A strong winter storm hit the Swanton area Thursday night into Friday, but the heaviest snow missed the area just to the north.
A winter storm warning was issued by the National Weather Service for both Fulton and Lucas counties. Snowfall totals of anywhere between 5 and 11 inches were expected from various forecasts.
However, a last minute wobble of the heaviest band of snow spared Swanton the storm’s worst. At Toledo Express Airport, the official storm total was 3.8 inches.
Just to the north, the snow was much heavier. Nine inches of snow was reported in Adrian, Mich. and 11.5 inches in northern Lenawee and Hillsdale counties.
The storm had a sharp cut off in snow amounts, with 50 miles making a huge difference. Just 1.1 inches was reported in Ottawa, Ohio, with similar amounts in Findlay and Lima.
Warm, moist air was transported over a frontal boundary, leading to the initial light to moderate snowfall, with accumulations of 1-5” observed through 7 a.m. Friday, according to the National Weather Service. Soon after, an upper level jet and mid-level shortwave brought additional forcing to the low pressure system. This forcing combined with steep mid-level lapse rates aloft led to the heavier snowfall observed after 7 p.m., which mostly missed Swanton.
The storm was part of a week of wintry weather. Swanton schools were closed on Wednesday, in addition to Friday, and delayed on Tuesday.
The wintry weather continued on Sunday with freezing rain leading to a winter weather advisory. The precipitation left a coating of ice on everything, leading to dangerous travel in the morning. Many roads cleared by afternoon, but some sidewalks and secondary roads remained icy.