Buckle up…it’s going to be bit of a bumpy ride this week. We kicked off our active start to February over the weekend yesterday, with a clipper system bringing precipitation to most of the state. We have snow on the ground in many places as of this morning, and if you missed out on it yesterday, or had more rain than anything else, rest assured, your time is coming this week. Now, cold air is here this morning, as we are hearing some single digit temps being reported this morning. It could be worse…our neighbors to the west are dealing with some subzero readings in spots! This is just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. We have not one, not two, but three more systems that will cross Ohio this week, all bringing the potential for snow! But, the snows do not pack quite the punch we were concerned about as we went home last Friday. More on that to come.
Today looks to be pretty boring during daylight hours through Sunday. We likely see a mix of clouds and sun, although clouds probably dominate in many areas, as the atmosphere tries to get accustomed to the colder air domination. Northwest flow will be with us for most of the day. Overnight tonight our next clipper does come in. This will be a fast moving event, and should be gone by 9AM tomorrow morning. This clipper brings us a coating to 2 inches over about 70% of the state. We can see sunshine in behind it as soon as tomorrow afternoon.
To refresh your memory, we had been very concerned about a system coming up out of the central plains and MO valley at midweek this week right on into Ohio. As with most strong winter storms, this one was going to be all about track. We are happy to report this morning that we look to dodge a significant bullet here, as the worst of the storm will stay south. We are not saying we escape all snow. That is not the case. WE have snow here on Wednesday, just not the large amounts that we were concerned with late last week. Snow arrives Wednesday morning and goes through the evening. We can see a coating to 3 inches in the north, mostly north of I-70, and then 3-6 inches south of I-70. This is still better than what some models were saying last Friday afternoon! The worst action stays well south, south of the river, where norther KY can see 5-7 inches of snow or more. This track slowly worked south through the weekend, but we will monitor it through the rest of today and tomorrow morning to make sure it does not veer back north. This course alteration just again backs up our policy of staying away from throwing out snow totals on big events too far in advance. Keep that in mind as we talk about our 3rd system for the week here in just a bit.
Dry, but cold weather is in for most of the state Wednesday overnight and Thursday, with high pressure setting up over NW Ohio Thursday evening. However, we will not rule out lake effect snows in northeast OH through the day Thursday.
Behind that high, we have a significant system moving in for Friday and it holds over the northern part of the state all the way through Saturday evening. We are concerned about significant snows from US 30 northward, aided by some lake enhancement. Right now we see potential for 3-8 inches of snow in that area north of US 30 over the 36 hour period from Friday morning through Saturday evening, and we can see a coating to 3 inches down to I-70. We
Temperatures will be pushing closer to freezing near I-70, and that, along with significantly lower moisture means we see nothing over the southern half of the state. This system is a good 5 days out this morning, so there is ample opportunity to see things change. However, this is not a system that is driven by “track” as much, as we think it is a feature born of warm air overrunning cold air. Add the lake enhancement, and it has a better chance at coming to fruition. At this time, our numbers are just working theories…and we will change and massage them as we move along. Still, it could put quite the exclamation point on the week.
We turn colder for the weekend with subzero temps in over a large part of northern Ohio to start off Sunday morning. Dry weather is here for Monday through Wednesday, but north flow likely allows for some lake effect snows here and there.
So, while we miss the potential big system statewide at midweek, we still have some decent snow potential for the week, especially when you add up multiple little events. All, told, for the week from here forward (not including what snow we saw yesterday), we could see 4-12 inches of snow combined for the week across the state. The map above puts that graphically – it shows combined snow totals from today through Sunday midday.
The extended 11-16 day period the dry weather continuing for next Thursday the 15th through Sunday the 18th. However, a powerful low comes out of the central plains and moves across our region for the 19th and 20th, and it can bring half to 1.5” of liquid equivalent precipitation potential. Given the fact that we look to remain cold through most of the extended period, that would bring an argument of significant snow back in as we head toward president’s day.