An isolated snow shower and breezy today; Messy wintry weather on Saturday

An isolated snow shower and seasonal temperatures today will be followed by dry conditions on Friday with high pressure. A large storm system will bring wintry precipitation impacts to east-central Ohio Friday night and Saturday. Dry weather and colder temperatures will follow to start next week.

Colder air has arrived this morning behind a cold front. With a northwest flow behind a New England low, lake effect snow showers will set up today mainly in the northeast Ohio counties. Here in the Valley, we can expect a mostly cloudy and dry day. A brief isolated snow shower or a bit of graupel is possible this afternoon as bands of snow travel southeast associated with a Lake Huron connection.

SIMULATED RADAR from the hi-res short term model for this afternoon through tonight. An isolated snow shower will be possible through the period.

Temperature-wise it will be colder today locally. Temperatures will remain pretty flat hovering around the mid-30s. Breezy winds 10 to 15 mph will give the colder air a little bite.

Drier air under building high pressure will bring an end to the snow threat late today and overnight. Overnight temperatures will dip to the low-20s. High pressure will bring occasional sunshine and uneventful weather for Friday. Temperatures tomorrow will be similar to today with afternoon highs mid-30-ish.

THE WEEKEND STORM SYSTEM
A significant winter storm system moving through the central Great Lakes region will bring wintry precipitation to east-central Ohio Friday night and Saturday. While there are still some challenges with regards to the timing of precipitation types, the basic premise remains the same as previous forecasts.

Enough cold air will be in place initially Friday night and Saturday morning for precipitation to start out as snow. As a nose of warm air aloft moves in from the southwest on Saturday we’ll see a transition to mixed precipitation followed by all rain Saturday afternoon/evening before changing back to snow showers Saturday night. Drier air will then move in early Sunday morning bringing an end to the snow.

EUROPEAN MODEL Saturday morning. Snow will likely be the primary precipitation type Friday night into Saturday morning. A transition to mixed precipitation will eventually change over to all rain Saturday afternoon.

The challenges come into play mainly with regards to that transition period Saturday morning. At this time there is decent confidence that we see a few hours where sleet and freezing rain occurs during the mid-morning period. Temperatures should warm enough by the afternoon to allow for cold rain.

The best opportunity for accumulating snow locally will be with that initial push Friday night and early Saturday morning. With a window of several hours where wet snow showers are likely an inch or two is possible. A good portion of any snow that accumulates will melt during the afternoon due to warmer temperatures in the low-40s and rain. Snow showers then return Saturday night on the backside of the system but this round will bring less than an inch in most locations.

NWSWPC PROBABILITIES for 2″ snowfall through Sunday morning.

Computer modeling has been fairly consistent with the track of the system and keeping the heaviest snow to our north. Slight adjustments will need to be made later as the actual snow amounts will depend on how soon snow can change over to rain as well as the amount of sleet/freezing rain actually occurs.

IMPACTS
Winter weather impacts will be greatest in northern and western portions of Ohio. If you travel into these areas, check forecasts and road conditions before heading out. Minor winter impacts can be expected locally.

NEXT WEEK
It’s been a mild winter so far in the Valley but next week will bring our weather back to winter reality. Arctic cold will spread into the Great Lakes region for at least the first half of next week. Daytime temperatures Sunday through Tuesday will only reach the mid-20s. Wednesday should bring some improvement with afternoon highs in the low-30s.

There will also be several opportunities for lake effect snow showers but the bulk of this activity will impact the northern Ohio counties. There will not be nearly as much of an opportunity for snow here locally.

Thanks for reading the Valley’s most comprehensive weather forecast. I’ll post an update on Friday with the latest details on the upcoming storm with revised snow and ice amounts, timing, and any last-minute forecast changes. Also, you can check the 7-Day Forecast for any local weather details and changes as the storm approaches our area.

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