We kick of a wet period with rain and fog today. Scattered showers this morning give way to a more organized batch of moisture later this afternoon, this evening and overnight. Several minor waves ebb and flow today, and then stronger moisture comes with a front overnight. Around midnight, we can see the heaviest rains along and near the I-70 corridor. The rains move out of most of Ohio by shortly after sunrise tomorrow, but may hold on over the southern third of the state up to noon, and if we don’t see rains hold that long, thick clouds will remain at least. Rain totals today into early tomorrow will be half to 1.5”, and there can be some 2”+ totals in east central Ohio, if they get the thunderstorm boost leading up to midnight tonight.
We dry down tomorrow evening and stay dry through Saturday. High pressure parking over NW Ohio will draw in cold air to start the weekend. That may allow for some single digit lows Saturday morning in NW Ohio, but in general, most of the state just is a few degrees below normal. The coldest air hits farther west, over Northern IL and WI. As that high moves quickly off to the east on Saturday, the cold air does not stay, and south/southwest winds to develop. Temps will respond accordingly, and should push back to near normal or slightly above on a breezy Saturday afternoon.
Scattered light precipitation will sneak in overnight Saturday night into Sunday, but totals are not that impressive. We will look for a few hundredths to at most a quarter of an inch of liquid equivalent over the state. The wildcard here is cold air. Temps can be at or below freezing over the northern two thirds of the state from just ahead of midnight through the overnight Saturday night, as the moisture moves in. That means we won’t rule out some wet snow, or at least rain mixing with snow in these areas, while rain only falls in the far southern part of the state. This is a fast-moving wave, so we do not expect problems, but where the cold air sets up Saturday overnight will become extremely important. Everything is done by mid-morning Sunday, and the rest of the day should be dry.
Next week looks very wet for Monday through Wednesday. We have rains of .25”-.5” on Monday over the entire state, .25”-.5” Tuesday mostly limited to areas north and west of a line from Cleveland to Celina, and 1-2.5 inches for Wednesday into very early Thursday. There can be some strong storms and very heavy rains in there at midweek. All told, rains for the first half of the week can be 1-3 inches. This will put the exclamation point on a wet 6-day period. The cumulative rain totals map (updated) is at right for today through next Thursday morning. We do dry down some behind that last wave on Wednesday, allowing for 3 days precipitation free for Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
In the extended window, we still have chances for a couple of systems, but the one that stands out the most is a strong low-pressure circulation that moves through at the end of the month, for the 28th and 1st. This low has ample moisture, a strong core, and plenty of temperature change to work with. We see potential for half to 1.5” of liquid equivalent. March still looks like it wants to come in like a lion.