MIDDLETOWN, Ohio -- Middletown residents woke up to a half inch of snow Thursday morning, despite clear skies and a clear radar.
So what happened?
Turns out, it could all be related to a new power plant in that area.
At first, there was speculation that maybe this was rime ice. But we sent a video of snow falling to the National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio, and they dug deeper.
Check out these photos from Carol Griffith of Middletown. It looks like they had fresh snow overnight, but the radar shows nothing. @NWSILN says it is probably "rime ice" ... something we don't see very often. @wcpo #cincywx pic.twitter.com/DF0FsWXbGF
— Jennifer Ketchmark (@KetchmarkWCPO) December 11, 2018
NWS officials concluded the snow was created by the AK Steel. But upon further review it was likely a new power plant in Middletown called NTE Energy. This power plant has a very large stack that throws lots of water vapor into the atmosphere, much like the Duke Energy Power Plant along the Ohio River. It's right next to the AK Steel stacks.
The moisture coming up from the power plant facility condensed as a very low cloud, and enough moisture gathered to grow snow flakes. Those then fell from 2 to 5 a.m. in portions of the city.
This event gets added to the list of industrial-induced snow events (power plant snow in previous references), that we'll continue to watch and investigate here in the Tri-State.
It's becoming a frequent occurrence as morning inversions set up and additional moisture gets added into the air from local industrial sites and power plants.