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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!