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Climate & Environment
 
 
 

Cleveland possesses a humid continental climate (Koppen climate classification Dfa), typical of much of the central United States, with very warm, humid summers and cold, snowy winters. The Lake Erie shoreline is very close to due east-west from the mouth of the Cuyahoga west to Sandusky, but at the mouth of the Cuyahoga it turns sharply northeast. This feature is the principal contributor to the lake effect snow that is typical in Cleveland (especially east side) weather from mid-November until the surface of Lake Erie freezes, usually in late January or early February. The lake effect causes snowfall totals to range greatly across the city: while Hopkins Airport has only reached 100 inches (254 cm) of snowfall in a given season three times since 1968, seasonal totals approaching or exceeding 100 inches (2,500 mm) are not uncommon in an area known as the "Snow Belt", extending from the east side of Cleveland proper through the eastern suburbs and up the Lake Erie shore as far as Buffalo, New York. Despite its reputation as a cold, snowy place in winter, mild spells often break winter's grip with temperatures sometimes soaring above 70°F (21°C).

The all-time record high in Cleveland of 104°F (40°C) was established on June 25, 1988, and the all-time record low of -20°F (-29°C) was set on January 19, 1994. On average, July is the warmest month with a mean temperature of 71.9°F (22.2°C), and January, with a mean temperature of 25.7°F (-3.5°C), is the coldest. Normal yearly precipitation based on the 30-year average from 1971 to 2000 is 38.7 inches (930 mm). Yearly precipitation rates vary considerably in different areas of the Cleveland metropolitan area, with less precipitation on the western side and directly along the lake, and the most occurring in the eastern suburbs. Parts of Geauga county receive over 44 inches of rain annually.

 

 
 

 



 


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