Another dry but cool day today as sunshine dominates once again. Enjoy it, because we will see some changes to the weather pattern as we go into the weekend. Winds will start to ramp back up later this afternoon.
Precipitation for tomorrow is farther north and may end up impacting a good half of the state. However, the best action remains in SW Ohio, where we can see a few hundredths to .4”. Some of this heavier moisture runs from Cincinnati up towards Dayton and even over closer to Columbus. With cold air in play we still feel that we have to allow for some wet snow in there, mixing with some rain. Minor accumulations can be seen, especially north of I-70. Everything looks to be done by late tomorrow evening.
We are dry for Saturday night, Sunday and Monday, with sunshine and blue sky back in over the state for Sunday. Clouds build Monday, and by Monday night we see scattered showers moving in. However, action for Monday night and Tuesday looks to have a smaller footprint and may be confined to the southern half to third of the state. We will make a final determination on this in our forecast Monday morning. Rain totals can be from .1”-6” in those areas. Clouds will be around over the rest of the state.
The biggest change in our forecast this morning comes for next Wednesday. As a strong nor’easter heads up the east coast, we see ample wrap around action on the backside of the low, and it may trigger snow over all of Ohio. We can see a coating to several inches, and the snow looks to go all day long. We will not rule out some 6” snow totals in eastern Ohio before the day is through next Wednesday, but we will wait to put out official snow and precipitation totals until early next week. Snow coverage can be nearly 100% of Ohio. It will be far worse to our east, but we need to stress not to underestimate this storm. Yes, it is hundreds of miles to our east, but the flow around the top will reach all the way back here, and will be enhanced by movement across the great lakes.
The rest of the forecast is basically unchanged. We dry down for next Thursday and Friday, but stay cool. Then a front starts to work in for the 24th that has plenty of south flow ahead of it. That should take temps slightly above normal, and then also allow for good rains to fill in later Saturday afternoon through Sunday. Models have diminished the size and scope of this system this morning, but we are not changing the forecast yet. We will revisit this early next week. For now, we are calling for .25”-.75” rains for the 24th-25th with coverage at 70%.
The extended pattern shows a strong circulation still for the 27th and 28th. Models suggest we can see the gulf bring up some nice moisture into this low, triggering moderate to heavy rains. It’s early but we are considering raising our rain totals for that part of the forecast period to 1-2 inches, based on a track right across from central MO to Toledo. There is plenty of time for this to change, but this may be a wet finish to the month of March.