For the last 2 or 3 weeks it seems like all I have been saying on the air is, clipper followed by cold, clipper followed by cold and REPEAT! Well, that is about to change thanks to our friend, the Jet Stream!
The pattern we have been in has seen a large trough or dip in the jet stream over the Eastern half of the US. This allows for VERY COLD air to invade from the north and has also created a sort of steering mechanism for storm systems to move in out of the northwest. This northwest flow brought us seemingly countless clipper systems over the past 3 weeks.
By the end of the week this pattern will undergo a shift. Instead of seeing this trough on the East coast, the jet will lift north and creating the beginnings of a trough on the west coast, this will create more of a SOUTHWESTERLY path for storms as they move into Ohio. I like to call these types of storms Panhandle Hooks because they originate around the panhandle of Oklahoma.
The first of these storms will sort of be a mix of the old northwest flow and the new anticipated southwest flow into next week. This storm will initially move in as one last Clipper on Thursday night, but it will be pretty moisture starved to I’m expecting very little snow (less than one inch)
After the clipper moves through a low will develop off to the Southwest and will mark the first storm we have seen in a while to head in out of the southwest! This will bring on and off snow on Friday, as of now I’m thinking 1 to 2 inches of new snow during the day with possibly another 1 to 2 inches Friday night.
As the warm from lifts North I expect more of a WINTRY MIX with snow and sleet early Saturday before warm enough air works in and changes it to mostly all rain by the afternoon. This is something I will definitely be keeping my eye on!
Now on to Tuesday of next week….
With this expected shift in the weather pattern, we here in West Central Ohio will be more prone to my aforementioned “Panhandle Hook” type storms. Forecast models have been showing a potential storm now for the past few days that WILL have a big impact on some part of the Ohio Valley. However, still being 6 days out forecast models are still having a very hard time agreeing on where this storm will track, and for good reason! The storm is 6 days out and hasn’t even begun to develop yet!
Look at the difference right now in two major models, the EURO and the GFS.
Here is the GFS next Tuesday at about 7 PM
Notice the rain/snow line is northwest of West Central Ohio, meaning that this model indicates a possible rain/wet snow mix. This would bring us rain switching to wet snow Wednesday morning.
Now lets look at the EURO
The EURO has the storm moving through about 12 hours later and shifted further south. Just look at the difference in the rain snow line! It may not look like much, but that much of a discrepancy could mean the difference of SEVERAL inches of snow! This model would definitely mean more snow and probably very little or no rain at all during the day on Wednesday.
My point is this, I definitely have this potential storm on my radar. But it’s still 6 days out and the forecast models will not begin to nail down a more confident path for this storm until about 3 or 4 days out. Looking at things longer range (6-10 days) serves a good purpose, but a long-range forecast is nothing more than a guideline to pay attention to, it is definitely not something to give a concrete forecast based off of! This is why I choose not to even mention snow totals for a specific area this far out in time.
I’ll be sure to keep you updated as we head into the weekend!