Posted 9:30 AM EST Friday, January 29, 2021
Highlights of today’s update:
- Fair weather for the Tuscarawas Valley today and Saturday
- A prolonged winter storm impacts the region Sunday through Monday
- Dry with seasonal temperatures during the second half of the week
FRIDAY AND SATURDAY
We’re starting out with clouds this morning but skies will gradually clear out and allow for sunshine to break out this afternoon as high pressure nudges east. Temperatures will remain chilly despite the added sun today with afternoon highs in the upper-20s across the Valley. With a lack of clouds overnight we’ll drop off to the mid-teens.
Saturday begins with some sun but we’ll see clouds fill back in through the afternoon. Temperatures on Saturday will remain right around freezing, plus or minus a click or two.
SATURDAY NIGHT THROUGH MONDAY: WINTER STORM
I’ve been discussing this for several days but details are now beginning to gel with regards to the winter storm system that will impact east-central Ohio. This will be a long-duration event that will bring a variety of wintry precipitation to the Valley Sunday and Monday.
Strengthening low pressure will approach the Ohio Valley spreading snow showers eastward into east-central Ohio by Saturday night. Snow showers, possibly heavy at times, will likely continue through most of Sunday morning. Temperatures during this time period are projected to be below freezing and the morning snow will likely stick.
Warm southerly air may begin to work into the system Sunday afternoon. There remains some uncertainty on exactly how far north the warmer air intrudes. At this time I suspect it will work far enough north to bring a period of rain/mix/sleet into the region during the afternoon. Colder air will likely return Sunday evening and precipitation will return to snow.
As the low moves south and east Sunday night and Monday, cold air and a northwesterly flow will kick-start lake enhanced snow bands. Some of these will likely travel south into the area bringing additional snow accumulation through Monday. Our storm will then merge with a separate low pressure system developing over the NC Outer Banks late in the day Monday. High pressure building into eastern Ohio brings the threat of additional snow showers to an end Monday night.
HOW MUCH SNOW WILL WE GET?
That’s a really tough question. Much will depend on where exactly our freeze line sets up and how far north the freeze line gets to on Sunday afternoon. This feature of the storm is not well known yet. Any liquid precipitation and sleet will impact snow amounts locally.
The majority of the snow we see from this system will occur Saturday night and Sunday. The initial forecast from NWS suggests we can expect to see 4″ to 6″ locally through Monday morning. From the model data I’ve seen, that seems reasonable. Notice that snow amounts increase toward the west.
Remember that this will impact our area through Monday so expect additional snow accumulation, although minor, from any lake effect snow bands.
This is a complicated system and uncertainties remain yet. It isn’t a ‘one-and-done‘ forecast. Changes to the forecast are likely as we get closer to the storm. The bottom line is that all locations in our area will end up with accumulating snow. Travel will be particularly tricky Sunday and Monday mornings.
I’ll have updates here and on Twitter (@tuscwx) as usual. Be safe out there.