE is causing localized snow southeastward towards Summit County. Seen from satellite and radar. #OHwx #PAwx #NWS #CLEwx

Posted by US National Weather Service Cleveland OH on Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Here’s a look at your latest forecast:

A “normal” high for today would be around 42° in the Cleveland area. Unfortunately, we won’t see 42° any time soon.

Tomorrow’s high: 34° Thursday’s high: 37° Friday’s high: 29°

With colder air streaming in, snow chances will be in the forecast through Thursday.

For Wednesday, expect scattered, occasional, light snow showers. Accumulation will be less than one inch.

More widespread snow will move through on Thursday afternoon/early evening, as our next cold front swings through. This is when we may see some higher totals, on the order of 1” – 4” of new snowfall, mainly from Cleveland East into the Snow Belt.

In the wake of this system’s snow (we call it “synoptic snow”), expect some light lake effect snow showers to fall overnight Thursday into Friday. Favored areas for lake effect snow will be in the Primary Snow Belt.

Any lingering snow showers should come to an end by Friday afternoon.

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