Posted: 9:54 AM EST 02/26/2020
Rain showers are expected today with a crossing cold front. Rain should change to snow tonight, with scattered snow showers expected through late week.
The fog blanketing the Valley this morning is due to a couple of frontal boundaries over the region. This should dissipate by lunchtime as the boundaries slowly move out of the area. However, as the boundaries move away, air parcels will be free to lift and increase our odds for light rain showers/drizzle. Widespread heavier rainfall is likely this afternoon as a warm front lifts through the region.
RAIN CHANGES TO SNOW TONIGHT
A strong storm system will travel through the Ohio Valley pulling a cold front across east-central Ohio tonight as it tracks northeast. Widespread rain showers will continue this evening before the cold front ushers in much colder air. Rain showers will change over to snow tonight behind the front. In addition, a tight pressure difference will bring gusty wind to the region tonight and Thursday. Gusts to around 30 mph are likely through Thursday.
Temperatures will remain warm enough to support rain until after sunset so other than wet roads there should be no issues with the evening commute. Rain will mix with snow around 7 PM/8 PM then become all snow after 8 PM (approximately).
While I’ve seen some snow maps on social media indicating 3 to 4 inches of snow for our area, that will NOT BE THE CASE. Locally, I expect about an inch of snow tonight, give-or-take. Our northern communities will see the best chances for an inch or so (Bolivar, Zoar, Strasburgh, etc). Dover/New Phila areas can get an inch or less. Folks in the southern half will get less snow.
Initially, snow will be wet and heavy. As temperatures cool, the snow will be more likely to stick. Treated roads should do fine for the most part. However, with strong winds and temperatures quickly dropping to the mid-20s, any standing water/slushy areas will freeze. Slick spots and black ice are things to watch out for especially on less-traveled and untreated roads/sidewalks. Bridges and overpasses can also ice up.
WIND AND COLD
The wind and cold will have a much higher impact. Expect biting wind chills tonight, Thursday night, and Friday. Wind chill values in the single digits are likely tonight and Thursday morning as you head out to work/school. Wind chills will stay in the mid-teens through the day Thursday.
Lake effect bands will set up on Thursday and while I can’t 100-percent rule out a spotty snow shower at some point locally, the bulk of daytime snow showers will be focused on areas north and east of the Valley. It will be blustery and cold everywhere in the area, though.
FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND
Temperatures will remain cold on Friday. High pressure will begin building back in overhead on Saturday bringing us dry weather and occasional sunshine. The better day of the weekend will be Sunday with mostly sunny skies and temperatures beginning to warm back to around 40°.
The cold temperatures over the next 3/4 days will not last. A warming trend will get underway by Monday and we could flurt with 60° by mid-week next week.