Thursday: Sunshine and clouds but remaining chilly; Another quick hit of snow Friday night

A few flurries this morning across extreme northern portions of the Tuscarawas Valley, but these will end when the sun gets a little higher in the sky. Otherwise, a nice quiet, although chilly, day is headed our way as high pressure pays a brief visit.

Low level clouds will decrease as the day wears on but mid and upper level clouds will increase later this afternoon ahead of a warm front due to cross east-central Ohio tonight. The front will bring even chances for a few light snow showers. Temperatures tonight will be borderline with the front and there may even be some rain mixing in with the snow.

Hi-res NAM3 model idea of precipitation tonight with the crossing of a warm front. Periods of rain and snow showers are possible across east-central Ohio.

Other than wet roads there shouldn’t be much of an impact locally. I wouldn’t expect much in the way of any sun Friday but temperatures will be in the low 50s with our area firmly in the warm sector behind the front. It will also be a breezy day again with winds out of the southwest. Some gusts around 30 mph or so are likely.

Our concerns for accumulating snow showers increase Friday evening into Friday night as low pressure drags a cold front through the state. The front will become stationary south of Ohio Friday night as low pressure tracks east along the boundary. This will spread moisture into east-central Ohio Friday night.

Initially, precipitation will likely begin as rain Friday evening then switch to snow around or after 9:00 p.m. Snow showers should end early Saturday leaving us with a very cold day for early April. Afternoon temperatures won’t do much better than 36/38 degrees in the Valley.

While we will end up with an inch or two of snow here, the more significant accumulation will be south of I-70 into West Virginia.

Personally, I think snow totals will be adjusted downward as new data comes in this afternoon. For now, most guidance suggests an inch or two of snow for the Valley but this is before the storm has been sampled this morning. Early indications from the morning NAM run show a less impressive storm. Expect the snow forecast to change – hopefully for the better (LESS snow).

There is a reason why I wait to make snow forecasts, especially in the spring. The atmosphere is always in flux, so early snow accumulation totals are usually way off on the modeling. Some apps and social media pages rely only on model data and forecast crazy snow totals days out. Those early forecasts often turn out to be way different than later model runs depict.

Sunshine returns under high pressure on Sunday, although it will remain chilly for April standards. Afternoon temperatures will only get to around 40 degrees.

NEXT WEEK
After dry weather on Sunday, another low pressure system will move through the Ohio Valley on Monday bringing back the prospects for rain and perhaps some snow showers mixed in. Most of the longer range modeling suggests a more zonal flow (west to east) that would bring better chances of temperatures closer to seasonal averages and maybe even a brief warm up late next week.

The general pattern after that, while not REAL warm, does show hope for improvement. The NWS Climate Prediction Center actually projects temperatures to climb to ABOVE average values in their 8 to 14 day outlook.

The question is, will this be SUSTAINED warmth and is winter finally ready to throw in the towel.

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