No major changes in our forecast this morning. Cold air is definitely here, and if we are looking for something to try and make you feel better this morning, we could try by mentioning “it will be much colder for much longer next week?” That probably fails, but it is the truth. We have a reinforcing shot of cold air coming into the region this weekend and it holds all week next week. Precipitation is just a bit of icing on the inclement weather cake this morning. Let’s walk through it.
Some light snows pop up over the northern half of the state tomorrow night into early Friday. We do not expect anything more than a coating to an inch from I-70 northward, and most of the snow will be north of US 30. By midday Friday, this action is pretty much gone. We should see clouds breaking for some sun in the north the rest of Friday, and a fairly nice day all day in the south on Friday.
Better snows develop Friday overnight through Saturday. We have potential for 1-4 inches over 80% of the state. Strong north winds coming behind the system will keep lake snows in the forecast over NE Ohio through Saturday evening into Sunday, and we can add another several inches to snow totals there. This will also add to the epic record breaking snows in Erie, PA that have made national headlines. And, we can see the snow pile up in far NE Ohio right on into midweek next week. As colder air dives in on strong NW winds, lake snows can continue in Ashtabula, Lake, Geauga and Trumbull Counties through midweek.
Flipping the calendar into 2018 brings more cold air. We think we can string together an entire week of temps in the single digits and below zero. Only a few flurries are expected in this brutal cold push, but it will not take much to trigger flurries, so we keep an eye out. Strong upper level high pressure dominates the week, meaning we at least see sun over Ohio through the stretch of brutal cold. Late in the week, a nice wave comes up from the MO valley for Friday (5th). This could bring several inches of snow to about 60% of the state, as cold air will have been in place for a good number of days leading up to the event. But, track will be important to what exactly we end up seeing
In the extended window, we could be looking at another major winter storm arriving around the 7th-8th of January as a low comes up from the SW again. This system and this track implies plenty of moisture, but timing will need to be watched. Then we have another snow maker coming for the 10th and 11th. The pattern looks to get very active as we start the New Year, and cold air is the driver of this pattern.