Where is the Lake Erie snow belt in Ohio?

Published: Dec. 7, 2016 at 3:52 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 7, 2016 at 9:46 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The snow belt -- it's part of every Northeast Ohioian's vocabulary all winter but does anyone know exactly where it is?

Not really. The Snow Belt is a geographical area that, climatologically speaking, receives more snow than the rest of Northeast Ohio. Any state connected to one of the Great Lakes actually has its own Snow Belt.

Northeast Ohio's Snow Belt locations often see or possess many of the ingredients we need for efficient lake effect snow development: instability, fetch, wind shear, flow from upstream lakes and higher terrain. This isn't to say that towns outside of the snow belt don't see snow. They do. It's just that historically, snow belt communities see more of it.

Here in the Buckeye State, we have two snow belts: a primary and a secondary. Primary snow belt residents see more snow than secondary snow belt-ers. The primary snow belt is comprised of the following locations:

  • Inland Geagua County
  • Inland Ashtabula County
  • Inland Lake County
  • Parts of the east side of Cuyahoga County
  • Northern Portage County
  • Northern Summit County
  • Northern Trumbull County

A common misconception is that coastal Lake Erie on the east side is part of the snow belt -- it's not. Downtown Cleveland isn't even in the snow belt because of its location on the north coast.

It's often areas inland -- 5 or so miles away from the lake -- that see the most snow. Downtown Cleveland isn't even in the Snow Belt because of its close proximity to the lake.

Find out who is included in the secondary snow belt here.

Cleveland 19 meteorologists Samantha Roberts and Jeff Tanchak contributed to this report.

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