A roller coaster ride is the best metaphor for the weather as we start off the week this morning. We have a front bringing snow to Ohio this morning, and it looks to hang around through at least midday. This is a much wetter snow that what we have seen recently, as temps are trying to moderate somewhat. Still, we can see some good accumulations. Now, temps do look like they will warm enough over south central and southeast Ohio to mitigate the highest part of the snow band that we talked about last week. This morning, we are looking for total snowfall, by early to mid-afternoon, of 2”-3” over about 60% of the state. The best snows will be in NW Ohio, followed by north central. Southeast areas have the best chance of seeing rain mix in or even take full control.
Milder air is in over the state for tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday, as the arctic high gets bottled up farther north into Canada. I don’t think we will hear a lot of complaining over that. Now, temps will be warmer off to our west, were they benefit form stronger south winds, especially Wednesday and Thursday. Still, here we can see a lot of snow melt. The map above shows high temperature potential for Thursday, as projected by the GFS model. But, as the warmer air comes in, keep in mind we have a very cold ground surface, so we will be seeing potential for a lot of fog, low level cloudiness temps that may fall short of what others are talking about. We call this the “refrigerator effect”…where the snow pack and general frozen surface creates a pocket of cold air near the surface that take 5 degrees or so off any moderating push. Just something to watch for.
Rains move into Ohio overnight Thursday night into Friday, and then cold air comes rushing back in. That will change the rain to snow, and we could see some significant snow accumulations from Friday afternoon on through Saturday midday. The worst snows may end up hitting farther west, if the track of the low stays as currently projected (MO boot heel to Cincinnati to Kitchner, ON). But, we expect it to move some. The cold air then stays through the balance of the weekend and the start of next week, including another foray into subzero temperatures.
By midweek, we try and moderate again, as strong SW winds are back, likely ahead of our next weather system. This will allow for another brief thaw. But, we look for scattered rain showers changing to snow late next week for Friday into Saturday, followed by cold air through the 21st. The end of the extended 11-16 day window suggests another strong front, with a low coming out of the central plains and moving off to the northeast. This could bring another round of rains followed by significant snow and arctic air around the 22nd and 23rd. So…buckle up – it’s going to be quite a wild ride, we think.