Big Valentine’s Day storm hit Miami Valley 10 years ago this week

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

A major winter storm that produced significant snow and ice across the Miami Valley hit the area on February 13th and 14th, 2007.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Ten years ago this week, an intense winter storm developed over the Southern Plains and moved across the Ohio Valley.

Widespread rain developed ahead of the storm late on Monday, Feb. 12. The moisture moved into colder air as it crossed into northern Kentucky, southern Indiana and Ohio early on Tuesday. This caused the rain to change to snow and dropped from 1 to 5 inches of snow on much of the region by daybreak Tuesday.

As the storm intensified, it drew in warmer air from the south, which caused the snow to quickly change to sleet and freezing rain Tuesday morning and afternoon across much of the I-70 corridor and points south.

Areas from Dayton to Columbus received several inches of sleet on top of the snow, which later turned into freezing rain with up to a quarter inch of ice on trees and power lines.

Farther south, snow quickly changed to freezing rain Tuesday morning. This included areas from the northern Cincinnati suburbs into Wilmington and areas south of Columbus.

The temperature never rose above freezing across these areas, which allowed ice to accumulate to between a half-inch and an inch. This resulted in significant tree damage and numerous power outages.

The intensifying storm caused the pressure gradient to tighten across western and northern Ohio and resulted in very strong winds with gusts up to 45 mph. This caused significant blowing and drifting of snow across areas from Troy to Marysville, and farther north into Celina, Wapakoneta and Bellefontaine.

As a result, road crews had a very difficult time keeping roads clear. By Tuesday afternoon, travel across west central Ohio was nearly impossible.

By Tuesday evening, a Level 3 snow emergency had been declared in many counties in west central Ohio. The snow continued late Tuesday night, and by Wednesday morning had accumulated from 8 to 15 inches.

The wind caused snow to drift substantially. In some cases, drifts were more than 4 feet high.