Good morning and Happy New Year! I sincerely hope that everyone had a spectacular Christmas and New Year holiday. And, I hope that you’ll make TuscWeather.net your home for local weather coverage this year.
Many folks in the Tuscarawas Valley are returning to work and school this week and our our biggest weather concern is of course the very cold temperatures and wind chills. All counties in east-central and northeast Ohio remain under a Wind Chill Advisory through tomorrow morning. Wind chills of -10 to -20 will be common over the next 24 to 36 hours. Wind chills in this range can cause frostbite within 30 minutes, so please take precautions.
You may have noticed that this morning’s temperatures were not quite as cold as Monday’s record -10 degrees. Officially this morning in New Phila we had a low of 5 degrees – actually 15 degrees warmer than yesterday’s low. The reason was cloud cover over eastern Ohio that helped keep temperatures from bottoming out again last night.
Not so much though in western Ohio. Clear skies made for a much colder start to the morning over there.
Cold high pressure will gradually build to our south and allow clouds to thin and sunshine to break out this afternoon across east-central Ohio. Despite the sun, temperatures across the Valley will struggle to get much more than the mid teens for the afternoon high.
Factor in a little southwest breeze today and wind chills will again stay in the minus-5 to minus-11 range today. Again – nothing to take lightly if you must be outdoors today.
WITH SKIES CLEARING TONIGHT temperatures will once again plummet to around zero with wind chills below minus-10 degrees OR COLDER in some spots. I would expect morning school delays to be fairly common this week. (I do not have anything to do with school adjustments/closings. Please check with your local school for delays/cancellations.)
The good news is Wednesday will likely bring the warmest day of the week. But, it will still be a cold day with afternoon temperatures maybe getting to around 21/23 degrees for the high. The bad news is we really haven’t seen the coldest temperatures of the week just yet. Those will head our way for Friday and Saturday.
High pressure departs Wednesday as a reinforcing arctic front approaches and dives south through Ohio Wednesday night. There will be a touch of moisture with this so we will need to bring in low chances for spotty snow showers Wednesday night and Thursday.
The vast majority of snow will be lake effect showers and squalls, so most of the activity will stay closer to the lake. Still, we will need to allow for the possibility that a few of these could dip far enough south to bring a quick snow shower/squall to the northern Valley communities. Accumulation should be minimal, however, and I don’t see this creating any big local travel problems.
The most important impact will be temperatures turning much colder again behind the system. Thursday, Friday and Saturday will bring us another multi-day stretch of arctic cold temps and wind chills. We’re looking at highs in the single digits for Friday and Saturday with nighttime lows in the -5 to -10 degree range.
Again, factor in wind chills of -15 to as low as -20 in spots Thursday night and Friday night. That’s some dangerous cold.
WHEN WILL WE BREAK THIS COLD?
There are signs of relief from at least the bitter cold we’ve had to start the new year. While it doesn’t look like our classic January thaw where temperatures can get to the upper 40s or low 50s, some relief from the nastiest cold will arrive early next week.
Enough warm air may get pulled far enough north by Monday or Tuesday that we actually warm to above freezing for a while and maybe – just maybe actually get in on some liquid precipitation.
EARTH REACHES PERIHELION TONIGHT
Yea. It’s bitter cold in east-central Ohio. But later tonight (12:35 AM EST) Earth will actually be closest to the sun, about 3- million miles closer, than it is at any time of the year – including summer.
While that really doesn’t have much of an effect on the seasons – Earth’s tilt makes those happen – it does have an effect on season length. With Earth being closest to the sun in January we’re moving faster in our orbit around the sun at about 19 miles per second. Our orbital speed will slow a bit during the summer when Earth is farthest from the sun.
So, as far as the seasons go, winter works out to be the shortest of our four seasons. Hey! We got that going for us.