Warmer temperatures and rain on the way for Wednesday

Tuesday morning brought the coldest temperatures of the season so far in many areas, but with light wind. Readings will warm rapidly to near average today. Chances for precipitation in the form of rain and freezing rain return early on Wednesday.

Those of us who started the day early this morning were greeted with below-zero temperatures again. Thankfully, the wind is calm so wind chill indices are not much of an issue. Temperatures will climb at a fast pace today and most neighborhoods should warm back to around average.

The east-central Ohio region should also get into some occasional sunshine today. Clouds will begin to thicken up this evening/tonight as the next weather system approaches from the Plains.

That Plains storm system will travel into the Great Lakes region spreading warmer air and precipitation into east-central Ohio tonight. Temperatures overnight look to remain warm enough to support rain as the primary precipitation type. Recent model runs have generally slowed down the onset of rain but most neighborhoods will see rain well before sunrise Wednesday.

The ground is still very cold from the recent below freezing temperatures. The threat for freezing rain is something we need to be aware of – especially first thing Wednesday morning. Roads and sidewalks could get icy. The threat should subside by mid-morning as temperatures continue to increase. By tomorrow afternoon, most areas should be in the mid-40° range.

Rain will sock in for the majority of the day. It will turn breezy with south winds gusting to around 20 mph or so. The systems cold front will cross Wednesday night. As colder air follows, rain will eventually change over to snow showers. I would expect to see snow working in anytime after 10:00 PM. Some of the snowpack in place today will erode with Wednesday’s warm temperatures, rain, and wind.

There is a good chance we end up with a decent slug of rain out of this system with perhaps a half to one inch before it’s all over with.

The cold front pushes east rather quickly and snow showers should end by mid-morning Wednesday. Since the period of snow showers doesn’t last long, I wouldn’t expect much more than an inch or so snowfall with this.

After briefly warming to the mid-40s on Wednesday, temperatures return to the 30s Thursday. Cold, although not as cold as recent temperatures, return Thursday night.

FRIDAY THROUGH THE WEEKEND
Much drier air moves in for Friday as weak high pressure returns. Despite some variable sunshine, temperatures won’t warm much more than the mid-teens here in the Valley.

Several upper-level disturbances will dive towards/through the region over the weekend. Modeling is all over the place with timing and specifics regarding these features and any details are pot-shots at this time. Generally, though, occasional snow showers can be expected just about anytime/place through the weekend. I’ve kept 30% – 50% odds going through the period for now to CYA. Slightly colder than normal temperatures can be expected.

The next feature that DOES look more certain is a clipper system early next week. Modeling has been consistently featuring this system and confidence is fairly good it will be the next to bring widespread snow. Of course, details and timing will come more into focus over the weekend.

Regardless of the amount of snow, temperature profiles favor a cold pattern remaining for the medium range.

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