At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’ll get straight to the point! It’s time to get ready for more VERY cold weather, and to add insult to injury, more snow could be headed our way this weekend as well.
First, let’s talk about the extent of the cold weather that we’ll feel over the next 48 hours here in West Central Ohio.
Overnight lows Wednesday night will tumble near 0°, and with that, winds will pick up out of the WNW from 10 to 20 miles per hour. That combo means that wind chills into Thursday morning will likely drop into the 15 to 25 below zero range! Here is a look at the projected wind chills by Thursday morning around 7 AM.
Wind chill advisories and warnings have also been put into place by the National Weather Service.
But don’t think that Wednesday night will be it! Thursday night will be very similar wind chills once again in the 15 to 25 below zero range along with ACTUAL air temperatures falling around 5 below zero. Bundle up these next few nights!
Ok, now on to the potential for snow this upcoming weekend
An area of low pressure is slated to move in from the southwest on Saturday and Sunday, and with this low will come the possibility for all types of precipitation. As I have said before and will continue to say again, this system is still far, far away! That means that it is still WAY to early to say exactly what type of precipitation, how much and when we’ll see it. Being still about 4 days away I can very general with my expectations, and as the system nears this weekend, will become much more specific with what we’ll see.
So as of now I choose to look at ENSEMBLE forecasts to try to guide me as to where this low will track. An ensemble forecast takes into consideration not just one single model run, but a collection of runs and data that hopefully lead to trends in tracks and precipitation types. Getting caught up in just one model run this far out is pointless because we all know how quickly things can change, especially when it comes to winter weather.
In the above picture I have drawn three potential tracks of this low Saturday afternoon through Sunday morning.
1) A northwest of Ohio track. This would mean mainly rain due to the fact that the low would be able to pull up warmer air to the east of it here into Ohio. This would mean rain Saturday night through Sunday morning before seeing a brief switch to light snow Sunday afternoon once the low passed northeast and colder air filters back in.
2) A track straight through Ohio. This is actually the track that ensemble forecasts are hinting at. Here is a look at both the GFS and European ensemble forecast track of the low by Sunday morning.
If indeed the low continues to follow this particular ensemble guidance into the weekend, we’ll likely see both rain and snow here in West Central Ohio. Precipitation would probably move in Saturday afternoon as light snow and as the low drew closer would probably switch over to rain as some warmer air was pulled in Saturday evening. Rain would probably continue into the early part of Sunday morning before the low moved northeast and allowed colder air to filter back in, and thus, switching the precipitation back to snow through early Sunday afternoon. Again, it’s WAY to early to say this for sure and definitely way to early to say how much snow we would possibly see!
3) A track south of Ohio. This track means cold air would continue to dominate into the weekend and as the low passed south, would not be able to pull up any warmer air into West Central Ohio. This would be the best case scenario if you are looking for upwards of 4 inches of snow.
I hope this helps to understand a bit at how I look at winter weather forecasting! Again, it’s still really early, but I just don’t want anyone to be caught off guard.
You can always keep up with the latest radar, temperatures and advisories too with our weather app!
I’ll definitely be keeping you updated through the week!