We have a very active pattern over the state this week, starting today. We have rain and snow from I-70 southward, with the moisture slowly lifting northward through the day. By midday to early afternoon, action should be approaching US 30, and by sunset we should see light precipitation all the way up to US 20. Meanwhile, the rains will continue pretty much all day south of I-70, meaning the heaviest totals will end up down there. Moisture over the southern half of the state will be from .25”-.6” with coverage at 100% of the region, while we expect a few hundredths to .25” between US 20 and I-70 with 75% coverage. By tomorrow morning we have rain over a majority of the state, with only some wet snow in NW Ohio. Even that snow quickly transitions to rain statewide by mid-morning to midday, and then rain continues through sunset. Heavy rains will be working into SW Ohio tomorrow morning and will spread northeast. After sunset tomorrow, we would not be surprised to have rain change back over to snow before ending mid morning Wednesday. Most of the state will see only minor accumulations after that switch over, but in north central and northeast parts of the state, along with east central Ohio, there can be a lot more. All told, we think tomorrow we have potential for half to 1.5” liquid equivalent precipitation totals, and we wont rule out the potential for some localized 2 inch totals for tomorrow. Some of that comes as a coating to 2 inches of snow to start the day in far NW Ohio, and then some more as another coating to 2 inches of snow overnight tomorrow night into early Wednesday. Now, north central, northeast and east central Ohio will see bigger snow potential, with 2-6 inches possible with lake enhancement. Generally speaking, this is most easily summed up as “a mess”. The map at right shows potential cumulative precipitation through Wednesday morning.
Flurries and light patchy snow continues for the balance of Wednesday behind this event, although we should see an attempt at some clearing from west to east. Strong NW winds mean we will see a much colder push, and some lower wind chills, but we are not as concerned about cold air now, like we were in our forecasts for this period last week. Temps likely end up near normal for midweek, and we see partly sunny skies for Thursday.
Friday has become much more problematic. We have a significant low moving across the eastern corn belt. Right now, the low looks like it wants to move northeast across Indiana, and really miss us. That would put most of Ohio in the warm sector with moderate to heavy rain potential. We would have to watch the overnight and early Saturday part of the event closely, as the arrival of cold air would allow precipitation to perhaps end as snow. However, right now, the track of the low is very important, and would make all the difference between all rain for us, and something much worse. Right now, we have some concern that Indiana to the west sees Rain, ice (freezing rain) and heavy snow…all three of the biggies!. But, track could easily put us in the firing line too. So, for right now, we are not stepping out in any specific direction on this event. It looks formidable in any form, but what we get and where we get it depends entirely on track, and it is too far out to really get a good idea on that at the moment. Stay tuned!
Windy and colder for Friday, so any snow that would fall on Friday would be subject to blowing and drifting through the day Saturday. Temps will be well below normal and we will see wind chills as a problem again. We stay cold for the balance of the weekend through Monday, with partly sunny skies. Some sub zero lows are likely for the morning of Presidents day.
Tuesday the 19th we have minor snows moving through, bringing a coating to 2 inches with 70% coverage. Then we turn partly sunny and colder again for Wednesday the 20th. While we are keeping our forecast relatively conservative for those days, other models are trying to bring a much more interesting solution to the table, with snow in far southern areas, near the Ohio River for Tuesday, and then rain south of I-70 on Wednesday and snow north. We think that is overdone and will stay with a more subdued outlook at this time.
For the extended period, we have flurries for Thursday the 21st, then partly to mostly sunny skies for Friday the 22nd through Sunday the 24th. Colder air with another snow event arrives for Monday the 25th and goes through Tuesday the 26th. Accumulations are likely.