Posted 10:30 AM Sunday, February 14, 2021
A disruptive winter storm will impact the east-central Ohio region over the next 36 to 48 hours. National Weather Service offices in Cleveland and Wilmington have upgraded their Watch to a Warning early this morning. The Pittsburgh office will follow suite at some point today.
A Warning does not necessarily mean the storm will be worse. The difference between a Watch and a Warning is timeliness. The Warning mainly just means that a storm is happening or will happen soon.
After a little freezing drizzle last night, today will bring quiet weather to the region. I’ve already posted a lot of background information about the storm over the last several days. Not much has changed so I’ll just get right into how this storm will impact our area.
Since the storm is now within range of high-resolution modeling, timing has come into better focus this morning. Conditions should remain dry this evening through midnight tonight. Snow will begin pushing into the region southeast to the northwest after midnight – 2:00/4:00 AM. I think it will be snowing everywhere by 4:00/5:00 AM.
I’ve talked in earlier updates about how snow from the storm will come in two waves. That seems to hold true with our hi-res models as well. This first wave will start to taper off late in the morning or early afternoon on Monday. We’ll likely see dry conditions for a while Monday afternoon.
As Monday evening approaches (say around 4:00/5:00 PM) the second wave will move in from the southeast. This second wave will bring the heaviest snowfall rates. Monday evening through Tuesday morning will be the period where we see the most snow pile up from the storm.
Recent data has brought an area of warm air aloft a bit farther north than previous model runs. If this trend continues with today’s model runs, some sleet may nose northward overnight Monday night. (I’ll post a late day update if this remains an issue with model runs today.) Don’t be surprised if you see/hear sleet pellets early Monday.
The main area of precipitation will push northeast and out of the area quickly very early Tuesday morning – say around 1:00/3:00 AM. Snow showers/flurries will remain possible through mid-morning Tuesday as the system exits.
LOCAL SNOW AMOUNTS
At this point this morning I see no concrete reason to change my initial snow accumulation map that I published yesterday afternoon.
We will need to watch the model trends today regarding the potential for sleet. If it looks as if we may see a longer period of sleet, snow totals will need to be adjusted downward a bit in some areas. I will re-evaluate this map later today but I don’t anticipate any big changes.
This is going to be a messy and impactful storm everywhere in the Valley. Once you start talking about snow accumulation above six inches it really doesn’t matter much how much more we end up with. Everyone in our area and surrounding counties will end up with plowable snowfall. Road crews are going to have a difficult, if not impossible, time keeping up. It’s going to be tough going if you need to travel – especially so Monday night into Tuesday morning.
If there is any bright spots to this at all it’s the fact that the snow from this won’t be that heavy wet stuff. This will be lighter and fluffier – not too good for snowman making but at least lighter to shovel and plow.
STORM #2 LATE WEEK
Once the first system pushes out of the region Tuesday we’ll have a period of uneventful weather Tuesday night and Wednesday. The next storm system will track into the region Wednesday night through Thursday. While it’s too soon for details yet with storm #2, the models have been hinting at warmer temperatures with the late-week storm. This raises the prospects for wintry precipitation other than snow.
Right now I’m focusing on the first storm. Once it gets underway Monday I’ll start gathering data for the late-week storm. Just be aware that once we’re done with the early week storm, a second storm is right behind it.
That’s MY update for Sunday morning. Thanks for taking the time to stay informed with the Valley’s only LOCAL weather information resource. I’ll post updates here when and if needed. I also do frequent local weather updates on Twitter (@tuscwx). I DO NOT do much on Facebook since Facebook does such a poor job distributing and handling time-sensitive updates.
Enjoy your Sunday. Be safe out there.