Central Ohio

Thursday Snow

By: Buckey2745, 4:12 PM GMT on December 31, 2013

We have not had an accumulation of 1" or more here in the Columbus area since December 14th. For as impressive of a start as December had, it's pretty shocking that it's been that long since a good covering snow. We've had plenty of days of snow, just not a good accumulation.

Maybe that'll change on Thursday.

A southern low that will swoop down from the Rockies, in to the Gulf states, and up the eastern seaboard will give us a quick glance of snow. I don't think it'll be anything significant, but it'll be enough to get us prepared for what's to come.


Thursday morning Euro

The Euro and GFS both show a large area of light to moderate snow sweep in from the Midwest, well north of the center of the storm. For our area I say we get 2" blanketed across the entire area.

Unrelated, points in northern Ohio could be looking at a few days of snow as clippers bring in multiple rounds of light snow, accumulating well past 6". But for now, we're just going to have to look forward to a couple inches on Thursday.

Looking Ahead
Two main things to talk about going forward:

1. Decent snow forecasted for Sunday in to Monday
2. Coldest air in years comes in behind that

It's still 5 days out but I have high hopes for Sunday in to Monday to be a pretty decent snow maker for us. Obviously a lot of things could change between now and then, but I think this could be one of the better looking ridge runners we've had in a while.

And obviously as I talked about yesterday, absolutely record breaking cold by Tuesday morning possibly. All computer models still point to it, so we have to wait and see.

I'll post again sometime Thursday to summarize our snow. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Season Stats:
Winter Weather Advisories- 4
Winter Storm Warnings- 1
Ice Storm Warnings- 0
Blizzard Warnings- 0
Freezing Rain Advisories- 0
Winter Storm Watches- 1
Wind Chill Advisories- 0
Wind Chill Warnings- 0
Blowing Snow Advisory- 0

Snowfall Totals:
November: 3" (Predicted: 3")
December: 8.05" (Predicted: 7")
Season: 11.05"

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Historic Weather?

By: Buckey2745, 8:22 PM GMT on December 30, 2013

Just a quick update, I plan on posting a little more in detail tomorrow...

We have two major stories with our weather in the next week. The first one would be the possibility for some accumulating snow Thursday night in to Friday with an east coast low that could become a nor'easter. Models are all over the place with this one, so I don't want to spend too much time on this right now since it's still 4 days out.

However, the next big story that could end up being historical is the cold air that could show up after this weekend.

The 7 day Euro is currently showing insanely low temps next Tuesday morning. It's still early to say if this is exactly how cold it'll be, but with all computer models picking up on this feature, I feel pretty confident it will be cold. Very cold.

It's hard to see the numbers in this map, but:


Those numbers over Columbus? -20°.

You read that right.

Will it pan out? We'll just have to wait and see.

I'll post again either tomorrow or New Year's Day to go in to detail about late week snow.

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Rain Recap, Christmas Miracle

By: Buckey2745, 1:02 PM GMT on December 24, 2013

With all of the last minute shopping and fixing of the Christmas lights (rain + surge protectors = no light display), I'm just now getting the chance to recap the weekend storm.

Honestly we got lucky here in Columbus. While I haven't checked the "official" totals, here's what we ended up with here in Canal Winchester (my predicted totals in parenthesis):

Friday: 0.05" (0.25")
Saturday: 0.93" (1.25")
Sunday: 0.43" (0.75")

Storm Total: 1.41" (2.25")

So we were pretty far off from my prediction, and even further off from the 3"-4" that the NWS was calling for, and I don't think anyone minds that.

Some of the worst was just to our north and west, where I predicted we would see the bulk of the rain. Some of those places almost never stopped raining for the entire three day stretch. Our totals were kept down by dry slots in the embedded waves that rode up the boundary.

Below is the map from the NWS with radar estimated storm totals:


A Christmas Miracle
It happened. Even though I wrote in my last entry that the rain and high temps (reached 68° on Saturday and Sunday) would eliminate our snow pack and no other storms would bring snow... it happened. We had a dusting overnight, and woke up to this beautiful sight:


It's only a dusting, and doesn't reach the 1" parameter for a White Christmas, but honestly I don't care. It's a White Christmas to me. Merry Christmas!

Season Stats:
Winter Weather Advisories- 4
Winter Storm Warnings- 1
Ice Storm Warnings- 0
Blizzard Warnings- 0
Freezing Rain Advisories- 0
Winter Storm Watches- 1
Wind Chill Advisories- 0
Wind Chill Warnings- 0
Blowing Snow Advisory- 0

Snowfall Totals:
November: 3" (Predicted: 3")
December: 8.05" (Predicted: 7")
Season: 11.05"

Severe Weather Stats:
Severe Thunderstorm Watches: 8
Severe Thunderstorm Warnings: 10
Tornado Watches: 2
Tornado Warnings: 1
Flood Watches: 8
Flood Warnings: 2
Heat Advisories: 4
Excessive Heat Warnings: 0
Red Flag Warnings: 0

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Brown Christmas: Flooding Likely This Weekend

By: Buckey2745, 6:12 PM GMT on December 19, 2013

For the better part of two weeks we have had snow on the ground. I'm not sure about you but I don't remember the last time we went that long in December with snow cover. Unfortunately that streak comes to an end today.

Shortly before midnight last night we went above freezing and we're not forecasted to be below freezing again until Sunday night. That's a 96 hour period, probably our longest since the very beginning of the month.

But that's not the only reason we're losing all the snow:

5 Day QPF

The Friday through Sunday timeframe is going to bring us one of our biggest rainmakers of the year... this after a December that has seen almost 8" of snow in Canal Winchester (more recorded at the airport... of course).

Day by Day Forecast
This is terrible timing for most of us as this is the last weekend to finish up Christmas shopping. The only thing that could make this worse would be if this were all snow (which I would personally love). Given what is forecasted, if we had a 10:1 snow ratio with this storm, we could have been looking at 30" of snow. But of course we don't have to worry about that this weekend.

Friday
The first of two disturbances start to move through the area. Rain will start by morning rush, but luckily be light during the day. The heaviest of the precip should stay north, and be out of here by sun down:

Friday Forecast

Overall I'd say rain will total about 0.25" and should just be a daylight hours nuisance.

Saturday
This is our real rainmaking day. Rain should kick back in early morning hours and last straight through until dark. This round will have a lot more moisture with it, so even though we may have rain for as long as we did Friday, we will see a ton more rain.

Saturday Forecast

I think Saturday we end up seeing 1.25" of rain, bringing our storm total up to 1.50".

Sunday
This will be the end of the storm, with the potential of some very heavy rain in the early morning hours. In terms of rainfall rates this could be where we see some of our highest, but in terms of daily rainfall this won't be our wettest day. The storm will probably exit our area earlier than most people think, leaving Sunday as a transition day over to much colder air. We could go from low 60's in the morning to low 30's in the evening.


Sunday Forecast

I think from midnight Sunday through the early morning hours we will see another 0.75" of rain, bringing our storm total to 2.25".

Some media outlets are throwing out numbers like 4" - 5" for our area. I believe those numbers are way over estimated and are based off of what could happen in other parts of the country. I think north and west of us will see more than 3", which actually affects us in the end. Those rivers and streams to the north, combined with snow melt, saturated grounds, and our rain down here, will eventually lead to flooding. I don't believe it's a possibility, I think it's a definite.

Flood Watches should be posted by the end of today for the entire area, and the entire weekend will be a washout. No doubt about it.

Unfortunately that means it'll be a brown Christmas for all of us here in Ohio. There's a chance we could see some lake enhanced snow showers Sunday night on the backside of this low, but the chances are slim and not worth banking on. It's a depressing reality after seeing how promising this month started. About 7 days ago you probably could have bet on a White Christmas. Now? No way.

Stay dry out there this weekend.

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Big Misses On Snow

By: Buckey2745, 8:38 PM GMT on December 16, 2013

Wow. It's been a rough few days when it comes to predicting snow. I have really struck out. Let's start with Saturday's storm.

I went big, predicted a much colder solution even though all of the models hinted at a much warmer event and... well... I was off. Way off.

I predicted 3" for Saturday here in Canal Winchester. We ended up with: 1".

At least in my last post I acknowledged this wasn't an easy forecast:

"Honestly this storm will not be easy to predict. It'll all be a matter of seeing what happens with the warm air. P-type is always unpredictable."

Here is what Saturday's snow map looked like:


The Snow I Didn't Even Forecast

It wasn't much, but last night we got an additional 0.75" of snow from a weak upper air disturbance that rolled through the area. While it wasn't much, it did absolutely snarl rush hour traffic around here.

But I didn't even forecast it!

I personally assumed this would be a flurry event, and that most of the snow would fall between here and Cincinnati. While it's true that the bulk fell there (almost 2" south of Dayton), we still got enough to make it newsworthy.

Tonight
And again... tonight, yet another disturbance rolls through. This time I think I have a better handle on it, and it looks like this will be a northern Ohio event. I think instead of passing through the Dayton/Cincy region, this one will head toward Lima/Mansfield region.



That'll leave light snow for points north of I-70. I think we will see an additional 0.5" for us here in Canal Winchester, leaving some white stuff for our morning commute... again.

I'll post again soon about the weekend storm AND about our chances for a White Christmas!

Season Stats:
Winter Weather Advisories- 4
Winter Storm Warnings- 1
Ice Storm Warnings- 0
Blizzard Warnings- 0
Freezing Rain Advisories- 0
Winter Storm Watches- 1
Wind Chill Advisories- 0
Wind Chill Warnings- 0
Blowing Snow Advisory- 0

Snowfall Totals:
November: 3" (Predicted: 3")
December: 7.75" (Predicted: 6.5")
Season: 10.75"

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Winter Storm Electra: Impacts on Central Ohio

By: Buckey2745, 8:06 PM GMT on December 13, 2013

Let me start by saying I don't like "Electra" for a winter storm name. I don't mind the names, in fact I kind of like them for the sake of remembering events, but this one... I don't like. Electra? Come on.

Anyway, on to the storm itself.

Just like every other storm so far this season we're looing at a possibility of rain/sleet mixing in sometime in the middle of this storm, which would cut down on totals. But where does this take place? Let's start with the storm track:


11pm tonight, GFS


1pm Saturday, GFS

The low pressure will move out of the southern plains and head for the Ohio Valley. The key to the warm air is where this low goes. Some models suggest it heads directly toward Ohio before phasing in to a coastal low. Others show a more southern solution before rolling toward the coast. That'll be the difference between a minor event and a major event in my opinion.

Computer models think warmer.

And honestly, I think colder.

I hate to overshoot estimates on this one because even though it should be colder at the surface due to all of this snow cover, warmer air aloft could dominate if the low moves in to Ohio.

Models are giving us between 2-3" here in Canal Winchester, with totals ramping up considerably as you head north.

I'm going to go bold on this one and predict 3" for us here in Canal Winchester, with as much as 4" in Columbus. Here's the snowfall map for tomorrow's storm:



Honestly this storm will not be easy to predict. It'll all be a matter of seeing what happens with the warm air. P-type is always unpredictable.

The NWS has a Winter Weather Advisory for the area, but if new models suggest a colder solution I wouldn't be surprised if we get bumped up to a Warning.

1" or more will put us over 10" on the season here in Canal Winchester, a feat I'm not sure snow lovers could have dreamed up. Bring on the snow!

Season Stats:
Winter Weather Advisories- 4
Winter Storm Warnings- 1
Ice Storm Warnings- 0
Blizzard Warnings- 0
Freezing Rain Advisories- 0
Winter Storm Watches- 1
Wind Chill Advisories- 0
Wind Chill Warnings- 0
Blowing Snow Advisory- 0

Snowfall Totals:
November: 3" (Predicted: 3")
December: 6" (Predicted: 3.5")
Season: 9"

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Columbus' Urban Heat Island In Effect

By: Buckey2745, 8:08 PM GMT on December 12, 2013

This morning's low of 11° here in Canal Winchester was the coldest temp since February when we got down to 7°. But what's strange is we weren't even the coldest in the county. That honor went to the former town of New Rome on the west side with 6°!

When you look at the map of low temps, tell me if you see a pattern here:


You probably noticed that all the single digit temps are west of the downtown area. That's because of the phenomenon known as an Urban Heat Island. Downtown Columbus, with all of its cars, skyscrapers, and man made heat producers, is regularly 3-5° above its surrounding area. And last night with a northwesterly and westerly wind, that heat was push out of the city and in to the surrounding suburbs.

Expect temps to look like this any time this winter when we have cold, clear nights and wind out of the west.

I'll post tomorrow about our impending weekend "storm," even though I hesitate to call it that.

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

Snowfall Totals:
November: 3" (Predicted: 3")
December: 6" (Predicted: 3.5")
Season: 9"

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And Another Round

By: Buckey2745, 5:13 PM GMT on December 09, 2013

Yesterday's storm wasn't much for us here in Central Ohio during the day. Some light snow spread over the area through the morning hours, but moisture cut off quickly as the storm stayed pretty far south and east of us. I predicted 1" and we only got 0.5".

The real story was later in the evening when temps aloft rose enough to allow some freezing drizzle. Usually I don't think much of freezing drizzle, but around 10pm last night my road was completely iced over. Travel would have been impossible on untreated roads.

And now one more storm will roll through tonight. An upper air disturbance will rotate around the base of a large trough to kick off some light snow sometime after dark. I don't think this will be too much of a problem for our area, and I am going with a weak 0.5" of snow tonight.

After tonight we're just left with bitter cold for a couple days and then waiting for the weekend to see what that has in store. Maybe another mixed bag? We'll see...

UPDATE: Tuesday, 10:30am
Well I was definitely way off on that prediction. Probably my biggest miss this year.

I was woken up at 5:30am with a call from my daughter's school saying they were under a 2 hour delay. A couple hours later, closed. A few glances at the radar I could see a heavy band had set up, and it appears that southeast Franklin County was actually the big winner from this one.

In the end we got 2.5" of snow, a huge 2" more than I predicted.

And it's not going anywhere.

The next three nights will be in the single digits, and we won't go above freezing at all the rest of the week.

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

Snowfall Totals:
November: 3" (Predicted: 3")
December: 6" (Predicted: 3.5")
Season: 9"

Updated: 3:38 PM GMT on December 10, 2013

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From Cleon to Dion

By: Buckey2745, 5:43 PM GMT on December 07, 2013



Winter Storm Cleon has finally passed and the final tally for us here in Canal Winchester was 3", only a bit more than the 2" I predicted. Not too far off considering at one point the NWS had us predicted at almost 9".

Here's the first snowfall total of the season:


I believe snow totals were kept down by a dry slot that worked in throughout most of the early afternoon. We were in a prime zone for accumulation, right in the deformation axis and changeover zone. But no, we just didn't have the moisture.

And now we have one day of tranquility. But not melting. We won't see 30° today, but the sun should clear off some roads for us.

Then...

Winter Storm Dion
The NWS has already issued a Winter Weather Advisory for us for the next system ejecting out of the Gulf. If you would have asked me a few days ago whether Cleon or Dion would be our biggest problem, I would have said Dion. And now... Dion appears to be lacking moisture and is heading too far east to truly affect us.

The NWS has a good grasp on our precip potential, so there's no sense in me making a graphic for it. Instead, here's what Wilmington says:


In the end I say we end up with 1" of snow here in Canal Winchester and other parts of Franklin County, with sleet becoming predominant throughout the afternoon and keeping any snow totals minimal.

Precip will be light all day, but will also be off and on the entire day so accumulation will be slow.

December is starting winter off right.

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

Snowfall Totals:
November: 3" (Predicted: 3")
December: 3" (Predicted: 2")
Season: 6"

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LiveBlog: Winter Storm Cleon

By: Buckey2745, 11:25 AM GMT on December 06, 2013


This is a liveblog covering the impacts of Winter Storm Cleon on the Central Ohio area. Posts are in chronological order.

6:11am
An early morning wakeup call from my daughter's school telling me they're closed for the day told me right away what today would be like. When I walked outside I didn't see anything too terrible. Yet. But Sleet is beginning to stick on elevated surfaces as it appears that our 60° high yesterday was enough to keep roads warm.

Schools closed because of what could be coming. Some computer models are now hinting at upwards of 10" in Columbus. Personally I think sleet is going to cut down on those totals bigtime.

When will it become all snow? The latest HRRR suggests, as I predicted yesterday, northwest Columbus could change over soon, while here in the southeastern part of Franklin County, we may have a prolonged period of freezing rain that may last through mid-afternoon. By the time we get our first flakes, there could be 6" already in Dublin.

Dayton is already all snow and should stay that way all day.

So now it's just a matter of where that line sets up. If we're too warm aloft and stay that way for a while, we could have a nasty ice storm on our hands. Temps are still dropping at the surface, as we're 30.7° right now, so expect this situation to get worse before it gets better.

8:06am
We're looking at a pretty decent break in precip all the way back to Indiana. Once that does move in, it should be steady through the overnight hours:


The question is what will it come in as? Sleet? Freezing rain? Snow? That'll be the determining factor of whether we get the 2" I predicted, or the 6-8" the NWS is calling for now.

8:58am
The latest HRRR has our heaviest snow moving in after dark, around 6pm:


10:39am
Here comes the main event. The radar in beginning to fill in back to the west. This moisture stretches all the way to Texas, so we should have quite a while of snow. IF it falls as snow:


11:37am
It's the snow that will never come. I feel like the atmosphere is having trouble saturating in this colder airmass behind the cold front. All precip that has headed this way so far today seems to have died after it passed Cincinnati.

12:44pm
Finally, light snow and some sleet mixing in has started falling in the last few minutes.

2:03pm
Intensity is starting to pick up but still a snow/sleet mix out there. Roads are still staying wet with ground temps just barely warm enough apparently. When snowfall rates pick up, evaporative cooling will kick in and we'll see the amounts pile up.

Like AnalougeKid hinted, I'm gonna regret that 2" prediction. I think it'll go higher, but it's really hard to tell how much higher. Maybe 4"?

Well, at least this will be pretty when the Christmas lights come on tonight:


2:31pm
We always seem to use I-71 as a good landmark for snow/rain lines in storms, but this is crazy. This line has literally run right along I-71 for the past 20 minutes, with no advancement to the east side of it:


3:51pm
Things are deteriorating quickly now with moderate snow falling. Snow should be moderate to eventually heavy over the next 4-5 hours.

Updated: 8:52 PM GMT on December 06, 2013

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Winter Storm Cleon: 1 Day Out

By: Buckey2745, 4:14 PM GMT on December 05, 2013

Well that escalated quickly. In just under 20 hours the watches and warnings have been lofted like crazy from the NWS in Wilmington:

Wednesday, 4:19pm: Winter Storm Watch issued
Thursday, 4:01am: Winter Weather Advisory issued (points to the south got the Warning)
Thursday, 10:02am: Winter Storm Warning issued



Winter Storm Cleon is forecasted to be our first major snow storm of the season, and if some predictions hold true, our biggest single event in more than two years.

The Setup
Within the past 15 minutes or so a cold front has passed through the Columbus area. We've had over a quarter inch of rain today with temps holding in the 60's. By tonight? 30's.

The moisture is streaming up out of the Gulf, and when you combine that with the cold being filtered in from the north, we could have a setup for a nice snow event.

We're going to have a pretty good break in precipitation for the next several hours, but moisture will start building up from the southwest with the bulk of the Gulf energy. This is when it'll be critical to see how fast our temps can drop between now and after dark. If we get any more surges of warm air, we're going to cut in to our snow big time.

Being so close to the event I like to rely on short range models like HRRR for forecasts. Right now it looks like by 7pm temps will be right around the 40° range. That's not good enough. I feel like it may be lower, with temps having already dropped 6° in 45 minutes since the front passed through here.

I think to get the most accumulation out of this event we need it to be all snow. The HRRR currently shows a mixed bag around the 8pm hour here:



I don't feel good about this being an all snow event. I think we may even wake up tomorrow morning to some sleet and snow mix. That'll really cut in to the 4-6" the NWS is predicting.

The Forecast
I think you can go from southeast Franklin County to northwest Franklin County and see two different sides to this storm. To the southeast, a mixed bag. I think for several hours, even after sunrise tomorrow, we will see some sleet, snow, even some freezing rain, and temps will hover right around freezing. To the northwest? It very well could be an all snow event from 5am onwards.

I think we see a sharp gradient in snow amounts. Here, for the first time this season, is a snowfall prediction map for this event:


I'm going way low, with 2" here in Canal Winchester, but I think upwards of 4" could fall in other parts of Franklin County. I just don't feel good about cold air winning out in this one.

I'll start a live blog tomorrow!

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

Snowfall Totals:
November: 3" (Predicted: 3")
Season: 3"

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Winter Storm Cleon? A Bad Weather Weekend

By: Buckey2745, 6:18 PM GMT on December 04, 2013

I can't decide if our weather over the next few days would technically be considered part of Winter Storm Cleon. The Weather Channel hasn't been nice enough to determine that for us. Either way, name or not, Friday through Monday will be some of the most hostile winter weather we have seen in Ohio in a while.

Even though we are just a couple days away from it, it's still too early to say exactly what we will be getting, but we know it'll be nasty. As best as I can, here's a breakdown day by day:

Friday


The trailing cold front from "Cleon" will be drug across the area while bringing up some rich Gulf moisture. The combination of the cold on the backside and the high moisture content will put us right in the crosshairs of what could be either a heavy snow event, icing event, or sleet event. If you believe the GFS, it'll be some sleet changing to freezing rain Friday night. The NAM keeps us all snow after starting out with just a little rain early Friday morning.

This will be a tricky forecast for sure. In these cases I usually like to lean toward the warmer solution, which would give us a pretty mixed bag of ptype. But two of the three major models are now hinting at heavy snow. I'm going to stick with my gut on this one and say rain and sleet will minimize snowfall accumulation. The wildcard is... will we have freezing rain? That could be a disaster around here.

Saturday
The calm between the storms for now. We may wake up to the ending of some snow showers Saturday, but that'll be about it. Some peaks of sun, but cold.

Sunday
Being at least four days out it's so hard to say what we could see Sunday, but that should be our heavier precip event. But what kind of precip?

Below is the GFS precip type map from 11am Sunday, with warm air surging north.


The event could start as ice, then to rain, before eventually back to all snow. This is where, if it stays all snow, could be a huge accumulating event.

Models bounce back and forth so much so I don't want to speculate on Sunday any further than I have.

I'll post tomorrow with an update on Friday's system.

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: 3" (Predicted: 3")
Season: 3"

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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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Lehman Estates
Canal Winchester, OH
Elevation: 754 ft
Temperature: 68.6 °F
Dew Point: 49.8 °F
Humidity: 51%
Wind: 1.0 mph from the WNW
Wind Gust: 8.0 mph
Updated: 4:54 PM EDT on September 17, 2014

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