Warm air surges into the state today. But, it’s what is coming after the cold air that has our entire attention this morning. Sure, it will be quite mild today. A good part of the state was in the 50s yesterday knocking on the door of 60, and we should do about 4-6 degrees better today, even in northern Ohio, where snow kept clouds and fog top of mind through the day yesterday. Still, we have some serious weather headed our way.
Rains start late this evening and continue through the overnight tonight and into tomorrow morning. Rain totals across Ohio will range from .15” in NW OH to .6” or better in central and southwest parts of the state. Rain coverage will be pushing 70% tonight and early tomorrow. Then, tomorrow morning we see rain change over to snow. Ohio is set up to see the heaviest snows out of this system, while our neighbors to the west deal with some ice that came in overnight. Here, we are looking at 5-10 inches of snow to stretch across the state from southwest to northeast, and we won’t rule out some 12 inch totals in parts of NE OH before all is said and done. Northwest parts of the state will see lesser snows, in the 2 to 5 inch range (Lima should see around 5”, while Edgerton will be closer to 2”). We do not expect any freezing rain here, except off to the northeast…areas around Youngstown may be looking at a few tenths worth of ice accumulation before snows settle in there late morning. Gusty winds are also a part of this storm complex. Today, those winds will be southwest, fueling the warm up. But tomorrow, on the backside of the system, those winds will be strong north and northwest, and will cause our snows to blow and drift. East-west roads will suffer the worst fate, especially if we hit even low to middle part of our snow forecast range. In addition to drifting these winds will trigger wind chills that can run from 6 above to 5 below zero through tomorrow afternoon and into the weekend. While maybe falling short of our initial fears earlier in the week, this storm still qualifies as a nasty little system, and we need to take it seriously. .
Behind the system, lake effect snows can hang around over northern and especially northeast parts of Ohio to finish the weekend. We can see minor accumulations along the south shore of the lake, but bigger totals in far NE OH. A fairly strong clipper system moves through the region Monday into early Tuesday that brings a coating to 2 inches to about 50% of the state. Temps will return to cold levels, looking at normal and below normal temps for the entire week. Northern areas will be in the teens and low 20s through out, southern areas should be solidly in the 20s and flirt with the lower 30s from time to time. A strong system comes in out of the southwest again late next week, Friday into Saturday. This can bring snows back, and may favor southwest, south central and central Ohio over other parts of the state.
In the extended period, we have a weaker front around the 21st into the 22nd that bring some snows up to 2 inches, and then a stronger system for the 26th and 27th that has some bigger snow potential. Our pattern looks to remain somewhat active through the reminder of January.