Early Snowfall Closes Schools, Cuts Off Power
Heavy, wet snow falling over the Midwest caused widespread power outages in Ohio and Indiana today, with Cincinnati, Indianapolis and St. Louis among the cities setting records for the earliest measurable snowfall.
Tens of thousands of homes and businesses in Ohio and hundreds in the Indianapolis area and southern Indiana were blacked out when snow caused branches to snap onto power lines. Some schools were closed.
Three to 5 inches of snow fell overnight in Cincinnati, Dayton and other areas of southwestern Ohio. It was the earliest snowfall in Dayton since 1912.
The snow followed a drop in temperatures from the upper 70s and low 80s Monday and Tuesday into the upper 20s and low 30s early today.
Two Cincinnati radio stations were knocked off the air temporarily by the power outages, which affected an estimated 100,000 customers in the area. Up to 3 inches of wet snow that melted quickly was reported in other areas of Ohio.
The snow was caused by a low-pressure system over the southeastern United States, combined with a high-level system over Missouri that pumped arctic air into the Midwest.
The snowfall was the deepest on record in Indianapolis since the weather service began keeping records in 1885, said meteorologist John Curran. The previous record of 1.4 inches had stood since 1925.
Today’s snowfall broke a record for the earliest measurable snow set Oct. 20, 1916, in Indianapolis and in St. Louis, which had early morning snow flurries.