Posted 9:00 AM EST Friday, January 22, 2021
We had a rare sunny day yesterday in the Valley but today we return back to our typical gray January. Clouds will dominate today as a cold front sinks southeast through east-central Ohio this morning. The front will bring the potential for lake effect snow with accumulating snow likely in the northeast Ohio snow belt counties. We may see a brief snow shower or flurries at times today but it won’t amount to much if anything locally.
Those snow showers should push off to the southeast tonight as high pressure approaches from the west.
Temperatures today won’t vary much from where they are this morning. Afternoon highs will hover right around freezing in the Valley.
With high pressure traversing the state , Saturday will be a cold but sunny day locally. Afternoon highs will only reach the upper-20s. A warm front crosses on Sunday and while it won’t exactly be a balmy day, we’ll at least see temperatures closer to the mid-30s. The warm front may also spark a few light snow showers/flurries Sunday afternoon.
WINTER STORM EARLY NEXT WEEK
I briefly mentioned the potential for a winter storm that may impact our area early next week in Wednesday’s update. This will get you up to date with today’s information.
WHAT WE KNOW TODAY
Confidence is increasing for an impactful winter storm along the upper Great Lakes region Sunday night into Monday. The three major global models have all trended slightly south over the last 36 hours. If taken literally, plowable snow would be likely in northern Ohio (mainly along the I-90 corridor) from this system.
WHAT WE DON’T NOW TODAY
The models have not settled into an agreement on a track for low pressure that will travel eastward across southern Ohio. The track of the system (north or south) will play a huge role in both precipitation types and amounts in east-central Ohio. In other words, we don’t know how much snow or how much rain, or the path of the storm.
The bottom line is that a pretty impressive winter storm is likely in the Monday – Tuesday time frame. Someone will get a lot of snow, other places maybe not so much. The bull’s eye for snow with today’s model runs is far northern Ohio with central Ohio seeing mostly rain. That can, and probably will change somewhat over the next 48 to 72 hours.
All wintry precipitation modes are on the table including snow, sleet, rain, and freezing rain at this point. The question is where and how much. Answers will come into focus over the weekend.
INITIAL FEBRUARY OUTLOOK
The NWS Climate Prediction Center released their February outlook yesterday and no surprise, odds favor a warmer than average month.
While this doesn’t mean we won’t see any cold days next month, it does mean that as a while temperatures will be warmer than normal. All our climate modeling suggests that warmer than average temperatures are likely during the first half of the month with perhaps temperatures turning chillier during the patter part.
Precipitation wise, the CPC indicates slightly higher odds for a wetter than normal month. Of course, whether this turns out to be rain or snow will be dependent on temperatures during precipitation times.
Thanks for reading the Valley’s only in-depth weather forecast. I’ll keep you updated throughout the weekend on the progress of our next storm system as the computer models chew on a solution through the weekend. As always, be safe (and kind) out there.