Finally, A Weather Pattern Change!

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.

This trough in the jet stream over the east created the "Clipper Canal" I referred to earlier with a northwest flow

This trough in the jet stream over the east created the “Clipper Canal” I referred to earlier with a northwest flow

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.

Jet Later

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)

Kyle RPM 12KM Futurecast

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.

1st hook

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

GFS

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

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!

-Kyle

 

 

 

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Did You See The Snow Rollers?

After a weekend home to visit some family in Northeast Ohio I noticed a very interesting thing on the side of route 30 on my drive home Monday morning back to Lima. There were what appeared to be little snowballs in groups all along the highway, some of them looking like doughnuts, some of then more like your typical snowball you roll to build a snowman.

What I didn’t realize at the time was that what I was looking at was actually a pretty rare occurence! Ideal weather conditions in much of the midwest last night led to the formation of “Snow Rollers”.

A Snow Roller from Marcia Phillips in Bluffton, Ohio

A Snow Roller from Marcia Phillips in Bluffton, Ohio

A group of snow rollers from John and Pat Joseph of Spencerville.

A group of snow rollers from John and Pat Joseph of Spencerville, Ohio.

This interesting weather phenomena happened because of a unique order of weather conditions that happened on Sunday.

1) Snow from earlier in the weekend had formed a layer of glaze or very thin ice on top of it.

2) As temperatures warmed up into the evening snow moved into the region. Because of the warmer temperatures the snow was a wetter or more moisture laden snow. The layer of thin ice that had already formed on the previous snow allowed for a non sticky surface for the newer, wetter snow.

3) As the new snow fell onto the thin ice the winds picked up into the 30 to 40 mph range. The winds were just strong enough to peel the new coat of wetter snow like carpet and roll it along to form Snow Rollers. Had the wind been too strong, it would have simply destroyed the fragile Snow Rollers.

One of the larger pictures of a snow roller we saw, at about 24 inches in diameter! From Russell Reynolds in Lima.

One of the larger pictures of a snow roller we saw, at about 24 inches in diameter! From Russell Reynolds in Lima.

Another large Snow Roller from Brad Cotterman in Lima, Ohio.

Another large Snow Roller from Brad Cotterman in Lima, Ohio.

-Kyle

Cold, Alberta Clippers, Snow and More!

Who is sick of this cold? I know I am, but considering the past two mild Winters that we have had here I guess we were due, right? As I am writing this post the temperature in Lima is 1 degree with a wind chill of -18°! I’m honestly a big fan of the Winter, but enough is enough! Unfortunately we still have quite a ways to go with VERY cold air and more snow on the way!

Let’s start with the present, as of now we are under a Wind Chill Advisory until 1 PM Friday. This means that wind chills in the region will be anywhere from 15 to 25 below zero during that time! BRRRRRR!

CWA Watch

By now I feel like a broken record but, GUESS WHAT? We have two more Alberta Clippers headed our way this upcoming weekend. Just in case you were wondering what exactly that is, an Alberta Clipper is a quickly moving are of low pressure that develops over or near (wait for it) the province of Alberta, Canada.

Alberta is over 1,500 miles away, but it has a BIG impact on our weather!

Alberta is over 1,500 miles away, but it has a BIG impact on our weather!

This is all thanks to a DEEP trough in the jet stream over the eastern half of the country! Translation, COLD weather for the eastern half of the country! This opens the door WIDE open for cold air and Alberta Clippers to invade! These systems simply just hitch a ride on the polar jet stream and move southeast!

With all the buzz words I have heard this Winter like "Polar Vortex" and "Bombogenesis" I think I'll call this the "Clipper Canal" ;)

With all the buzz words I have heard this Winter like “Polar Vortex” and “Bombogenesis” I think I’ll call this the “Clipper Canal” 😉

This pattern will hold through most of next week, which means we will continue to deal with clipper systems moving through! The next one will move in Friday night bringing 2 to 4 inches of snow by Saturday morning. Winds will pick up through the day on Friday with snow moving into West Central Ohio by about 10 PM.

9 PM Fri

By about 1 or 2 AM Saturday morning snow will overspread the region.

1 AM Sat

This will lead to windy conditions on Saturday with blowing snow through the day. Another clipper is set to move in on Sunday and will likely bring yet another 2 to 4 inches of snow! This clipper will be followed by another blast of cold air early next week with overnight lows Monday and Tuesday night well below zero!

Are you sick of Winter yet?

Here are a few interesting stats so far this winter……

1) We have had 28 1/2 inches of snow so far since our first snow in November. We average about 36 inches for the season. We are well on track to have above average snow.

2) Last Winter we had about 35 inches of total snow in Lima

3) Including tonight, we have had 6 nights with lows that dropped below zero in the month of January ALONE! We didn’t even drop below zero a SINGLE time in the previous two winter seasons!

4) IF (and this is a BIG if!) we keep this pace of snowfall, by the time winter is over with (March 20th) we could top 70 inches of snow for the season!

-Kyle

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snow And Another Cold Blast Headed Our Way!

We’re headed back into the bitter cold of winter! BUT, let me say right off the bat, it will NOT be as cold as what we experienced 2 weeks ago!

Before we get to the cold we will have to go through another round of light snow here in West Central Ohio. A cold front will drop out of the north overnight and will interact with an area of low pressure moving through the region. As of about 8:30PM Monday evening, radar shows the cold front and snow beginning to push south.

Reg Radar

Snow will begin to fall int he region by about 2 or 3AM. Here is a look at Futurecast around 6AM Tuesday morning.

Kyle RPM 12KM Futurecast

The snow should be out of here by about 10AM as the cold front continues to move further south. All in all, about 1 to 2 inches of new snow will be on the ground here in West Central Ohio. The map below shows new snow by noon on Tuesday.

GFS Future Snow

Now on to the cold. After this bout with light snow another bitter cold blast of air will follow. Average lows for this time of year are in the low 30’s and it looks like the remainder of the month of January will be well below average. The remainder of the week will be filled with highs only in the teens with overnight lows in the single digits and even below zero a few nights. Wind chills will also fall into the 10 to 20 below zero range! But as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, it will not be as cold as what we experienced two weeks ago! You may hear some refer to it as another “Polar Vortex”, I simply call it COLD and welcome to winter in Ohio! I personally believe it’s just not something we are used to recently because our last two winters have been so mild.

With all that said, these below average temperatures will last through the end of the month, at least! Here is the 6 to 10 day temperature outlook from the National Weather Service.

Climate 6-10

So if you’re not a fan of sub-freezing temperatures, you may have to wait a while! It looks as if this next cold snap could last into the beginning of February. I’ll be sure to keep you updated!

-Kyle

 

More Snow On The Way And A Look Into How Snow Is Forecasted!

Another Alberta Clipper moved through the region today that brought a fresh 2.5″ of snow here at the TV Station. Unfortunately, this will not be the end of our accumulating snow here in West Central Ohio with more expected in the coming days. One round of snow will move through between the 10PM and midnight hour bringing an additional 1/2″ to 1″ of snow into the early morning hours Friday.

Thursday Radar

Another round of snow is also anticipated into the early afternoon hours on Friday, this will also bring an additional 1 to 2 inches to the region.

Tonight- Friday

ON TOP OF what we already saw on Thursday. Another 1 to 3 inches is possible in the region by late Friday evening.

YET ANOTHER Clipper will move into the region late Saturday with many of the major forecast models placing it’s path right through West Central Ohio. The NAM, GFS and the EURO all pretty much agree that some snow accumulating snow is possible Saturday evening into Saturday night. I’ll show you here where each model places the snow by about 7 PM Saturday evening.

Here is the NAM. As of now, this model is showing the most potential snow here in West Central Ohio. If you look at the image below, it is showing ACCUMULATED PRECIPITATION IN WATER. The dark green area over Northern Indiana shows about .20″ of WATER. We know,of course, that it will be cold enough for snow at this point. SO, .20″ of water shown here by the models shown here would likely equal anywhere from 3 to 5 inches of snow across Northern Indiana and West Central Ohio late Saturday into Sunday morning.

NAM Saturday

The reason I know this is because I am anticipating a DRY and COLD air mass to be in place when the snow hits. The COLDER and DRIER the air mass the HIGHER the water to snow ratio will be. THE AVERAGE water to snow ratio is about is 12 to 1. This means that every ONE inch of water can produce TWELVE inches of snow. The graphic above shows .20″ of water, at a 12:1 ratio that would mean we get somewhere in the 2 to 3 inch range for snow. You may ask, but didn’t Kyle say 3 to 5 inches? YES! That is because I am assuming that A COLD AND DRY air mass will be in place, this bumps UP the ratio closer to 20:1. SO that means that .20″ of water would equal 4 inches of snow! A 10:1 ratio would mean around 2 inches of snow! The colder and drier the air mass, the LESS water it takes to produce MORE snow! You end up with a more fluffy/powder type snow with ratios at 20:1, not very good for snowball fights 😦

With all of that being said, I have only looked at ONE forecast model! Lets look at some of the others.

Here is the GFS, this model shows a similar picture at 7 PM Saturday but has the higher water totals further south.

GFS Saturday

This would mean less snow, maybe more into the 1 to 3 inch range by early Sunday morning.

Here is a look at the European model.

EURO

This model looks VERY similar to the NAM, with similar water values. I would lean more towards 3 to 5 inches with this model too by early Sunday morning.

With all of that in mind, I am looking for trends in these models. With this storm still 2 days out, I’m not going to completely disregard the lower GFS. So for now, I’ll go somewhere in the middle of the 3 by saying 2 TO 4 inches of snow is possible Saturday evening through early Sunday morning.

So hopefully you can see, if a meteorologist is off by 1/10″ or 2/10″ of rain during the spring or summer time, it’s usually no big deal. But when a meteorologist is off by even just a 1/10″ of water during the winter time with a ratio of 20:1 in cold and dry weather, that could be the difference of maybe 2 or 3 inches of snow! People notice that!

I’m not asking for sympathy here, I just want to point out some of the different variables that go into putting together a Winter forecast. AND HOPEFULLY, you can also see why throwing out snowfall totals 5 or 6 days ahead of time is just simply ridiculous and mainly just hype! We can’t even get it right sometimes 1 or 2 days out 😉 BUT most of the time we are pretty close 🙂

Have a great night!

-Kyle

 

 

 

Record Cold Temperatures Settle Into West Central Ohio

The Winter of ’13/’14 has been quite the active one so far! Heavy snow in parts of West Central Ohio has led to RECORD setting temperatures for all of us to start the week!

Thanks to some warmer air pulled up into West Central Ohio with this system on Sunday, our southern and eastern counties ended up seeing rain for a good part of Sunday while others saw VERY heavy snow.

Here is a look at what the radar looked like at about 5 PM on Sunday with the rain snow line practically splitting West Central Ohio in half.

Sunday 5 PM

A few forecast models were showing this potential on Friday, which is why my overall totals for the region were lowered. By the time the rain snow line shifted east by Sunday evening the heavier snow had moved out.

Most of us did end up seeing accumulating snow, but the range of snowfall totals here in West Central Ohio was HUGE thanks to a rain/snow line that set up right through the viewing area. Had this line shifted only 50 to 75 miles further Northwest, ALL of us would have seen MUCH less snow, probably less than 2 or 3 inches total and mostly rain!

Here is what we ended up with in the region from Sunday. Notice higher amounts north and west and lower amounts further south and east.

Snow-rain totals

Snow-rain totals 2

While all of us didn’t get the heavy snow, we are ALL feeling some of the coldest temperatures the region has felt in over a decade! Temperatures throughout the day on Monday settled into the -5 to -15 range! Wind chill values in the region have been anywhere from 30 to 45 below ZERO! Because of this we are under a WIND CHILL WARNING until 8 PM TUESDAY.

CWA Watch

Since we rarely see wind chills this cold, here are a few interesting facts about wind chill.

Winter Weather What to Expect

You may not have known that wind chill is a measurement that only applies to people and animals! Wind chill does NOT effect an object like your car. The wind chill can help cool off inanimate objects like a car radiator very quickly, but the temperature of the object will NEVER drop below the actual air temperature!

By the end of the week we’ll finally feel back to “average” for this time of year. We still have one more day of these bitter cold temperatures. When I came into work today I decided to have some fun with these rare readings 🙂 Check this out! I took some near boiling water and tossed it up into the air, it almost immediately crystalized and evaporated. Basically, when you have water that is near boiling it is already close to being steam (or evaporating) so when you introduce it to a VERY dry and cold air mass, it almost immediately evaporates! The BIGGER the difference between the water temperature and the air temperature= the faster you get this effect! It’s a really cool experiment to do! You can probably even pull it off on Tuesday with highs still expected to below zero.

 

 

Heavy Snow And Dangerously Low Temperatures Ahead

Only a day after getting hit with snow and blowing snow here in West Central Ohio, another round of Winter weather is on the way. And it’s not just snow that is the focus this time, it’s potentially life threatening COLD temperatures that really has my attention.

Ok, to begin lets’ start with the snow, since that will arrive first.

A powerful cold front will begin to move into West Central Ohio Saturday night and Sunday. This front will bring more accumulating snow to the region. As of now, the range I’m comfortable with is about 5 to 10 inches here in West Central Ohio of fresh snow during the day on Sunday. This number will likely be narrowed down even further on Saturday before the storm hits. But for now, this forecast model (RPM) has a pretty good handle on where the accumulating snow will be the heaviest. Notice, most of West Central Ohio will be in a 5 to 10 inch range with higher amounts possible off to our Southwest.

Snowfall Prediction Through Late Sunday

Snowfall Prediction Through Late Sunday

Unfortunately, the possibility of heavy snow will only be the beginning. Gusty winds creating blowing and drifting snow will follow. Blizzard like conditions are not out of question heading into Sunday night. With that fresh snowfall and windy weather will come some of the coldest temperatures West Central Ohio has seen in decades. VERY cold temperatures will filter in behind the cold front and snow on Sunday night and Monday. HIGHS on Monday are looking as if they could be anywhere from 5 to 10 below ZERO! I don’t use words like this often, but that is insanely cold for this part of the country.

Temperatures could be anywhere from 10 to 20 below just off to the West of us into Indiana and Illinois by early Monday morning

Temperatures could be anywhere from 10 to 20 below just off to the West of us into Indiana and Illinois by early Monday morning

Up to now, I have only been talking about ACTUAL air temperatures and not wind chill which is even more dangerous! With highs Monday from 5 to 10 below and lows overnight Monday from 10 to 20 below, wind chill values will be approaching 30 below, maybe even 40 below zero! When you get into that realm, you are talking only about 10 minutes until ANY exposed skin can begin developing frostbite when outside! Take a look at this National Weather Service chart for wind chills and expected temperatures and times for frostbite.

windchill

I’ll have all the latest tonight at 5 and 6 on Your Hometown Stations. Stay tuned..

-Kyle