Tuesday's heavy snowfall close but didn't beat previous records

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Posted at 7:03 PM, Feb 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-10 17:19:40-05

There is nothing quite like fresh fallen snow.

That is, except when there's a lot of it, falling at rates of 2 to 3 inches per hour. It's called "mesoscale snow banding," and it happens when a concentrated system of snow falls over a short duration of time within a tight band of space.

In the Tri-State's case, the setup occurred around 10:00 p.m. Monday night and concluded after midnight early the following morning.

It all went down within a 50-mile radius from southeastern Indiana, across the Greater Cincinnati metropolitan area, up towards Washington Court House in southwest Ohio.

A disturbance in the atmosphere called a jet-streak quickly moved over a very cold air mass aloft, and rained down snow by the bucketload.

While it "snowed to beat the band," there were no records set.

The official record snowfall at CVG for Monday, Feb. 8, is 6.4 inches set back in 1971. We got 5.7 inches on the night of February 8, 2021.The record snowfall for Tuesday, February 9 is 5.7 inches set back in 2010. We got 4.1 inches for February 9, 2021. All falling just prior to daybreak. The last time this kind of snow fell was in a single day, more than a decade ago on Feb. 15. A record 8.3 inches blanketed the area.

When you add this year's two-day snow event together, we received a total of 9.8 inches of snow at CVG in Boone County. That's 2.2 inches from a foot of snow all within a matter of hours.

In case you're wondering, the month of February has seen this kind of two-day major snow event before. On Feb. 4, 1998, we got a whopping 11.8 inches of snow. The following day, another record-setting 6.5 inches fell on the Queen City.

Prior to those dates, we hadn't seen this kind of snowfall for 32 years. That was Feb. 1, 1966, when 9.3 inches of the white powder descended upon Cincinnati. Before the 1960s, snowfall of that magnitude hadn't been recorded since Feb. 17, 1910, when Cincinnati had a record 10.8 inches of snow and low temperatures that fell 7 degrees below zero.