Frigid temperatures and arctic wind chills today and tonight

Despite the sunshine, very cold temperatures and wind chills are expected through Friday. Our chances for snow showers return late Thursday through Friday.

After a cold and breezy start today, temperatures will continue to fall through the afternoon to around -4° by sunset. That pesky west wind will stay gusty as well keeping our wind chills in the -25° to -28° range. Gusts today could be as high as 30 mph at times.

Here are some of the wind chills recorded this morning in our area (via NWS Pittsburgh)…

Ironically, we’ll get into some filtered sunshine at times today under arctic high pressure. Sunshine should be more prominent during the afternoon becoming mostly clear tonight. The clearing skies will allow temperatures will dive to the lowest of the season. We will likely see lows in the -8°/-10° by sunrise Thursday. Winds will remain gusty so those wind chills can be at -20°/-30° as you head out early in the morning.

The lack of an appreciable snowpack will keep temperatures from getting even colder tonight.

 

Thursday will bring another day with sunshine and temperatures will improve slightly. It will still be cold, just not as cold as today. At least we should warm to a handful of degrees above zero. Wind chills, however, continue to remain well below zero with a persistent gusty wind.

A Wind Chill Warning is in effect until 5:00 PM Thursday.

FRIDAY
Mid-level low pressure will approach the region Thursday night spreading snow across east-central Ohio into Friday. There is some uncertainty regarding the strength of this little system but given the cold temperatures and the potential for high liquid-to-snow ratios, it appears that snow showers will have an impact on the Friday morning commute.

The roads will certainly be very cold given the recent sub-zero temperatures so every snowflake will stick. The relatively low snow amounts may be deceiving as far as travel goes. The snow will also be light so it will blow around efficiently and become a recipe for slick travel Friday morning.

For the time being, I’ll include the potential for about 1″ to 2″ of snow in the local forecast, but these may need to be adjusted upward slightly in later forecasts.

Snow will be heavier as you go south so those areas south of I-70 will end up with more snow than we will see in the Valley.

WARMING WEEKEND TREND
Friday’s little weather system will shift east Friday afternoon leaving us with a dry and mostly sunny forecast for Saturday. Temperatures will actually warm to near 40° or so.

The warm weather continues on Sunday when temperatures may reach the low 50s! But, the warmth will come at a price. Another low-pressure system will approach the Ohio Valley Sunday night spreading precipitation into east-central Ohio. With the warmth in place, rain will be the favorable precip type.

While it doesn’t appear to be a washout, most areas will see periods of rain – most likely during the daytime hours on Monday.

 

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