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The 9 weirdest weather events of 2015

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Posted at 7:00 AM, Dec 21, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-21 07:00:32-05

CINCINNATI – So how about this weather?

The past year has seen some strange weather events hit Greater Cincinnati. We’ve had a weird cloud, a fireball and even a double rainbow. Here’s a look back at the Tri-State’s 9 weirdest weather events of 2015.

Tri-State had five days of record-breaking winter weather

Inches of snow accumulated across the Tri-State.

First, we had an unusually-large amount of record-breaking winter weather in February, with unprecedented amounts of snowfall and low temperatures hitting in the same week. For five straight days, new records were set for snowfall or low temperatures. One day, the temperature dropped to -12 degrees. Brr!

That week wasn’t the end of the serious winter weather, either. In early March, a storm dumped more than a foot of snow on parts of the Tri-State.

Front wall ripped off home in storm

In June, Clinton and Highland counties were bit by “microburst” and straight-line winds, according to the National Weather Service.

Strangely, the winds ripped the front wall off a New Vienna home, leaving it open like a dollhouse. Luckily, no one was injured there, but this storm wasn’t kids’ stuff – it also reportedly damaged roofs, other structures and trees, and flooded a mobile home park in Butler County.

Rainbows over Cincinnati

That same day, after the storms broke, the weather gave us a treat: rainbows! Viewers sent in loads of photos, including some that captured the elusive double rainbow. Check them out here.

What's caused the moon to turn orange? Blame Canada

The orange moon.

In this case, the weather event wasn’t happening right here in Cincinnati, but we still got the weird.

Drought, lightning, summer hear and strong winds caused a large number of wildfires near Saskatchewan and Alberta in Canada. Jet stream winds carried smoke from those fires more than 2,000 miles into the Plains, Great Lakes and Ohio Valley, casting an orange/red hue over the moon as observed in the Tri-State.

Weird cloud over Cincinnati had people buzzing

Since before history, mankind has questioned why we’re here and what is the purpose of life. Since Nov. 5, we’ve also been asking what that weird cloud was.

The unusual, funnel-like “cloud segment” was visible for miles and had many people asking if a tornado struck the area, but the National Weather Service assured us that there was no danger, even though they weren’t exactly sure what caused the weird cloud.

We made a few guesses at what could have caused it.

Our meteorologists even tried reaching out to other experts in the field. They ruled out virga or a cold-air funnel. One NWS employee said he’d consider it a scud, a low-hanging cloud often associated with a thunderstorm updraft, but the service officially said it was not a scud, either.

Fireball caught on camera in Tri-State overnight

An impressive fireball shot across the sky over Cincinnati one November night. One local man caught it on his security camera and sent us the footage.

Experts couldn’t say for sure if it was from the Leonid meteor shower or just some other space junk, but there were a number of meteors visible from the Tri-State that week as part of the shower.

Dean Rigas of the Cincinnati Observatory estimated the object was 40 or 50 miles up when it passed by here. The NASA telescope in Hunstville, Alabama even picked it up.

NOAA: El Niño bringing drier, warmer winter weather to Cincinnati

This weather story is still a work in progress. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted in October that Cincinnati would have a warmer, dryer winter than usual. A strong El Niño is affecting the position of the Pacific jet stream, impacting weather across the country, they found.

And even though the first official day of winter isn’t until Dec. 22, it’s been looking like NOAA’s prediction will be right. The first half of December was unusually warm across much of the country, though NOAA has predicted a colder, wetter winter for parts of the South.

And while we may hope the warmer, drier winter means we won’t have any huge storms like last winter, that may not be the case. During the winter of 1997-98, also a strong El Niño year, Cincinnati had 23.9 inches of snow, 6.1 inches more than normal.