Rain and warmer temperatures today and Thursday; Cooler for Easter weekend

A meandering warm front across northern portions of Ohio will inch northward and supply east-central Ohio with abundant Gulf moisture and warmer temperatures today. Although we should see a few breaks in steady rainfall during the afternoon, the system’s cold front will stall close by triggering another round of steady rain tonight and Thursday.

The only benefit we will get out of this system will be the relatively warmer temperatures today and most areas across the region will end up with afternoon highs in the upper 50s this afternoon and evening.

Temperatures on Thursday will even do a little better. Highs Thursday afternoon will climb to the low 60s and, with just a hint of upper level instability, a few rumbles of thunder would not be a surprise. That little bit of instability may also bring moderate to heavy rainfall in spots across the region during the morning and afternoon.

NOTE: 1 to 1.5 inches of rain is possible over the next 48 hours. Rainfall will be heaviest Thursday and Thursday night. Although widespread flooding is not anticipated, there can be pockets of localized flooding. NWS has indicated that a flood watch for all or portions of east-central Ohio may be issued.

Why all this rain every day? We’re wedged between two high pressure areas and that allows moisture from the Gulf to stream northeastward into central Ohio along a slow moving front.

At least we don’t have to shovel rain.

FRIDAY THROUGH EASTER
Precipitation will southeastward Friday morning as the system pulls off to New England. Cooler air behind a cold front will turn northwesterly and replace the warm moist southern flow from Wednesday and Thursday. As the system exits early Friday there may be a brief period of snow or wintry mix but this should not last long enough to have any impact.

Temperatures will drop back to the upper 40s Friday with some sunshine returning in the afternoon. Temperatures will cool off to around freezing Friday night.

There are still some model disagreements but Saturday is beginning to look like a nice but chilly day as high pressure returns briefly. Temperatures will be around ten degrees or so below normal with neighborhoods in the Valley topping out in the mid 40s.

A fast-moving low will approach and cross Saturday evening/night. Differences between the GFS and European models make it difficult to nail down a time frame and an exact track of the low. For now, I’ll keep a low chance for showers and maybe a few snowflakes in the forecast for Saturday night as the system drags a strong cold front across the region.

The precipitation should end early Sunday morning and we should see a mix of sun and clouds Sunday afternoon as high pressure returns. Easter Sunday will be chilly in the Valley, though, with afternoon highs in the mid 40s.

NEXT WEEK
High pressure should remain in control through Monday keeping us dry and mostly sunny. Temperatures will recover to the upper 40s – still chilly but at least we will have sun.

Model differences creep into the forecast again next week with the next storm system due Monday night – Tuesday. Again, confidence is low on the track of this system but current modeling suggests at least a low chance for precipitation. Timing will determine whether any wintry precipitation occurs.

APRIL OUTLOOK
Cooler than average temperatures look to prevail through at least the first part of April, according to ideas from the longer range climate models. Temperatures are projected to be around 6 to 8 degrees cooler than average for the month as a whole.

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