Very few changes this morning, as cold air looks to take over the state. We still have some minor moisture holding over Ohio today, and that may trigger some light snows from time to time. The best chance of these will be from US 30 northward, but the moisture set up looks much more unorganized than yesterday. So, we are going to look for a coating to an inch in spots, but have coverage of snows today limited to 40% of the state. Areas south of I-70 see little to no action today and far southern Ohio will deal only with clouds.
Cold air continues to intensify tomorrow, and we likely reach our peak of cold tomorrow afternoon, where a large part of the state struggles to hit freezing. We do expect some sun, though, and winds will turn to the southwest for late Thursday. This will allow temps to moderate again for the last part of the week. Temps Thursday will start to climb, but will lag somewhat…meaning we could still be below normal there. But, on Friday temps go above normal thanks to sunshine and that strong south flow. Now, winds at 15-30 mph will mean we still feel a pretty good chill, though, even though actual air temps may run toward the lower to middle 40s again. This surge and strong wind set up will be in advance of our next system, which still looks strong.
Rains kick off Saturday night and we are making no serious changes to our forecast. The best rains will roll through overnight Saturday night through Sunday. We are keeping rain totals at .25”-1” with 90% coverage, but have some concern about some 1”+ totals in central and southern parts of the state if action lingers. Then, we see cold air blasting into the state overnight Sunday night while moisture is still trying to exit the eastern half to third of the state. While we think that moisture has a good chance of being gone before the coldest air arrives, models are having a hard time with this setup…one model run says it’s done and snow potential is minimal, and the next says we could see some 3-6 inch snow potential overnight Sunday night over the eastern part of the state. Timing will be everything. For now, we will keep an eye on snow, but will not talk it up just yet. We think there is a chance for some accumulation over the eastern third, like we mentioned yesterday, but we do not want to make a big deal about it just yet.
We still won’t rule out some lake effect snow for next Monday (29th), mostly over northeast Ohio. However, this morning the action looks a little less impressive, thanks to wind direction (more north) and temperatures not as cold. For example…temps Monday likely are in the lower to mid-30s, and that temperature change is not as conducive to big lake snows. Cold air holds through next Tuesday.
The rest of the way, out outlook is unchanged from yesterday. We finish the 10 day period with wind shifting back to the SW for midweek next week, which will allot temps to moderate some for Wednesday, the 31st. We do not expect a big move above normal, but a return to normal for Wednesday is likely. A clipper races through next Thursday, and brings a quick burst of snow, along with colder air.
The extended period brings another strong system up from the SW out of the central plains for the 3rd and early the 4th. This system has liquid precipitation potential up to 1.25” and coverage at 100% of the region. This system may have some rain to start, but its current projected track would signal that we need to be on the lookout for some significant snow as well. Time will tell. Behind that event, we put together several dry days, but could see another strong system for the 6th into the 7th, bringing the potential for snow. This would be the start of a potentially very active month of February.