Snowfall totals show it really hasn’t been that bad of a winter in Northeast Ohio, yet

You can thank El Nino

Snowfall totals show it really hasn’t been that bad of a winter in Northeast Ohio, yet
Except for a sizable snow storm on Jan. 19, 2019 it has been a down year for snow totals in Northeast Ohio. This picture was taken in Akron after that storm.

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -There are still six weeks until the official first day of spring, March 20th, and Northeast Ohio snowfall totals are down considerably when compared to years past.

Snowfall totals show it really hasn’t been that bad of a winter in Northeast Ohio, yet

“Our winter prediction of this being an El Nino year is keeping us below average in snow,” according to Cleveland 19 Meteorologist Jeff Tanchak. “I think the winter will end up below normal snowfall and a warmer than normal winter.”

When looking at snow totals from December through February here’s how it piles up:

  • 2014-2015   42.0"
  • 2015-2016   20.9"
  • 2016-2017   24.3"
  • 2017-2018   36.3″
  • 2018-2019   21.3″ (through Feb. 12th) 

El Nino is a weather pattern caused by the warming of the Pacific Ocean which causes jet streams to shift, typically meaning winters in Ohio will be a little more mild.

“Not all El Nino years mean we will get less snow. All it takes is a couple of heavy lake snow events over Cleveland and all of a sudden you are above normal in snowfall,” Tanchak said.

For example, 2014 was an El Nino year and had one of the highest snowfall totals in recent years.

“I don’t see any reason why the overall pattern would change anytime soon. Most likely, more rain than snow going forward,” Tanchak predicted.

“I guess the Groundhog said early spring this year so I’ll go with that. It probably will snow or sleet for the Tribe home opener because it always does.”

Copyright 2019 WOIO. All rights reserved.