Weekend: Mild temperatures, strong winds

Fair weather will return today through Friday under building high pressure. Mild temperatures, rain chances, and strong gusty wind are expected over the weekend with a strengthening storm system. Seasonal temperatures will return to start the work week.

After yesterday’s wintry mess, we have a much nicer day setting up for Thursday under high pressure. Sunshine should dominate today and temperatures will warm a couple/three degrees above average this afternoon. And, we’ll continue our fair weather pattern through Friday. No rain, no snow. Just a couple of nice mild days for a change. Time to clean up the car.

As we begin to change seasons and warmer air begins to push winter out of the way, our weather becomes more active. We do, however, have some active weather headed our way for the weekend.

WEEKEND WEATHER
Warm temperatures will remain through the weekend, but our weather will turn active Saturday afternoon through Sunday. While Saturday starts out with little issues, chances for rain will gradually increase as a strengthening storm system approaches from the southwest, then travels northeast into the Great Lakes.

A warm front out ahead of the system will bring temperatures perhaps as high as the mid-50s on Saturday. Of concern will be the potential for strong winds Saturday night and Sunday as the system crosses east across the upper Great Lakes. Wind gusts in the 40 to 50 mph range will be possible for an extended period of time.

With plenty of warm air in place, precipitation will remain rain on Saturday and Sunday. A few thunderstorms may also be possible. Severe thunderstorms will be possible west and especially to the southwest. While the main threat will be straight-line winds, tornadoes will also be something of a concern in the enhanced risk areas (orange). I’ll continue to monitor the Storm Prediction Center outlooks for any changes they make in their forecast for Saturday and Sunday.

Should this idea from the models prove to be true, widespread and numerous power outages will be a huge concern across eastern Ohio.

The storm system finally pulls off to the northeast by Sunday night allowing strong gusty winds to back off some. Colder air will rush in behind the system’s cold front and temperatures – while warm in the morning – will spiral downward Sunday afternoon. Any leftover rain showers will transition to snow showers as temperatures cool to the 20s Sunday night.

Drier air should quickly rush in Sunday night behind the cold front, so snow doesn’t look to add up to much. Rain on Saturday and Saturday night could be heavy at times.

By Monday, temperatures will drop back to the upper 30s for the daytime high.

LONG RANGE
The longer range outlook calls for below average temperatures to wrap up February and persist into the first week of March. I suspect, though, this will not be the case for an extended period of time. Climate models do indicate that milder temperatures will move in by mid-March.

Remember, this is the end of February. Our average high temperature this time of the year is in the low 40s. Colder than average would mean colder than the low 40s. So, although this map has a cold look to it, temperatures should still come in with upper 30s for daytime highs.

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