Northeastern Ohio

Included Counties: 
Cuyahoga, Lake, Ashtabula, Medina, Summit, Portage, Trumbull
Watersheds: 
Ashtabula-Chagrin, Black-Rocky, Chautauqua-Conneaut, Cuyahoga, Grand, Lake Erie, Mahoning, Mohican, Shenango, Tuscarawas, Walhonding

Geography

The Northeastern Ohio Climate Division is bounded by Lake Erie to the north, Pennsylvania to the east, and extends west to include Cleveland, Akron, and Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The terrain is predominantly gently undulating with some hilly areas. The land cover is diverse, including dense urban environements, forests, and large agricultural areas.

Overview

Northeastern Ohio experiences a continental climate with four distinct seasons. Summers are hot and humid while winters are cold and snowy. Areas near Lake Erie experience moderated temperatures compared with other inland locations at similar latitude. The division receives abundant lake effect snow from mid-November until the surface of Lake Erie freezes, which typically occurs in late January or early February. Lake effect snow increases sharply in areas to the east of Cleveland as the terrain rises into the Lake Erie snowbelt that extends past Buffalo, New York. Seasonal totals of 100 inches (254 cm) are not uncommon in the area. Because the day-to-day weather is controlled by the movement of pressure systems across the nation, this area seldom experiences prolonged periods of extreme heat or cold, though hot and humid days are more frequent than in more northerly locations. Precipitation is well-distributed throughout the year with slightly more rain falling during the late spring and early summer. Summer precipitation comes mainly in the form of afternoon thunderstorms.
 

Changes In Precipitation

Annual total precipitation has increased significantly since the 1950s. Summer and fall precipitation have increased rapidly both in % of normal and in total volume, contributing to changes in annual totals.

 in.cm.%
Annual6.616.817.65
Winter0.92.312.66
Spring0.51.24.61
Summer2.15.318.90
Fall3.07.632.94

Linear best-fit changes are calculated over the period 1950-2012. Percentage changes are calculated relative to the 1951-1980 historical reference period.

↑ Back to precipitation index

Changes In Temperature

Northern Ohio has seen many changes typical of much of the Great Lakes basin. Annual average temperatures have warmed faster than national and global rates. Most of the warming has occurred during the winter and spring. Overnight low temperatures have warmed faster than mid-day high temperatures.

 °F°C
Annual2.51.4
Winter2.61.4
Spring3.31.8
Summer1.91.1
Fall1.71.0

Linear best-fit changes are calculated over the period 1950-2012. Percentage changes are calculated relative to the 1951-1980 historical reference period.

Seasonal Precipitation

All seasons have been highly variable throughout the period of record. Fall precipitation totals were high through the 1980s and 90s. All seasons have experienced sharp increases since the early 2000s.

Seasonal Temperature

Winter and spring have warmed faster than summer and fall. Winter temperatures have been particularly variable, and following a particularly warm period, declined toward normal values in recent years.