Rain, snow, and bone-chilling cold

A brief break in the weather today will be followed by rain and snowfall tonight into Tuesday with the passage of a strong low pressure system and cold front. Very cold weather is expected from mid to late week.

A chilly start with a little sun this morning in New Philadelphia. But, it’s late January. You know the weather will change. It is. Despite the warmer temperatures in the low 40s today, clouds will begin rolling in overhead as a strong clipper system advances into the Great Lakes. This system will spread rain showers into the Valley by this evening.

Late tonight, a cold front will sweep across east-central Ohio. Those rain showers will change over to snow showers as colder air rushes in over the region. Once the snow starts, it will snow pretty steady through Tuesday morning. Snow showers will become scattered later in the afternoon and end by the evening.

HOW MUCH SNOW WILL WE GET?
This won’t be a big snowstorm. The models have kept with the trend of decreasing snow amounts with this system but snow showers will impact your Tuesday morning commute. Generally speaking, most neighborhoods in the Valley should end up with about 1″ to 2″ of snow.

The biggest impacts locally will arrive later as a cold arctic airmass settles over the region. Temperatures across the region will be THE coldest we’ve had here for quite some time.

TIMING

  • Rain showers will arrive this evening around 7:00 PM/8:00 PM.
  • Rain changes over to snow showers shortly after midnight/1:00 AM
  • Snow showers will taper off after 7:00 AM
  • Snow ends by Tuesday afternoon

SIMULATED RADAR through 2:00 AM Tuesday from the hi-res model:

LOCAL IMPACTS
Snow showers will likely affect your Tuesday morning commute. The treated main roads should fare well but expect snow and slick spots on untreated roads. Temperatures will be in the mid-20s early Tuesday morning and there could be icy spots as well. BRIDGES AND OVERPASSES WILL BE EXCEPTIONALLY SUSCEPTIBLE TO ICING.

The bigger impacts will come from the brutally cold temperatures and wind chills. Once the cold air arrives it will stick around for a few days. Temperatures on Tuesday will fall to the mid-teens by evening and continue a downward trend Tuesday night. Temperatures around zero will greet us Wednesday morning and remain below-zero during the day.

To add to our misery, breezy west winds will create wind chill values as low as -20° to -25° on Wednesday.

WIND CHILL VALUE SNAPSHOT from the NAM3k (North American Model) for 1:00 PM Wednesday afternoon. Breezy west winds 10 to 17 mph combined with near zero degrees air temperatures will create brutally cold conditions.

Wednesday night will bring the coldest temperatures we’ve seen in the Valley in 20 years. Nighttime temperatures Thursday night are projected to bottom out -5° to -10°. WInd chills again may be -20° to -25°. Thursday afternoon temperatures won’t be quite as cold, but we will at least warm to the single digits with highs around 6°. Below-zero wind chills will remain through Thursday.

The only good news out of this will be the lack of snow opportunities. Snow showers are highly unlikely given the dryness of this arctic air and lack of a trigger.

For those who ask, I don’t do school closings/delays. Check with your school admins for those details. That being said, I imagine there will be closings and delays due to the extreme cold and wind chills.

PERSPECTIVE
For a little perspective on the coming cold and contrary to all the hype that’s going around on social media, here is a list of recent coldest temperatures (Not windchills) recorded at the New Philadelphia airport.

By the way, that -22° in 1994 was THE coldest on record for New Philadelphia I could find in records going back to 1948.

Don’t take the cold over the next few days lightly. It will be very cold. But, as you can see, we’ve already been much colder before. The last time we saw an air temperature of -10° in New Phila was January 01, 2018.

FRIDAY THROUGH THE WEEKEND
Differences in modeling preclude any confidence in the mid-range forecast but, thankfully, the really cold weather pattern will break over the weekend. Generally speaking, temperatures will warm to the low 20s by Friday after a cold start. The models show another clipper system may push through the Great Lakes over the weekend but details are sketchy as to placement and timing. For now, I’ve included generic chances for precipitation Saturday night and Sunday until details come into focus.

A much warmer weather pattern looks to set up early next week. Should this be correct, we will have gone from -20° wind chills to air temperatures near 50° in short order.

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