Central Ohio

Ice and Heavy Rain

By: Buckey2745, 9:21 PM GMT on January 25, 2012

Watches and Advisories went up across out area this afternoon for another southern low that's approaching, but this time the focus for winter weather is more minimal than last time and actually shifts north. As for us south of I-70? Rain. Doesn't feel too much like January, huh?


Wilmington warnings as of Wednesday afternoon.

A very slight chance of icing to the north this evening as the system works well to our south is the reason for the Winter Weather Advisories.

Further south we should expect mostly rain, perhaps a little mix of sleet tonight. But temps have mainly been above freezing for the past couple days, so any sleet should probably melt on contact. Plus our temps this evening should stay right at or slightly above freezing, before rebounding to the 40's tomorrow.


Current national weather as of Wednesday afternoon

For us, the storm will stay well south, with parts of northern Ohio not even seeing any of the precip. But in a narrow band over southern Ohio, we could see upwards of an inch and a half of rain. That's been enough to warrant the Flood Watch.

Flood Stage Raised
Speaking of flooding, just last week the flood stage here in Circleville was raised from 14ft to 15ft. That's to better represent areas that get real impact from flood. The 14ft stage only really impacted farm land. The new 15 ft stage is when water finally starts coming over roads.

Last year's 15+ Flood Warnings may have been fewer if we'd had the new flood stage in place. Looks like this year may be just as wet as last year, so we'll see if it really impacts how many warnings we get.

UPDATE:
The Winter Weather Advisory area has now been extended one tier of counties south to include Pickaway. However that still doesn't change my thinking. I just went outside and noticed all precipitation is falling as rain. Nothing is freezing. And everything is just wet. Which is the way it should be since the temp has now risen to 36°.

It appears the Advisory was extended based on new model data showing the storm passing even further south, allowing more cold air to move in. However, that just hasn't happened yet. And most forecasts show the warm air completely saturating all levels by midnight anyway.

This will just be a rain event. But either way, it's given us our third Advisory of the season.

Season Stats:
Winter Weather Advisories- 3
Winter Storm Warnings- 1
Ice Storm Warnings- 0
Blizzard Warnings- 0
Freezing Rain Advisories- 0
Winter Storm Watches- 0
Wind Chill Advisories- 0
Wind Chill Warnings- 0
Blowing Snow Advisory- 0

Snowfall Totals:
November: 0" (Predicted: 0")
December: 0" (Predicted: 0")
January: 3.5": (Predicted: 4")
Season: 3.5"

Updated: 1:53 AM GMT on January 26, 2012

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January 20-21 Ice

By: Buckey2745, 1:44 PM GMT on January 21, 2012

It wasn't much, but it was our first ice even of the season here in Central Ohio. All estimations appeared to of been way off, as snow and ice accumulations were low.

Some reports have come in of 4" of snow up in Logan County, but elsewhere in Central Ohio no spotter reports of more than an inch.

As for us in Circleville... barely a dusting of snow. Not even enough to measure.

Ice accumulations throughout the area appear to have been around 0.10", like we saw here in Circleville.

The ice is slowing everyone down, but strangely enough it's not a slick ice. It appears sleet mixed in sometime overnight, giving that coat of ice on everything a rough texture. Walking on the ice this morning was like walking on rough concrete. No slipping problems. Roads that haven't been treated aren't impassible as long as you take it slow.

So while accumulations of either form of winter precep weren't much, it was enough to make it our most significant storm of the season. If nothing else because it was ice.

Below are some pictures of the scene outside my door this morning:





Temps have actually started to drop this morning, so the original high of 35° doesn't seem likely today. Ice will probably take until tomorrow to melt, when another dynamic system enters the region. More about that later.

Season Stats:
Winter Weather Advisories- 2
Winter Storm Warnings- 1
Ice Storm Warnings- 0
Blizzard Warnings- 0
Freezing Rain Advisories- 0
Winter Storm Watches- 0
Wind Chill Advisories- 0
Wind Chill Warnings- 0
Blowing Snow Advisory- 0

Snowfall Totals:
November: 0" (Predicted: 0")
December: 0" (Predicted: 0")
January: 3.5": (Predicted: 4")
Season: 3.5"

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January 20-21 Winter Weather

By: Buckey2745, 8:50 PM GMT on January 20, 2012

Winter is trying to make a comeback here in the Great Lakes region, but not with a vengance. Just a small wimper.

I called for an inch out of yesterday's storm. Well, Circleville got roughly half an inch, even though ODOT reported 1.5" (I have no idea where they got that number). Much of the area saw between 0.5" and 1.5" from our weak clipper. It was enough to slow people down and delay schools this morning.

So now we look forward to this evening's storm, which promises to bring its own bag of tricks.

Since my post a couple days ago, the track of the low has shifted south slightly. What that means is maybe a hair more snow than freezing rain.

Here's the GFS model for late tonight when the storm will really begin to ramp up:


11pm run of the GFS.

So why the mix? That can be best explained by an illustration I made years ago. Essentially we have cold artic air in place (as proven by our low of this morning), and warm air aloft will filter in with the approach of this southern low pressure. Freezing rain is when warn air aloft doesn't allow snow to develop in the clouds and the precipitation falls as rain:



Temperatures will definitely be cold enough at the surface to support snow, with our temp expected to stay around the mid 20's from now until tomorrow late-morning. So anything that doesn't fall as snow will instantly freeze on contact.

This has brought out our second Winter Weather Advisory of the season, with a primary emphasis on the icing aspect of this storm.

UPDATE: The Winter Weather Advisory has now been upgraded to our first Winter Storm Warning of the season


Advisories and Warnings as of 3:29pm.

As with all of our winter weather, timing is everything with this storm. We should get some light snow showers to start this evening before switching over in the nightime hours to a mixed precip.

At this point timing is a difficult one to predict. I have to stick with the Wilmington office on a lot of their estimates because this is an extremely difficult storm to forecast. So here's the snow AND ice accumulations map:


Snow and Ice predictions for January 20-21 storm

That's best guess. Anything could change with this system, so all we can do is wait and see. Tonight should be a very interesting night, especially after midnight when everything should be freezing rain from Deleware, OH southward.

I'll post with updates.

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A Snowy Week?

By: Buckey2745, 6:10 AM GMT on January 19, 2012

We've got a week of snowy conditions ahead of us. Nothing like they're experiencing in the Pacific Northwest, but keep in mind we've had 3" of snow all year!

I just looked and last year at this time we'd had 11" of snow! That's a pretty huge difference, especially considering our largest "storm" had to do with backside snow off of a large low pressure.

So what's happening this week?

First. Tomorrow. A weak 1000mb clipper dropping down from Alberta will bring the norther half Ohio a chance of snow showers tomorrow. With highs in the mid thirties there's no promise of accumulation, so I estimate nothing to a dusting throughout the area. Nothing worth meausuring.

Tomorrow's setup looks alot like the GFS model:


I really don't see much more than flurries throghout the area south of I-70.

Then we have the second system moving in Friday evening, filled with uncertainty.

We could see a mix of freezing rain and some snow showers for a 24 hours. But the best part? Neither will last long.

A strengthening low dropping fown from then Rockies will move from Texas to the Great Lakes region tomorrow night and bring snow, ice and sleet to the region as according to the latest GFS from the NWS:



I guess we get 1" between now and Friday.

Season Stats:
Winter Weather Advisories- 1
Winter Storm Warnings- 0
Ice Storm Warnings- 0
Blizzard Warnings- 0
Freezing Rain Advisories- 0
Winter Storm Watches- 0
Wind Chill Advisories- 0
Wind Chill Warnings- 0
Blowing Snow Advisory- 0

Snowfall Totals:
November: 0" (Predicted: 0")
December: 0" (Predicted: 0")
January: 3": (Predicted: 2")
Season: 3.0"

Updated: 7:59 PM GMT on January 20, 2012

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Summary: January 12-13 Snow

By: Buckey2745, 2:16 PM GMT on January 15, 2012

I waited a little while to write this summary for the simple reason of measurments. First, it was hard for me to measure the snowfall amounts, and second apparently it was for everyone else too. There weren't many spotter reports that came in to the NWS for this storm, which made giving final totals pretty difficult.

From the best of what I've seen, here were some storm totals (without map):

Columbus: 3.3"
Logan: 3.0"
Dayton:: 1.9"
Miami Valley: 1.5"
Cincinnati: 1.5"
Wilmington: 1.4"

As you can tell, numbers were all over the board. There was no defined area where heavier snow occured. It honestly was spotty, it just depended on where heavy bands setup.

That being said, with my best estimate it appears we got 2.0" inches of snow here in Circleville.

But I feel like it's safe to say that it wasn't the amount of snow in this storm that mattered. When the snow started, temperatures dropped rapidly. We had what is known as a flash freeze, where the rain soaked roads instantly dropped below freezing and a thin layer of ice sat under newly fallen snow.

Also, snow was blown. With 30mph wind gusts, snow would blow across newly plowed streets, and salt became relatively inaffective.

It was a calm storm for the most part, and nothing Central Ohioans couldn't take. Now we're ready for the next one.

Season Stats:
Winter Weather Advisories- 1
Winter Storm Warnings- 0
Ice Storm Warnings- 0
Blizzard Warnings- 0
Freezing Rain Advisories- 0
Winter Storm Watches- 0
Wind Chill Advisories- 0
Wind Chill Warnings- 0
Blowing Snow Advisory- 0

Snowfall Totals:
November: 0" (Predicted: 0")
December: 0" (Predicted: 0")
January: 3": (Predicted: 2")
Season: 3.0"

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January 12-13 Snow

By: Buckey2745, 5:08 PM GMT on January 12, 2012

It's not a full on snow storm, but it'll be more than we've had so far. An Appalacian low that brought us more than a quarter inch of rain yesterday is moving up the Eastern seaboard and now an arctic cold front is sweeping across the nation, bringing with it cold temps and... snow. That's right.

The low is currently centered over the Toledo area and the cold front extends directly southward. As the front passes through, temps will drop. But that's not all. Winds will gust behind the front, up to 35mph tonight.

Temps will tumble quickly, but they have a long way to go. Right now at 11:30am we are sitting at 50° in the warm sector.

By tonight temps will reach below freezing right at sundown, and snow will begin to wrap around and back in from the southwest:


Snow coverage this evening shortly after dark.

Just as I was typing this, Pickaway County and other counties south of I-71 were put under our first Winter Weather Advisory of the season. I think the Advisory may be just precautionary as we're borderline for meeting criteria:


KILN Advisories as of 11:30am Thursday

So with light to moderate snow expected overnight, and 35mph gusts blowing the white stuff everywhere, measuring snow will be almost impossible.

However, here's the predictions map:


Snowfall for January 12-13

I'm actually going on the high end for my prediction in Circleville. I'm thinking we'll get a solid 2" from this system, however good luck measuring.

It'll be a cold and blustery next few days, with whatever snow we see not expected to melt until Monday when we finally get back above freezing.

Leave comments with your predictions and eventual totals!

UPDATE: Thursday, 7:24pm
Around 5pm this evening the front passed through, bringing very gusty winds and a temperature drop like I haven't see in quite a while. In a 5 minute period the temp dropped from 51° to 40°. Temps are still dropping, down to 35° right now.

Also the entire area is now under a Winter Weather Advisory. Snow totals don't really appear to meet Advisory criteria, but I believe because of the blowing snow the NWS decided to blanket the area just to be safe.

Snow should pick back up again here soon and through the overnight hours.

UPDATE: Thursday, 9:13pm
Snow has picked up, but so has the wind. Not much more than a dusting right now, but we'll be sure to have a decent accumulation by daybreak.

Temp has dropped to 27° and shows no sign on stopping.

To show the magnitude of this system, look at the map below of the nation's watches and warnings:



Season Stats:
Winter Weather Advisories- 1
Winter Storm Warnings- 0
Ice Storm Warnings- 0
Blizzard Warnings- 0
Freezing Rain Advisories- 0
Winter Storm Watches- 0
Wind Chill Advisories- 0
Wind Chill Warnings- 0
Blowing Snow Advisory- 0

Snowfall Totals:
November: 0" (Predicted: 0")
December: 0" (Predicted: 0")
January: 1": (Predicted: 0")
Season: 1.0"

Updated: 2:17 AM GMT on January 13, 2012

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More Than A Dusting

By: Buckey2745, 2:52 PM GMT on January 03, 2012

Yesterday's lake enhances snow showers became concentrated in some areas where more than just a dusting fell. In Circleville we recieved roughly 1" of snow. I say roughly because yesterday's gusty winds did a good job of blowing grassy surfaces and especially roads clean of the accumulations.

Below is a picture after our 10am heavy snow band that brought a good chunk of our accumulation:


The season's first snow... finally

Along with our first snow, we got some of our coldest wind chills yet, with single digit readings for much of the day and night.

There's no snowfall map for this storm because accumulations were all an inch or less and spotty depending on where you were. Yesterday morning you could drive a couple miles north of Circleville and not see a thing on the ground. It really depended on where you were.

We'll be below freezing for the next 24 hours before rebounding to above seasonal readings and no more snow in the mid-range. Hope you liked that shot of winter. That may be it for a little while.

Season Stats:
Winter Weather Advisories- 0
Winter Storm Warnings- 0
Ice Storm Warnings- 0
Blizzard Warnings- 0
Freezing Rain Advisories- 0
Winter Storm Watches- 0
Wind Chill Advisories- 0
Wind Chill Warnings- 0
Blowing Snow Advisory- 0

Snowfall Totals:
November: 0" (Predicted: 0")
December: 0" (Predicted: 0")
January: 1": (Predicted: 0")
Season: 1.0"

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Finally Cold and Snowy

By: Buckey2745, 4:59 AM GMT on January 02, 2012

Happy New Year. Now let's make up that snowfall deficit.

After yesterday's rainy end to the year, the strong low pressure system has passed off to our northeast, bringing a very sharp pressure gradient and gusty winds. We were under a Wind Advisory for most of the day with gusts in the 40's. But with those strong winds also came a quick drop in temps. Around noon today we reached our high of 57°. Since then a sharp decline has us right at freezing.

We're getting wrap around moisture from this strong system, and most of it appears to be lake enhanced. We should see snow showers off and on for the next 24 hours, but accumulation seems unlikely past a mere dusting. But... we've gotta start somewhere. It'll be unreal to think we don't get our first dusting here in Pickaway County until January, but it's true.

But this is also ushering in our coldest weather of the season. The latest run of the GFS shows we will be getting a bitter shot of Canadian artic air in to tomorrow night:


Coldest air shown by the yellow line

This is what we've needed all along. Cold air. While the accumulations won't be much, at least it's snow as opposed to rain. Once we get this first dusting under our belts, we can worry more about the next big thing.

Season Stats:
Winter Weather Advisories- 0
Winter Storm Warnings- 0
Ice Storm Warnings- 0
Blizzard Warnings- 0
Freezing Rain Advisories- 0
Winter Storm Watches- 0
Wind Chill Advisories- 0
Wind Chill Warnings- 0
Blowing Snow Advisory- 0

Snowfall Totals:
November: 0" (Predicted: 0")
December: 0" (Predicted: 0")
January: 0: (Predicted: 0")
Season: 0.0"

Updated: 4:10 AM GMT on January 03, 2012

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About Buckey2745

I'm a 30 year old weather enthusiast from Central Ohio. Certified SKYWARN storm spotter.

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