Rains continue to march across the state today as a cold front sweeps through. Combined with rains that have already fallen across the state, we should see this rain totals climb to .25”-.75” and coverage at 90%. Rain will be done near midday in NW and west central Ohio, but it will take until mid to late afternoon for the last of the rains to exit east and southeast Ohio. There may be some breaks in the clouds late this afternoon in western parts of the state, but with the dramatic air temperature change, a lot of blue sky is not likely.
Much colder air is in for the rest of the week with strong westerly flow tonight through tomorrow. This will trigger some lake effect snows in far NE parts of the state, as those west winds end up running the length of Lake Erie. These lake effect snows can be impressive tomorrow and Thursday. But, the rest of the state will just see a tough batch of clouds to break through. There will be some sun, but with the strong cold air change, full sunshine is not likely.
A secondary, much more impressive surge of cold, Canadian air comes in for the weekend, and that is leading to a few changes here this morning. With temperatures going below normal for the period, these strong north winds open up the potential for more lake effect precipitation and clouds to work over the state. Now, we do not see this as quite as big of an issue here as our neighbors to the west do (with the winds coming straight down Lake Michigan), but we do have plenty of Great Lakes water area to have these winds come over before getting here, and it will at least keep clouds top of mind. And, we have to keep the door open for some lake effect snows along and south of the shores of Lake Erie too this weekend into early next week. Snow totals will be limited.
A fast moving clipper-like system moves in for next Wednesday, and with cold air still here, we see good snow potential for the center of the state. We can see a couple of inches all the way down south of I-70. We will hone in on exact snow totals as we get closer to the event – a week out or more is not the time to try and talk exact snow totals…as they can change quickly and easily, depending on track and moisture. The map shows potential cumulative snow totals by the end of next Wednesday. Again – this is not an official forecast…but rather some guidance on where to expect the best precipitation, and how things may play out with the current set up.
Behind that system, we stay cold for the remainder of next week. An upper level low sits over the great lakes for the latter part of next week, but it does not throw much action down our way. Two strong lows and their associated fronts sweep through the Deep South, keeping the heaviest precipitation just outside of our area on the 15th and 17th. However, we are watching these fronts closely, because a slight drift in one of them north could bring substantial moisture in to the region, and if we remain cold, it could be a mess. For now, we look to dodge the bullet, but stay tuned.