Posted Wednesday AM, February 2, 2022
Happy Groundhog Day! Winter will almost certainly make itself known here over the next few days.
If you’ve been following along here this past week you already have a good background on how our impending winter storm will play out. Things haven’t changed much since yesterday. Sure, there has been the expected model-wabble. But generally, we’re still on track for an impactful winter storm that is likely to bring ice and snow to the Valley tonight through Friday morning.
I’m not going to rehash the setup I outlined yesterday. If you haven’t read how this will generally play out in OUR area, read yesterday’s update. You’ll find a link to that update at the bottom of this page. Today I’ll focus on timing and impacts to our local area.
It’s best to not focus too much on specific numbers and who is under what kind of Advisory or Watch. The bottom line is that this storm will bring a variety of wintry impacts to a large area – including our area. Travel may be difficult or even impossible in some places. Significant icing can bring down tree limbs and power lines. These kinds of impacts aren’t guaranteed to occur here but they are certainly a possibility.
Rain will move in NW to SE this afternoon. It will be the primary weather feature today and this evening. Surface temperatures will cool enough after midnight tonight and we will see a changeover to freezing rain before sunrise Thursday.
Temperatures will hold fairly steady with a cooling trend in the afternoon. As the air column overhead cools with height, we’ll start to see sleet mixing in. The main precipitation types during the day tomorrow will be freezing rain and sleet. There will likely be some breaks in precipitation occasionally through the day.
As the air column in the upper levels cools to freezing Thursday night we will start to see a transition to snow – again, NW to SE. Snow showers will continue to around sunrise Friday. Snow will taper off and pull away to the SE by Friday afternoon.
Impacts on travel will be high. It’ll take some time but eventually, the roads will be horrendous. Ice will be the main issue with regard to travel. This is especially true for untreated secondary roads.
Power outages are a possibility.
Snow and ice amounts will vary from north to south. The northern portion of our area will see slightly more snow and slightly less ice. The opposite of that will be true as you travel south.
Snow: The amount of snow you get will depend on where you are. Places like Bolivar, Strasburg, and Mineral City can expect to be on the high end – around 5″/6″. Places like Gnadenhutten, Newcomerstown, and Port Washington will end up with less. New Phila and Dover might see 3″/4″. The bulk of snowfall will occur toward the end of the storm.
I use the NWS National Blend of Models as a guide. Not gospel, but a guide.
Note that snow amount modeling is based on a ratio of 10 to 1. In other words, one inch of liquid will equal 10 inches of snow. Snow from this storm will be wetter and heavier – meaning liquid to snow ratios will be lower. Perhaps 7:1/8:1. That’s why I think we’ll see less snow than maps like this show.
ICE: Despite all of the focus on snow, ice will be the MAIN problem in OUR area. The models have been fairly consistent with this feature during the last 24 – 36 hours. Ice accretion of 0.10″ – 0.20″ are a good possibility. I can’t completely rule out some places in the southern part of the area getting a quarter-inch. Much will depend on how much of this becomes sleet.
This is well within the range where we start to see problems with breaking tree limbs and utility lines. Again, I refer to the NBoM as a reference.
Again, let’s not focus on numbers but on how this is going to mess up your Thursday and Friday.
As I said, things haven’t changed a whole lot since yesterday. This is still going to be a messy storm that will bring a variety of winter weather problems to the area. Be prepared to deal with ice and snow. At least it doesn’t appear that high wind will accompany the storm. It’ll be breezy with wind out of the north 8 mph to 10 mph.
As always, updates will be posted here first as needed. Bookmark the website or better yet install the web-app. You can also follow me on Twitter (@tuscwx) for occasional bursts of info.
Thanks for supporting our area’s only LOCAL weather information resource. Be safe out there.